J Angelo wrote at the Blog Herald that he’s had a hard time explaining what he does for a living. To most people that he talks to, blogging or problogging isn’t even a career or is still nowhere near a form of livelihood. As for me, I’d always explain it in really simple terms that 99% of the people I talk to can understand — I’m in the Publishing business.
- Think of me as a one-man newspaper. When I did a talk over at Nestle Philippines, I explained that as a problogger, there’s not much difference between me and say Manila Bulletin (print) or Inquirer.net. We’re all in the publishing business. They may have dedicated writers, editors, photographers, programmers, designers and an Editor-in-Chief. But I also have a writer, editor, photographer, programmer and designer on my blog. Just so happen that I alone do all those stuff and still manage to be the Editor-in-Chief and the Sales Manager as well.
- The business model is simple and has been around for centuries — advertising. Well, online advertising may be fairly new in this part of the region but everyone’s already familiar with traditional advertising. Let’s just say that the internet or new media is a growing platform, although I think the mobile media is way ahead of it in the Philippines. So, if you get a text message from Smart or Globe to download a ringtone or wallpaper, it’s no different from seeing an ad beside a blog entry. I think SMS ads are even worse since you can’t practically control what you get and when you get it. At least in blogs, you can choose not to read them or you can go and get the desensitized RSS version. Reminds me of Manny Pacquiao’s boxing fights and how many advertisers wanted to have their logo stitched on his pants and jacket. Will that affect Manny’s performance inside the ring?
- The compensation package are almost the same. If bloggers get paid on a per post basis, magazine contributors are also paid the same. As a matter of fact, the going rates for bloggers on a per post basis is as good as a local magazine’s rate (that’s basing from experience with writing for both.) If sites like ReviewMe or PPP suggests what kind of review bloggers can write about a product or service, you’d be surprised that magazines also require an almost similar guideline. At least with ReviewMe, they don’t have the authority to edit your blog post. Your article contributions on a magazine will surely get one.
Ms. Malou Mangahas gave me a book about the media and journalism in the Philippines and I read there that there’s no governing body for media so anyone with money can put up their own newspaper. With blogging, the start-up capitalization in the publishing business has just become close to nil.
So to my fellow grassroot probloggers, when you’re asked what you do next time, just tell them you’re in the publishing business. ;)