Personal Blogs vs. Traditional Media
Posted on May 13, 2006
Mark Cuban has a great post about the difference between blogging and traditional media. He says that blogs are personal and "99pct of blogs are about what someone has to say" while "99 pct of traditional media is about making money."
Cuban says there are a few blogs, like the blog networks, out there just to make money but that these blogs are in the minority. There are some earlier polls that back this up -- in case it isn't blatantly obvious from the vast number of personal blogs indexed in Technorati, BlogPulse and other blog search tools. There was an AOL survey that found most people don't blog for money. Another survey conducted by BlogKits found that 18% blog for money but this survey was conducted by a blog advertising company.
Blogs being primarily more about what someone wants to say than what someone has to write about (traditional media) may help explain why the Colbert speech exploded in the blogosphere while the majority of the mainstream media ignored the subject until they reported on it as a blog phenomenon. To tie in the bread baking analogy, if bloggers are interested in something they will take the time to "bake bread." If they are not interested they won't bother. Reporters aren't always 100% restricted in what they write about but they definitely lack the freedom bloggers have.
Newspapers are adding new blogs daily and some of these newspaper blogs are giving the writers at least a little more freedom and more subject choices. Jeff Jarvis writes: "There's no reason that big media cannot break free of the shackles of its medium. Many or most won't try, that's true, but there's nothing to say that a newspaper reporter must stay trapped by paper."
On a side note, Mathew Ingram, who also agrees with Cuban's post, points out a recent $200,000 basketball-related fine Cuban received because of comments he made on his blog. Cuban is definitely exercising his freedom as a blogger to write what he wants.