We are all whores now.
Like millions of other bloggers, I have a dream. That dream is to leave my job and live life. When I have lived enough life each day, I want to sit down at the computer (naturally in a large house near the beach - any beach, who cares, as long as it's warm and service-oriented?) and write about it. The things I write about will be read by a worldwide community who are perched on the edges of their seats waiting for my next pronouncement.
Many of them will have alerts set up so that they receive a notification each time I deign to submit something to the web. There would be no question of any paranoia - that I was not on the curve - because I would be the curve. But, even while I was living my funky life, I would need to record it somehow - take pictures, tweet, receive ironic backslaps and good-natured digs from my fellow interneterati. I would lounge around making wry comments about baristas, checking out my feedburn via RSS and beta trialling the latest UGC.
There is of course a small stumbling block. Money.
You'd be forgiven for thinking that Web 2.0 had somehow made the world a more egalitarian place. I mean, politicians blog, and - so they say - listen to the opinions of at least some bloggers. Wikipedia, creative commons, and all the rest of it would make you think that we are on the verge of some kind of revolution. As if you would believe a word of it, right?
I have even noticed a change in myself, in the way I am positioning myself in regard to my blog entries. I was performing the usual duty of skimming through Blog Directory the other day and I found this rather pathetic little piece in one of the random blogs I checked (you have to look at one or two before you can add your own) about Pay Per Post. I have seen this in my own AdSense window a few times, but I am a good boy and would not dream of breaking my covenant with the great Google by clicking on any of the ads in my own blog. No, really. So, after reading the post, which left me feeling rather depressed ("I have found this great new venture called Pay per Post, which I think is really exciting. I would have no hesitation in recommending it to anyone...") I visited the Pay per Post site. After the usual puff, there was a contract in there, which to my admittedly inexperienced eye, did seem to be rather binding on the client. It would have been so easy just to have hit the 'I Accept' button and then be tied to writing copy for a few measly bucks a month. Instead, I closed the window and shuddered.
So, I have been thinking for some time about posting an entry relating to the West Green Road, which has long been one of my favourite places in London. It is a vibrant and exotic street, especially on a Saturday afternoon, and is home to many different African food shops, barbers, Turkish bakeries and an atmosphere that really buzzes. It is also, I think, under-represented on the intar-tubes. I wanted to do a photo blog - perhaps over more than one post - to bring the place to life. Then I read the guide on how to make money and everything changed. I thought I would approach the shopkeepers and tell them what I was doing. I could showcase their stores for them - give them a presence on the net - if they in return offered me some sponsorship.
Now is that such a bad idea?