Blogging for Dough?

The all new blogging for dollars will be up next.

Call me cynical but it seems to me that the blogging world has become the last bastion of the entrepreneurial individual who is scrambling to make a success of his or her new business.

I could be wrong, but I don’t think so.

Just look at Twitter — another haven for the entrepreneur — just look at how many tweets are dedicated to “making more money with your blog” and “how to drive more customers to your blog-site. Go ahead, I’ll wait. I want to see if I’m exaggerating or not.

Back so soon?

You’ll have noticed, that Twitter is full of these helpful tweets. I know I noticed and it made me question why folks blog.

I know why I do.

I think I know why a lot of folks whose blogs I follow do. But you only have to look at your spam list to see that there are a lot of folks in the blogging verse who are trying to make money.

I don’t blame them. I was interested when I first started blogging, that on the blogger.com site that I first used, I saw that you could put adverts on your blog and get some pennies from the advertisers. I even tried to monetize my site.

Unfortunately, unless you live within the shores of the US continent, you cannot monetize your account. I was a bit nonplussed.  It did not (and still doesn’t) seem very fair. Most of my blogging audience reside in the US. I have a great spread over the rest of the world, but the good ol’ USA always comes first in terms of “readership.”

I suppose I am a little bitter about not being able to make a little change off my blogging. Not enough to really complain though. Just a little grousing to let the world know how I feel about it.

And of course that’s the crux of the matter.  I blog so I can let the world know how I feel about things.

Oh yay! Oh Yay! Stay tuned for my thoughts on world peace!

Whether it’s about the latest film I’ve seen or the horror of the Dark Knight shootings. I want to get my two penneth worth out there for folks to see. Not because I think I’m clever enough or sage enough to make a difference one way or the other, but because I can.

I’ve always been able to put two words together in a sentence and not sound too idiotic. This makes me a communicator. Not necessarily a great one, but a communicator nonetheless.

Because I have this ability, I like to communicate. Of course it helps the whole process when someone comments on something you’ve written. Even if it’s to (intelligently) disagree. I’m also pleased if someone takes a split-second to ‘like’ what I’ve written.

This all makes it seem more like communication. Without feedback for your real (or imagined) audience your blog starts to feel a little like you’re standing on a street corner wearing a placard that says “The end is nigh” and you are shouting to a unlistening, uncaring public.

So while I’m not blogging for monetary recompense aka dough, I am blogging for reward of a different nature.

The reward of knowing that somebody out there is listening and I can leave my placard at home.

Cyber “Friends”

Image representing Facebook as depicted in Cru...
Image via CrunchBase

In this cyber-age we live in our social circles are exponentially bigger than they would normally be. They are bigger because of social networking and the various sites on the web that encourage folks with similar interests to hook up and talk about their interests.

Facebook, Twitter, Bebo, MySpace, and all of the ‘second cousins’ of these social networking sites encourage us to join groups with other people that have things in common. Even YouTube is being used, to a degree and quite incorrectly, as a social meeting place.

Of course Facebook always stipulates that you should really know the person that you are either requesting to be your friend or vice versa. But in reality, how many of our internet “friends” do we really know? I would be willing to bet a substantial amount of cash that the answer is, not many.

A few years ago having thousands of friends on Facebook was considered a sort of status symbol by young people. Kids were having competitions to see who could get the most friends on their homepage. For all I know they still do.

But things have changed a bit in the world of Facebook. It is no longer considered just a meeting place for your real friends. Statuses are posted that are, for the most part, homogenized and carefully vetted to make sure that too much personal information is not put up for perusal. More personal items are discussed via messaging.

Facebook is now a place where fans can join their favourite actor’s, or fill-in-blank-here, page as a show of support and talk to other folks who like the same ‘celebrity.’ The actual owner of said page may or may not interact with their fans.

FB (sorry but, continually typing out Facebook was getting annoying) is also used for folks to show support for other reasons. Singers, artists, musicians, YouTube channel presenters are just some of the folks who use FB as a means of talking to their “friends” or supporters.

Unfortunately because of the ease of interacting with people we will most probably never meet, some people can become quite demanding of their internet buddies. As the old saying goes, ‘Familiarity breeds contempt.’ It also breeds an assumption of ‘real’ friendship.

This is, in actuality, an illusion created by the very medium that allows us to befriend strangers across the globe. Film and television help to perpetuate this illusion. Internet dating sites are constantly being touted on TV and films like You’ve Got E-Mail also tend to romanticize relationships that are made over the net.

But what happens when the lines blur? What happens when your new internet pal starts making demands on your time or starts treating you like a best friend who is threatening to stray?

Or what happens when your new buddy starts joining all the groups you belong to and sends friend requests to people you really know or are part of your ‘close’ social networking circle?

It starts becoming invasive, intrusive and not a little cyber-stalker-ish. But that is the pitfall and the danger of making internet friends. Unlike real life, where we can see the signs that tell us our ‘friend’ is becoming a little too interested or obsessed, the internet hides a lot.

This new age of cyber friendship can be fun and enjoyable for everyone as long as lines aren’t crossed. By treating your internet buddy like a real friend who you have actually known and interacted with in real life can be the death of that cyber relationship.

Because whether we like it or not what people put forward on these social networking sites is their ‘best’ or public face. To be more succinct, they use their polite stance when talking to folks. *Unless they are a troll. If they are a troll, all bets are off. They just want to act, well, trollish.*

And just like in real life, we cannot fall into the trap of assuming that we really know our web pals. Because, we don’t What we know is their cyber self. And that may or may not be who they really are.

Friendship bracelet
Friendship bracelet (Photo credit: petr cervinka)
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