Busking is the practice of doing live performances in public places to entertain people, usually to solicit donations and tips. -Wikipedia
Is blogging a performance art? Maybe. Does reading a blog entertain? Sometimes, sure. Should people pay for the privilege of reading you diary? That ball is still in the air.
I recently ran across a blog called Blogging Experiment-lots of interesting stuff going on there. Mostly about making money with your blog and getting more readers and stuff like that.
Ben Cook is an old hand at blogging and is using all the tricks he has learned over the years to make a full time income from his new blog in less than a year. Unlike myself, who just started writing one day for the hell of it, this fellow has it all worked out. Writing with a purpose, what kind of pervert is this guy?
In one of his older posts, which I am working my way through, he said that panhandling bloggers ought to be ashamed of themselves, earn money and quit begging for it. You don’t see someone in a suit standing on a street corner begging, do you?
Well, not on a street corner, no. But I have seen them on PBS, heard them on NPR, read them in my mail asking me to renew my Membership to the Kimball Art Museum and the Fort Worth Symphony (I once supported both groups, but no longer have the time to enjoy the benefits of memberships.)- and just about every city that has a ballet, opera, orchestra, playhouse, museum, historic society, or college has a web page that turns begging into the fine art of The Ask.
I’d be willing to bet most of those good people own suits and wear them when asking someone for a Major Gift of half a million dollars or so. This is begging in the Big Leagues.
Is there a snowball’s chance in hell anyone will give a blog a Major Gift? Is there any reason to think that a blog is in the same class as even the lowest rated show airing on PBS in the middle of the night? When I first heard of cyber-begging a few years ago there was a woman that was twenty grand in debt and someone paid off all her credit cards for her. While not in the realm of Carnegie Hall, it was a major gift to the woman in debt.
But The Blogging Experiment was mainly talking about begging for ten dollars to buy a beer, which is a cute little button that was floating around for a while and is likely still floating around. What if it was a button that worked along the lines of that old joke? I want ten grand for a cup of coffee. Ten Grand, but coffee only cost five dollars! I want to drink it in Paris.
Does the size of the Beg make a difference? Should it?
Buskers are not official Nonprofits, but it is hard to see how you can make a living painting yourself silver and dancing for quarters. Most bloggers are not in it for the money, either-we would like to be, but it just doesn’t seem possible for all of us to be rolling in the dough.
The idea that advertisers pay for a blog and not the readers is kind of circular logic. If the advertisers did not think the reader would end up buying something, why would they spend money on an ad? The cost of advertising is built into the products we buy, even if we have never seen or heard the ads ourselves.
No one seems to think selling ads on your blog is wrong, just begging for it. The Lost Art of Blogging offers several ways to make money with a blog, asking for Donations among them. As a blogger that never met a widget he didn’t like, it is hard for me to be against putting anything on your blog. So why not make it easy for someone to give you a dollar if they want to?
But really, has anyone ever donated anything to your blog? Ever? Just wondering.