The OF Blog: Knowing my role

Thursday, August 07, 2008

Knowing my role

Do you smell what the rock is cooking?
The Rock says, The Rock says, The Rock says, The Rock says
The Rock says, The Rock says know you damn role
Know your role
The Rock says
The Rock says
The Rock says
The Rock says
The Rock says know your damn role
The Rock says, The Rock says, The Rock says, The Rock says
The Rock says, The Rock Say know you damn role
Know your role
The Rock says
The Rock says
The Rock says
The Rock says
The Rock says
The Rock says know your damn role

I've been very busy the past four days getting acclimated to my new high school, meeting my new colleagues, and having a blast teasing my fellow social studies teachers (no English this year, only one preparation for the first time since the 2000-2001 school year! I'm beyond ecstatic about that). However, I've been mostly unable to find the time/energy to keep up with the constant teacup tempest brewings, so I guess the one interesting bit I read this afternoon might serve as a nice dovetail back into my personal/professional life.

Gabe Chouinard has a reaction to the reactions to last week's discussion regarding finding ways of paying bloggers. To be blunt, he's quite frustrated with the reaction that many had to his proposals of finding a way to generate revenue from getting publishers and others in the industry to buy ads on various SF/F blogs. Descriptors such as "placid" and "resistent to change" are peppered throughout his post, used to argue that those who are opposed to his ideas are being reluctant to engage the possibility of working with publishers to create content in exchange for money.

While it sounds nice, I naturally noticed a few flaws in this approach. First off, what sort of "advertising" are we talking about? If it's money, wouldn't advertisers like to see some bang for their buck? This blog probably is in upper tier of non-author/publishing firm SF/F blogs in regards to hits and between direct and feed views, I only average slightly more than 1,000 page views a day. While there are a few sites that I know of that get 2x or 3x that traffic, most "independent" SF/F blogs that have reliable tracking numbers (this is excluding Livejournal, unfortunately) that I know of receive less than half of mine.

One thousand daily page views might sound like a good number for many, but compared to the Boing-Boings or other such sites, it is miniscule. Add to that the fact that I likely share about 1/3 to 1/2 of my audience with similar blogs and it really doesn't make much sense to pay more than a pittance for advertising, even if I were so inclined.

In a time in which major newspapers such as the New York Times is losing quite a bit of its ad revenue due to the slumping economy, it seems rather odd to think that online spec fic advertising on sites that get maybe 50-500 page views a day would 1) be approved by advertising firms, and in the unlikely case of it happening, 2) would pay more than maybe $10-50/month.

I'm quite realistic where I stand in the hierarchy - just big enough for certain "higher ups" to have noticed me, but far from the gravy train of publicity/advertising revenue. I would imagine that I'd have to at least multiply my daily average by 10-20x to have any realistic expectations of getting advertising dollars. Besides, when I'm making over $40,000 a year as a teacher, I'm in no hurry to quit my day job to do what would amount to lower-paying freelance work on a more than full-time basis. I know my role, and that is to be a teacher first, a blogger somewhat further down the line.

That being said, tomorrow is my first day with the students. I expect to have some fun.

6 comments:

Gabriele C. said...

I've always seen blogging as something I do for fun, and if it ceased to be fun, I'd stop. That attitude is shared by most bloggers on my sidebar, even though some put a great amount of research in their posts. Money has never been an issue.

Btw, I tagged you for a meme if you want to play. It's about books, of course. :)

Gabe said...

Oh, man, Larry, you disappoint me!

Out of all that, this is what you came away with? That I'm apparently upset about people not taking my "advice"? I mean, for starters, nothing I said was new. It's all stuff gone over ad nauseum on sites like Copyblogger, Problogger, Smashing Magazine, take your pick of a thousand more.

No, what bewilders me is that it's apparently NEW and TRANSGRESSIVE to talk about it in SFF circles. And it just happened to parallel the bigger picture I aimed to paint. Perhaps I failed. I mean, it was kind of a long post, and I do have a terrible habit of not starting out with a thesis statement and then filling in the rest of the piece with supporting arguments. I am a bit more discursive in my posts, I know.

But really? I'm upset people are opposed to my post? That's what you came away with?

***********************

On an unrelated note, I'm glad things are going well with your new post. My favorite subjects were always social studies, Civics and history in school. I always figured I'd end up as a cultural anthropologist. Weird how that works, isn't it? Anyway, happy it seems you're settling in.

Larry said...

Gabe,

I read your post after being awake for close to 18 hours straight - and I thought I had said more than just that you were a bit frustrated. As for the "transgressive" bit, I think it's more a matter of people being incredulous about the viability of making such arrangements for blogs that generally average only a few hundred page views a day, if that.

First day with the students was a blast. Haven't had this amount of fun in about 6-7 years at least. One of the best group of teachers I've worked with as well. Hard to beat that, huh?

Gabriele,

I'll look at the meme in a bit. I'm still unwinding from a long, fun day at school.

Gabe said...

Yeah, it's always good to have a good group of teachers. One reason I love the elementary school my girls go to is they've attracted some really good teachers for such a small town. I feel confident letting them go to school.

I'm not necessarily arguing with your points re: running advertising. They're quite valid points. I was just a little disappointed that that was what you decided to focus on, when I'd hoped I had created something a little more... ummm... compelling.

Larry said...

Gotcha. Well, like I said, I was a bit tired last night and didn't want for your post to fall in the weekend cracks.

And yeah, good teachers do make for a domino effect in schools. The happier the teachers are, the more likely the students will feed off of the positive energy and do well in the classroom in return.

Nephtis said...

Maybe there should be a better way of tracking what influences people to buy. Larry, you've been a great influence on my buying choices, but I *never* buy through clicking an ad. I type in http://www.amazon.com, search for the book, add it to my Wish List, and let it linger in the Shopping Cart for a few days, weeks, months first... I've learned to give wotmania credit by adding /ref=wotmania06 to the book URL before adding it to the Shopping Card for the final sale, but that still does not acknowledge the pivotal role your recommendations (and those of Alric seVinta or kfc or other OF regulars) played in my decisions. As examples of titles/authors I bought solely at your urging: Stone Gods, Ekaterina Sedia, Crystal Rain, Kalpa Imperial, Gregory Frost... Ok there are many, many more.

So, any ideas?

 
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