An interesting article appeared on the Always On Network (AO) today from site founder Tony Perkins on his first 8 months of running the Always On blog and some of the criticism he has received along the way.
There are a number of issues raised in the article which a worthy of mention:
1. When is a blog not a blog?
Tony Perkins writes that AO is not a blog in the pure sense based solely on a definition of blogging provided by Dave Winer that a blog consists of an amateur author who posts a regular diary on his own site that is unedited, spontaneous, and generally comments on and links to other blog sites. We take this definition to task. Firstly, Dave Winer does not define what blogs are, and there are many competing views on what a weblog/ blog are, one that the Blog Herald believes is closer to the truth in that by marketingterms.com “A frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and Web links.”
On this definition AO qualifies as a blog, it is a frequent, chronological publication of personal thoughts and websites, and if Tony Perkins is guilty of anything it is that his personal thoughts, and the AO contributors, are high profile and often commercial in nature.
2. Commercialism in Blogging/ variation on the Tall Poppy Syndrome
We are not going to defend everything Tony Perkins does at AO, in fact it is not a regular read, however we will defend Tony from the Tall Poppy syndrome attacks based merely on the fact that some find commercial blogging (or blogging for profit) obscene, wrong or impure. As the blogosphere matures it is inevitable that commercial, for profit blogging will become more common, however only a few will make serious money. Only this week the Blog Herald has reported on Jason Calacanis and the establishment of weblogs.inc. There are other bloggers in the blogosphere making money and being strongly supported. Drew Curtis from fark.com , Matt Drudge of the Drudge report, is apparently making over $1 million USD per year despite denying he is a blogger, even slashdot would be covering costs and making a bit on the side from its banner ads. Just because Tony Perkins set out to create a commercial blog, and was honest about it, should not diminish his reputation in the blogosphere. At the end of the day judgement upon him should be based upon his content and the depth and interest of his site. Whilst the content will not appeal to all, there is no doubt that he has picked his niche in the market and has stuck to it, and despite the criticism, we wish him well.