For the first time ever, the Democratic Convention has credentialed more than 30 independent Internet diarists to cover the party powwow. Part of the Boston convention hall’s media center has been designated “Bloggers Boulevard.” It is located near “Talk Show Row,” where more traditional TV and radio reporters are situated.
Blogs combine the words “web” and “log.” These online journals are generally low tech and even lower budget. They utilize basic software that enables many – who don’t own printing presses or broadcast networks – to put their two cents worth in, and to potentially reach mass audiences. However, blogs were rarely profitable.
Until now, that is. “It’s starting to look as if bloggers can make a living from their sites,” the Chicago Tribune recently wrote. The Tribune contends this growing trend is “thanks to an advertising boom.”
Niche marketing, too, is playing a significant role in the emerging blog boom. According to the Tribune, “Companies who want to reach specific consumers – current-events mavens, conservative PhDs, cell-phone fanatics – are hooking up with blogs that can deliver those eyeballs.”
New media’s emergence in the 21st century is also a major contributing factor to this trend. The Tribune article quotes Carlos Alvarez of New York’s Special Ops Media, which specializes in Internet-based marketing campaigns, as saying: “One of the big overriding themes over the last few quarters has been the shift from traditional media to the online space.”
Blog advertisements, from tires to telecommunications companies, are on top of Drudgereport.com, which is published by Matt Drudge, who broke the Monica Lewinsky-Bill Clinton scandal online. There are not only amazon.com e-store links at Andrewsullivan.com, but an icon to click on to make a contribution to the site run by Sullivan, a well-known conservative-leaning gay reporter. However, according to the Tribune report, blog advertising bucks are trickling down to less prominent bloggers, too.
Blogads is a North Carolina-based firm that ties advertising rates to clients’ online traffic. Its blogads.com site states: “You need to woo the early adopters that traditional media can't reach. You need to impress 100,000 opinion makers with a colorful pitch, not pester 100,000,000 nobodies with a soulless text, ad or banner.”
According to the Tribune story, Glenn Reynolds’ site “Instapundit.com has been bringing in several thousand dollars a month” since he inked a deal with Blogads. The Tribune adds that some sites have been running as many as 15 at a time, and that some leading Blogads clients are earning $3,000 to $5,000 per month from their blogs.
Blogging has also been a part of numerous adult Internet sites. They range from industry gossip and gab, to porn star diaries at membership sites. Lukeisback.com, for instance, is full of insider info about the porn community, by one of the best-known chroniclers of the adult scene, Luke Ford. The blog also keeps readers abreast of Ford’s quest for the ideal wife.
Gaypornblog.com recently ran a racy item from The New York Post’s tell-all Page Six about gay porn star Chad Savage working as a valet at Bohemian Grove, the all-male annual gathering of the high and the mighty at Monte Rio, Calif. This exclusive elite retreat has been attended by every Republican president since Calvin Coolidge, as well as by captains of industry and media moguls.
The blog at DazeReader.com frequently publishes sex-related tantalizing tidbits. It recently posted an item about a “GOTMILF” license plate, which was eventually revoked (“MILF” is an acronym for “Mothers I’d Like to Fuck”). Another piece reviews Jerry Stahl’s new novel about the silent screen star Fatty Arbuckle, whose career was ruined when the porky comedian was linked to the Prohibition-era rape and death of an actress. Still other stories deal with ancient Greece’s naked Olympics and the censoring of Will Smith’s willie in a shower scene in “I, Robot.”
Porn stars regularly update their own online journals, which help make members feel close to their favorite performers. These blogs reinforces the sites’ stickiness and help retain members. For instance, by logging on to megabitchgoddess.com and clicking on “Asia’s Bulletins!”, fans can learn about Asia Carrera’s current goings on and doings. The latest scoop is on the so-called geek goddess’ pregnancy, and features photos of Carrera in Hawaii.