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On Being A Progressive Blogger

April 23, 2012 - Author: newscoma - Comments are closed

I’m going to talk about a touchy subject and if you don’t want to read it, then I implore you to go look at this picture of a raccoon.

Earlier this week, I was offered a $3 advertising offer from a company that wanted to put an ad on this blog. Last month, because I know a little bit about Tennessee political history, I was asked if I would write a 2,500 word essay on Annabelle Clement O’Brien. The offer was a penny a word.

Let me repeat, this has just been in the last couple of months. This isn’t new.

Sometimes from very kind people who are long-time readers of Newscoma, I will get emails about why I don’t blog with the frequency and volume that I did a couple of years ago. It’s because that I’m in freelance now which ebbs and flows like a backed up creek sometimes so I have to continue to hustle to find work to make my life comfortable. I am lucky to have one steady p/t gig but my budget remains tight and paycheck to paycheck.

Waiters and bartenders get tips. Writers and media folks don’t. It’s just true.

And this is what I see because obviously Suzy is going through the same thing.

There is no progressive equivalent to the wingnuts’ welfare system. George Soros won’t send bloggers money, no one wants to hire the old guard bloggers like me for think tanks or high-falutin’ magazines. The funny thing is, as bloggers continue to do this soul-searing, butt- and cardiac busting work, we are still relentlessly criticized for our many shortcomings by our own readers (many of whom are notoriously absent during our fund drives).

No matter what else you can say about conservatives, they do take care of their own. Progressives expect us to do our work as a public service, but we still have to pay rent – and medical expenses. Look at some of the bloggers we’ve lost on our side – people like Steve Gilliard (The News Blog), Jim Capozzola (Rittenhouse Review), Melanie Mattson (Just A Bump In The Beltway) and Jon Swift, who just didn’t have the money to pay for medical bills and died as a result.

Our smart, informed, hardworking liberal bloggers aren’t the ones who get those nice CNN jobs. It’s wingnut morons like Erick Erickson.

Why do so many readers think nothing of riding for free on our hard work and yes, sacrifice?No, I’m not talking about the people who are out of work themselves, or otherwise hurting. Hell, no. I mean the people with jobs and some level of security who turn to blogs like this several times a day for the news they need to know, but never even think to contribute.

I have occasionally had people leave me a few dollars in the pot and there is one fantastic soul who leaves me a Christmas present each year that literally has saved the holiday for me.

We’ve lost some fantastic bloggers around this state and we’ve gained a few as well. And many of us have broken national stories, including myself.

As Susie said quite eloquently, it’s the Erick Erickson’s of the world that advance. And there are far too few Rachel Maddows. The right has systems in place that value its online scribes. For many of us on the left, we just don’t have the infrastructure by stakeholders.

So help the progressive blogosphere out when you can. Buy a blogger a beer by putting a few bucks in their paypal account. Leave them a comment when you like their work or let them know about opportunities. Share their work. Not just me, I’m talking about other folks as well.

Just don’t offer them a penny a word because that flattens your soul out like a runny pancake. I wish that I could say that this only has happened once, but it happens to so many of us all the time.

Categories: Tennessee - Tag: ,

Discussion (93 Comments)

  1. by Fancycwabs

    I much prefer to buy bloggers beer in person. That way I can be sure you’re not squandering it on organic vegerables or healthcare.

  2. I don’t mean this in a mean way, but it is ironic that the folks who belong to a political ideology that insists on people giving away their stock in trade for free, or at least at a greatly reduced price (health care, housing, education, etc) have a hard time understanding why they are expected to do the same thing with their stock in trade.

    The progressive mindset is all about being given what you need by the government, so it just stands to reason that progressives expect things to be provided without cost to them. Things like news, information, and yes, blogs.

    On the other hand, conservatives expect to get compensated fairly for their work, and therefore expect to compensate others fairly for their work. It’s not that conservatives have organized systems in place; it’s that they share the same mindset of giving value for value.

    Progressive thought has the same corrosive effect on charity. Rather than being our individual responsibility to help others, to the progressive mindset, it becomes a collective responsibility, leading to the tragedy of the commons. It becomes the government’s job to take care of people, not ours as individuals. As taxes and government services go up, donations to charity go down.

    Obviously, I am speaking in generalities here; individuals vary greatly in their approach to giving and supporting others.

  3. [...] No matter what else you can say about conservatives, they do take care of their own. Progressives expect us to do our work as a public service, but we still have to pay rent – and medical expenses. — More. [...]

  4. by Scott

    What @Rich said, but with one (libertarian?) caveat.

    Some of us, and I’m talking about me, have had to come to the conclusion that the reason we aren’t even being offered $3 for ads is because no one in the open market cares even that much about what we have to say. As long as I’m writing about what I want to blog about, that probably won’t change. I’m ok with that.

    Of course, I could try to write to please the market, and I have given that a shot in the past. But that sounds a lot like a job to me.

  5. Rich, other than the fact that conservatives tend to take far more than their fair share, I don’t see much to agree with in your comment. Liberals (and I am one and proud of it) understand that the most effective means of ensuring security is by the government, as they are the only ones with the real resources to do so, and to do so without condescending to those who need the help. Conservatives do pay those who do their bidding for them, just enough to make them think they are part of the elite.

    • by geTaylor

      ” . . . the most effective means of ensuring security is by the government, as they are the only ones with the real resources to do so, and to do so without condescending to those who need the help. . .”

      Steve:
      What “real resources” does “the government” have?
      Where (or from who) does the government get those real resources?
      Why can’t this needy blogger access those “real resources”?

    • by Rob Mandel

      “that the most effective means of ensuring security is by the government, as they are the only ones with the real resources to do so”

      In a nutshell, that explains the left (not liberal as progressives are NOT liberals in any sense of the word. they’ve hijacked it and twisted it, but they can’t keep it. Liberals believe in free markets, property rights, and limited government) mindset and world view.

      Government doesn’t have any resources. It only has what it confiscates. And thus for government to have the resources by default means someone else does not. You might value a system whereby one chooses what is appropriate and necessary for another, a system where one takes from another and redistributes based on need, a system where “it’s my right” implies an obligation on another, by I do not.

      So I have no sympathy for lefty bloggers who whine about being stiffed. Their obligation is to provide for others. Their duty is to give up their resources for those of us in need.

      You value theft, I do not. You value a system based on demand, I value one based on reward and merit.

    • by Rick T.

      Why don’t you back up a bit and think for a minute about why the government has those “real resources.”

    • by JWnTX

      Rich was spot on with his analysis. The government doesn’t have any money that it doesn’t take from someone else. That you pretend that it “has resources” that are not taken from the sweat and work of its taxpayers is ridiculously naive and, quite frankly, sad.

    • by Valerie

      Oh, and just HOW do Conservatives take more than their fair share? And what is a “fair share” anyway, when it comes to blogging? Rich has it right when he notices the stingy greed of Liberals.

    • by tom

      Yeah, I take more than my fair share. Funny thing though, I worked for every drop of it. You, on the other hand, hold that your decisions as to how to spend my money is somehow superior to mine. Also, your petty patronizing tone really makes me want to do things your way.

    • by maynard thomson

      Uh, what does this mean: “Liberals…understand that the most effective means of ensuring security is by the government, they are the only ones with the real resources to do so, and to do so without condescending to those who need the help”?

      How does the government have resources? Government has no resources it hasn’t taken from others. Why should you, or the blogger, be “secure” in your endeavors–that is, given someone else’s money , because you can’t succeed in a free market, because uncoerced people choose not to buy your offerings? Essentially, you’re saying you should live by theft, but you want others to do your stealing for you.

    • by Mark B

      Steve – I hardly know where to start. First, “conservatives” don’t take “far more than their fair share” in anywhere but your imagination. On balance, Blue States have higher incomes than Red States, for example. Hollywood millionaires and high-tech billionaires are overwhelmingly liberal. Second, you want government to ensure your “security” but what you really mean is “give me stuff from other people.” But this has a huge built-in cost to society. You are choosing to live in a society in which a small political elite maintains whatever despotism they choose simply by making sure that the right palms are greased. You can pretend that selfless public servants will always take from each according to his ability and give to each according to need but all of history screams out that you are living in a fantasy. The real rule is “from each according to his inability to oppose the whims of the rulers, to each according to his usefulness to the rulers.” That is, you are choosing to live as a supplicant and a mule; willing to keep quiet about almost any outrage as long as you get yours. This is not exactly the path toward a true “progressive” future.

      Finally, when someone with a belief in the value of work and self-sufficiency (Conservative or Libertarian in that sense) pays another for their work, the last thing on their mind is any belief that they are the gatekeeper to some “elite” – they are simply paying their own way out of a belief that people *should* pay their own way.

      Oh wait – and one more gem – you say about private charity that it is: “condescending to those who need the help.” Priceless. So, you think that charities are all “condescending” in their concern for the less fortunate?

      Wow. Just wow.

      I take it that you have never in your life worked on a charitable cause or dedicated time and resources toward helping another. Because if you did, you’d never, ever be able to utter such misguided nonsense.

    • by Bill M

      Who determines “fair share”, you? How do you know this? You do understand the government ONLY gets its resources by TAKING them from citizens. The government just accused a 4 year old of hiding a gun at an airport. How condescending does the government have to be to get your attention? You’re not really a liberal in the classical sense. Progressive, yes, liberal, no. Conservatives pay market value. If that’s just enough, that’s great because that’s better than not enough. Ask our host which he prefers.

    • by p-dawg

      First of all, what is anyone’s “fair share”, how is it determined, and who receives any excess? Next, “the government” is not a monolithic entity, and does not have ANY resources of its own. Every resource it has access to it took from someone else, often losing a great deal to “administration costs” in the process. I’m not trying to be mean, here, but I don’t think you’re very informed. Limited government made the US a powerhouse; strong central government killed it.

  6. by Dabney Ring

    I guess that I see paid conservative bloggers vs unpaid liberal bloggers more in the radio talk show comparison. I think Conservative radio shows thrive, because it appears that conservatives like one source to find out what to think about topics and how to think on issues. HuffPost is not the Drudge report, for example. However, I also think that we need to do a better job of supporting – in every way – the bloggers who are speaking truth to power and educating the masses on issues that we care about.

    • by tom

      Gee, you convinced me . Would you please speak truth to power and educate me, one of the masses that is waiting for my progressive betters to save me from being brainwashed and being what and how to think by my conservative overlords. Just like Steve Steffens in a prior post, you are a patronizing ass.

  7. Steve, first you would have to define fair before you can claim that conservatives take more than their fair share. You would also have to define “take,” since in most cases, conservatives work for what they get.

    But all of that is irrelevant when discussing the point Trace brings up, that conservatives appear to be more willing to pay for services rendered, even those that are rendered voluntarily, while progressives for the most part tend to take it for granted that somebody else will pay.

    Dabney, are you seriously suggesting that HuffPo does not have an ideological agenda? Aside from that, how exactly do you think progressives should support progressive bloggers? Individual giving, or should the government come up with grants to support the New Media, allowing these voices to speak truth to power without worrying about having to support themselves? And if the latter is your choice, should there be some sort of ideological requirements so the government would support voices from all sides of the political spectrum?

    • by Valerie

      Rich, Leftists already have a taxpayer supported media that ”speaks truth to power” (whatever that means) it’s called NPR and is heavily biased against Conservatives.

  8. Part of the problem is the dilution of message: your blogroll lists over 200 different blogs and still neglects several important Tennessee bloggers (political and otherwise) with whom I have passing acquaintance. Which of these should get paid for their work? Who has distinguished themselves in a field of 200+ Tennessee bloggers?

    You may distinguish yourself by being shocking. You may be obnoxiously self-promotional and link to everything you write on every internet outlet available. You may slave away at HuffPo until you’ve developed enough of a following to launch your own vessel into the sea of noise. You may find yourself living in in a shotgun shack.

    But if you truly want to make it as a liberal blogger, you must do two things. Figure out what liberals want to read, then write it, two to three times a day. Make sure the comments are open everywhere you can have comments open, because comments = pageviews. Then sell ads, or pay someone to sell ads.

  9. by Dabney Ring

    I am not saying that HuffPo isn’t liberal – I used it because it is more liberal. I am saying it hasn’t found a way to monetize or pay its bloggers the way Drudge makes money. Air America can’t and doesn’t do what Limbaugh does. My guess is that it is because there is a difference for a reason and I believe it has to do with the way the info is used and processed.

    I do beloved it is up to individuals to support bloggers and I do support bloggers in a variety of ways. But I also think that everyone who benefits from these ppl – Govt, business & individuals should support them.

  10. Good Lord. I am gonna have to process FancyCwabs last comment.
    Here is my thing, this conversation is of the good.

    • by geTaylor

      Steve Steffens (LWC) says that the government has the real resources for ensuring security.
      I guess he’s suggesting that you seek financial support from there.
      Good luck.

  11. by Anne

    I’m not in the know politically like you and most of your readers…but I have to wonder if it’s not bloggers in general that are struggling financially. You’ve given me much to ponder about how we’re supposed to earn our way. A friend suggested about a year ago that I ask for donations on my site, and I felt too awkward to do so.

  12. There is a large error being made in this conversation. Conservative bloggers don’t get paid because people want to hear their message. They get paid because they are willing to say what moneyed interests want them to say. The conservative case cannot be made with a balanced view of the facts unless you can somehow believe that we are better off being slaves, serfs and commoners than we are being equal citizens in this nation.

    Liberal bloggers are hamstrung by having a belief in facts and critical thinking and that every citizen owns an equal part of his government. Conservative outlets get paid to drown out that message. They are an extension of the marketing department.

    • by ThomasD

      Brilliant parody.

      That, or you really need to step outside your community based reality from time to time.

      Else why all the effort to punish right wing voices via economic boycotts and such? If they were already beholden to the money they would not need the likes of Carbonite trying to shame them via ostentatious acts of denial.

      No, like it or not, their words bring the eyes and/or ears and advertisers pay based on the known value of that audience. When the advertising expense stops paying a return the advertising expense ends.

    • by J. Mackey

      what a joke. Liberal bloggers dont get paid because 1. they have not lobbied government to pay them directly from our taxes. 2. They dont understand how to utilize the free market. Here is a clue, put up links to products such as books and movies that you reference in your posts, get paid a portion of the sale when people follow the links. Or just advertise links to specials that some of your readers might be interested in. Or you could just whine and beg and play victim, liberals excel in that.

      “The conservative case cannot be made with a balanced view of the facts unless you can somehow believe that we are better off being slaves, serfs and commoners than we are being equal citizens in this nation. ”

      Your ignorance is showing(if we are equal citizens, wouldnt we be commoners by definition?). First off to keep this bi-partisan, their is more than the liberal/conservative dividing line, there is the powerful elites/versus common man, either of which can be liberal or conservative.

      So your statement shows an ignorance of these further subdivisions, and implies a willful ignorance to all the wealthy democrat corporate interests that are enslaving you everyday, characterizing them as purely republican/conservative.

      Corporations do not have armies or police forces, or jails to house you in. Government does. No corporation ever forced me to buy something or otherwise do something that i did not voluntarily do. Government has and does, and appears to want to do so more, and more often. ‘ yea but corporations work in concert with government to do the above inslaving!’ AHA so limiting governments power would in turn limit corporations power! Whereas Increasing government’s power over corporations, only increases the corporations motivations to manipulate government. And when successful their corporate power. Or said another way, centralized power decreases liberty, diffusion of power increases liberty.

    • by lorien1973

      What an odd statement, given that liberals are currently in court arguing that not only can government tax you at 40%, they can tell you how to spend the other 60%.

    • by SongDog

      As long as you believe that you will continue to wonder why you don’t get paid.

      Do you suppose the millions of viewers of Instapundit or Powerline are as described in your post?

    • by Valerie

      HAHAHAHA…You MUST be joking. I guess Liberal’s support for Global Warming has to do with their critical thinking skills? How about the scare over DDT? Alar? Rachel Carson? Paul Erlich? Really, you need to get out more.

    • by tom

      Liberal bloggers don’t get paid because, for the most part, they haven’t had a new idea in 50 years. People do not want to pay for something with little or no value.

    • by Rich

      WhitesCreek:

      You have to be kidding, conservative bloggers get paid because they say what moneyed interests want? Many conservative bloggers blog when they can and try to cover their costs of living through working at other jobs. Try looking at Alphecca.com, The smallest minority, TFS Magnum, of Arms and the Law and many others. They say what they believe, they try to educate and in most instances are respectful of other opinions. Some have jobs that let them blog freely and others are hand to mouth and survive because of appeals. The people who give them money often give a few bucks because that is all they can spare. There is no big money interest bank rolling conservative bloggers. That said the Rush;’s and the like are entertainment, they are trying to be as outrageous as possible because of the entertainment value. The liberal shows bored the hell out of everyone so they went down the tubes.

    • by Chris Ar

      This is a crock. Most conservative bloggers don’t get paid to blog. They have other jobs and blog on the side. All the leading center-right bloggers have jobs in other fields that pay the bills.

      I agree that moneyed interests play a role in the blogoshphere, but that’s almost exclusively contained to the left. Everyone who blogs at Media Matters gets a check from George Soros.

    • by Dan

      It’s a twisted morality that views the sale of a product or service to a willing buyer as being between”slaves” or “serfs”.

    • by alanstorm

      Wow, lots of delusional souls here.

      “Liberal bloggers are hamstrung by having a belief in facts and critical thinking…” Assumes things not in evidence. Haven’t noticed facts or logic as necessary to any liberal blog posts yet, except perhaps by accident.

      “…the bloggers who are speaking truth to power and educating the masses on issues that we care about.” And who might that be? It’s not liberals – it’s hard to speak truth to power when you’re the ones in power.

      Steve Steffens’s entire comment is incoherent. To judge from the text, he has spent his entire life in liberal-land, and dealt with the government mostly as a theoretical entity, and handled the unavoidable bits at arm’s length. It’s really tough to pack more misinformation, self-deception, confusion and outright lies into a phase as short as “…the most effective means of ensuring security is by the government, as they are the only ones with the real resources to do so, and to do so without condescending to those who need the help.” I pity the person who tries.

      And then Whites Creek brings it to a roaring triumph of incoherence with the phrase “The conservative case cannot be made with a balanced view of the facts unless you can somehow believe that we are better off being slaves, serfs and commoners than we are being equal citizens in this nation.” while Obama continues him mission to make us slaves, serfs and commoners.

    • by Gary Brown

      -WhitesCreek – I think you get the prize for writing one of the most one-sided, narrow-close-minded things I’ve ever read. Given what they value and their assumptions and presuppostions each side has people who are logical and people who are illogical; some people who are idealistic and some who are pragmatic…and both sides have people who are just looney! If you seriously believe conservative bloggers blog because of the minimal support they get for doing it (which is apparently more than the liberal bloggers get), you are both clueless and looney. You should go spend a couple of years getting an education which includes ACTUAL training in critical thinking (hint: it doesn’t mean “I can be critical” — which you obviously can — it has to be paired with THINKING and trying to remove bias from that thinking) and at least three basic economics courses.

  13. And This Thread Is OVAH!!!!! Drop the mic, WC!

  14. by Ken Royall

    Where is the empirical evidence that proves Conservative bloggers are better compensated than Liberal bloggers? As far as I know there are no statistics on this. The charge that “moneyed interests” are somehow paying off Conservative bloggers is nonsense too.

    I am sure bloggers on both sides have taken donations from “interested parties”, but that hardly makes it an epidemic. The entire appeal of blogs is their independence and challenging the conventional wisdom.

    I have been running a web site of historical interest for years and have millions of page views. I have received 3-4 donations in 10 years even though thousands of people have submitted posts and have gushed over how great the site is.

    The web is seen by most people as a free medium, even the big shooters like NYT have had trouble getting people to pay for access. It doesn’t have anything to do with ideology. Most people assume your ads are paying the expenses.

  15. by Kendall

    I’ll add another libertarian voice to the discussion…

    I personally support a number of conservative bloggers. I even have a recurring payment with a few bloggers (some political, some technical).

    This is because a blogger generally offers me something I cannot get much of elsewhere, and I know if I don’t support something rare it will die out.

    I would suggest there are so many sources for liberal viewpoints, and so many end up saying very much the same thing, that it is hard for a reader to say “if I don’t support this particular writer I will not see things from them in the future”. I don’t read this particular blog to lay any claims of lack of uniqueness upon it, I am merely trying to explain why in aggregate liberal bloggers may see fewer donations.

    That goes even further into strong liberal themes being carried already by much of the mass media, so the value to people re-enforcing those already well-broadcast ideas on smaller channels is reduced.

    I do read some liberal news sources but to date there are no bloggers that grab me enough in that space I have supported them.

  16. by TRO

    “Rich, other than the fact that conservatives tend to take far more than their fair share,”

    I wasn’t aware there were shares passed out in life. Who decides where these shares go? On what basis? Umm, from each according . . . , maybe?

  17. by Albino Rhino

    @ WhitesCreek

    That is hilarious. Is that legit or are you just a caricature?

  18. by Ken

    Whitescreek,

    You’re living in a dream world. Liberals have a Goldman Sachs president in Obama and a sugar daddy in George Soros.

  19. by TRO

    “Liberal bloggers are hamstrung by having a belief in facts and critical thinking . . . ”

    Assuming that were true – it’s not, but lets have fun with that – what does that have to do with the readers of liberal blogs not supporting those bloggers? Conservative readers put money in the paypal jars all the time, and conservative news outlets use the talents of various conservative bloggers all the while paying them for their work.

    Liberals, not so much. And it’s not because you don’t have money. I am sure some of you work. No, it’s because the liberal mindset is that “other people” need to take care of things like this. The government needs to pay. Not ME. I’m not going to give MY money to these bloggers, they should be state-supported. With the taxes of conservatives, dammit!

    That’s the way liberals think. And that’s why this blog is hurting.

  20. by tyree

    Steve Steffens wrote, ” Liberals (and I am one and proud of it) understand that the most effective means of ensuring security is by the government, as they are the only ones with the real resources to do so…”

    However, our government only has resources that it takes from others. Forced Wealth Redistribution may fit the Progressive definition of “fair” but it hardly represents freedom.

  21. If you know of these big conservative organizations that are paying conservative bloggers to blog, by all means give me their address as I’ve not seen a check from the Koch brothers, or anyone like them…

    …of course if they want to send one I’ll take it, but then I suspect they see no reason to pay me for saying things I’m already saying for free.

  22. by curious george

    Boo f’ing hoo. Wah, wah, wah. Read me, feed me, luv me—-I’m a liberal!!!

  23. by David OHara

    “Speaking truth to power”, “Educating the masses”, I nearly had coffee spewing from my nose I was laughing so hard. “Yup’, I’d say yer paid about what yer worth for lame fiction.
    Ya think that just maybe possibly you sorta kinda overrate yerself?

  24. by jeff

    Followed a link from a Conservative blog here, and was seriously amused. Frustrated about putting effort into doing something you love, and not getting rewarded? Doing all the work while those who aren’t as dedicated as you are reap the benefits?

    Welcome to the real world.

    In fact, you kinda sound like one of us… Conservative

    I’ll reserve a tri-corner hat and a spot for you at the the next Tea Party rally… :) Aren’t free markets great?

  25. by gazzadelsud

    and there you have WC demonstrating why he/she/it is living in his mothers basement but still can’t quite understand why his/her immense intellect has “hamstrung” him/her success. Perplexing isn’t it? +cough+ Damn those “monied interests” preventing your message getting out. bwuhahaha

  26. by deepelemblues

    “The liberal case cannot be made with a balanced view of the facts unless you can somehow believe that we are better off being slaves, serfs and commoners than we are being equal citizens in this nation.”

    See how easy that was?

    Sad to say, there are “moneyed interests” on every side of American politics, and you’re deluding yourself if you think otherwise.

    “Liberal bloggers are hamstrung by having a belief in facts and critical thinking and that every citizen owns an equal part of his government. ”

    Would you be interested in a bridge in Brooklyn?

    The ability of people to delude themselves into believing this kind of nonsense never fails to amaze and amuse and on occasion dishearten. The government wants to make you a serf if you’re conservative, the corporations want to make you a serf if you’re a liberal. And, by God (or Reason!), you’ve come to this conclusion through a fair, open, critical, unbiased analysis of cold hard facts.

    Regular people read the kind of self-serving crap WC is offering on the internet or see it on the TV or hear it on the radio and wonder, “Just what the heck is wrong with those people?”

  27. by Aud

    Maybe the reason is simply that there are more conservatives than liberals, there are per the last poll I saw, double the number of conservatives to liberals http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0112/71385.html . So you have a larger market share and more traffic that equals more advertising dollars? Its also a fact that conservatives give more to charity than liberals http://abcnews.go.com/2020/story?id=2682730&page=1#.T5ctx6vY-Sp and some would equate hitting the tip jar to a charitable donation

  28. by Josh C

    I found this though a libertarian blogger who linked to you. While not conservative, but libertarian, financially I agree with conservatives and carry similar motivations.

    Since I am not a blogger, but a reader and occasionally contribute to bloggers I like (Michael Totten, for example) I imagine I have some insight some here don’t.

    Counter to what WhitesCreek said, I don’t donate based on moneyed commentary. I normally donate based on the articles, a history I have reading a certain blogger or group (some I have read for years) or in most cases, when they need something. Like a new chunk of equipment, or suffer an illness.

    If I read somebody regularly, and they are not on the popular lists, not doing well with adds and related, I throw in a $5er to brighten their day. And I tell them to go buy a beer. :)

    In our groups online, FB and otherwise, when there is a problem or tragedy (on of our families recently lost a child to SIDS) the out pouring was fantastic – in the SIDS case the parents are far more liberal then most of them, the support and outpouring from the conservatives (from all over the country, have never met her or otherwise) was huge. Nearly $10,000.

    This has nothing to do with a moneyed interests, and everything to do about a culture that exists inside libertarian and conservative minded people.

    While I was raised liberal, the institutes that they encountered from the government treated them as murders, restricted visitation with their existing child and they had police and CPS visiting constantly while they tried to grieve, telling them they were unfit and had killed their baby, guilty even though the autopsy proved them innocent.

    I can’t go on about the motivations of the liberal/progressive mindset when it comes to why they don’t do the same as conservative. While arguing with my more progressive friends (some of my closest, mind you) they do expect those same institutes to be there to protect and help parents who have to deal with a tragic loss, but in the end it was people, individuals who do the supporting. The government programs did the opposite.

    It is an interesting difference though. That being said, let me see if your donate button works…

  29. by He Wei Jin

    “Liberals (and I am one and proud of it) understand that the most effective means of ensuring security is by the government, as they are the only ones with the real resources to do so..”

    BS. You are responsible for yourself, I am not responsible for your, nor the government as my agent. Work for a living, damn it!

  30. by Blake

    Interesting assertions, White Creek.

    Now support your assertions with facts and critical thinking.

  31. by memomachine

    Hmmm. Just some thoughts.

    1. I am a fiscal conservative, 48, male, ethnically Asian (not that it matters btw), socially neutral except I personally oppose abortion but not militant about it as I believe it is a personal ethical choice. We all go to Hell in our own personal way.

    I rarely listen to Limbaugh because it’s a 45 minute show wrapped by 2 1/4 hours of commercials and I’ve got better things to do. There are some conservative bloggers I read regularly, more I read occasionally and some I don’t waste my time on. I don’t waste my time with Ann Coulter btw either. Or Bill O’Reilly. Meh. Frankly watching Bill O’Reilly is actually painful at times because he clearly doesn’t know what he’s talking about.

    2. I am not your target demographic. It isn’t that I don’t have an interest in what liberals have to say. It’s just that I can get the same from any newspaper, blog or tv station so liberal bloggers really don’t add that much to the conversation for me except “yeah! and another thing!”. And who has time for that? If liberal bloggers have something interesting to add then I’m more than willing to read about it. Right up until I get to some sort of “conservatives are pro-slavery” tripe then I just delete that bookmark.

    3. Conservatives don’t play follow-the-leader. We’re all independent to one degree or another. The reason why we’re self-described as conservatives is because we happen to agree on some fairly basic core principles. Otherwise we would be self-described as something else such as “Paulians” for those that follow Ron Paul. Who I also avoid like the plague btw. Anybody who has tried to organize conservatives can tell you that it’s like herding cats.

    4. I budget $50/month to support bloggers that I follow. Most of the time I put the amount on one blogger though sometimes I may split it in two. And that is generally dependent on which blogger I’m reading more than others. And note that I’m not titillated by ideological cat-fights or flamewars. If I really want an argument with a liberal I can do that any time just by going down to my local Starbucks and stating my opinion of Obama and ObamaCare. That will put a twist in someone’s knickers. :)

    What I’m looking for is something innovative, new or just plain interesting or amusing. I budget for entertainment and this is where the money comes from. I could rent a movie or go to a theater but I have found I enjoy reading interesting blogs more than watching movies. Which frankly are usually bad remakes or just plain stale.

    5. There isn’t a single source or set of sources that drives the conservative thought processes or opinions. We pretty much disagree on everything except for the rare occasions when we agree on something. Illegal immigration is a prime example where some conservatives are for legalization, some are completely against, others aren’t sure and most just want it to stop. But a consensus? Hardly. Sometimes the appearance of consensus is derived because one group or another is shouting louder than the others.

    6. Congrats! You got Instalanched. Make the most of it.

  32. by Wyatt earl

    Waiters and bartenders get tips. Writers and media folks don’t. It’s just true.

    This is patently and obviously false, and you know it. Lots and lots of blogs have a tip jar. Many allow recurring donations. Like a hundred thousand, just on WordPress. In fact, I went through my iPhone bookmarks, and all of them except slashdot (is /. a blog?) and corporate-owned media ones had a donate button, regardless of genre/topic. Financial news, politics, disaster sites, Game, tech, legal, you name it.

    I’ll just leave this here for you: http://www.ehow.com/how_6756770_set-paypal-tip-jar-blog.html

  33. White’s Creek — serfdom? Seriously? Perhaps you dabble in the ironic, but then maybe you’ve never heard of Hayek’s The Road To Serfdom.

    The reliance on statism (a poster above refers to “government providing security” — telling!) is a return to serfdom. After all, if you rely on a nobleman (gov’t) for your security, you must be prepared to hie to your lord’s call.

    ________

  34. by apsuman

    This is the first time to this site. Got here from Instapundit. I can’t help but agree with Rich.

    Since I am conservative, and I don’t give money to any conservative bloggers (except for possibly ad revenue) when someone says that conservatives make money by saying what the monied want to hear I really need examples. Because without examples it sounds a lot like you are saying that conservative bloggers are talented enough to get people to read their work. Just sayin’

  35. by Gringo

    There are actually a fair number of conservative bloggers who make little to no money from their blogs. It isn’t just lefties who don’t make money from blogging.

  36. by Karl K

    Waah! Waah! Waah! Sniff…Us…poor….liberal…bloggers…sniff!!…are poor!!
    Waah! Waah! Waah!

    Grow up. Life isn’t fair. Virtually the entire world works — or at least the world that functions with some degree of efficiency — works on the basis of MARKETS. People buy. People sell. And that includes information and ideas.

    And don’t give us the crap about “moneyed interests.” The left has PLENTY of moneyed interests. It’s just those interests are not interested in YOU.

    And neither is the rest of the world. You’re stocking your intellectual shelves with the equivalent of wormy apples. No one’s buyin’. Too bad for you.

    Now go make a real living, providing real value. Or don’t.

  37. by Gringo

    Have you ever read Neoneocon or Bookwormroom?
    I doubt it.

    The self-righteous attitude you and many other leftists have is one reason why I left the left.

    Ciao.

  38. You actually believe what you wrote?
    You think that CNN hiring ONE Conservative blogger more than makes up for ENTIRE liberal news outlets up to and including MSNBC?

    Whose fault is that liberal bloggers give their work to Huff Po for free? Conservatives? Bush?
    No, the fault lies with the bloggers who either don’t value their work enough to avoid giving it away OR think that Huff Po exposure will lead to real paying jobs.

    As for ‘Conservatives taking care of their own’: well, I guess Conservatives see value in the blogs they read and hit the tip jar; apparently your readership doesn’t value what you do enough to pay money for it.

    But then I bet you hate Capitalism and free markets, so naturally you want someone to pay for what you do and can’t understand why the vast majority of people see no value – or at least not enough value – in what you do to pay for it.

  39. Could you all point me to the place that this wingnut welfare money comes from? I’m clearly not getting mine.

  40. by Eric G

    I’m a conservative, but here me out, O liberal bloggers: comparing yourself to Erick Erickson is apples and oranges, and you frustrate yourselves for no good reason. You are *not* Erick Erickson. A better comparison, although far from perfect, would be Erick Erickson and Markos, or Erick Erickson and Arianna. Obviously Arianna is far *more* successful than Erickson. Conservative radio is successful, but even within that realm, not everybody is a Rush Limbaugh. Air America didn’t fail because you weren’t *willing* to support it, it just wasn’t very good radio. It’s all relative, and it’s at least not just because one ideology is willing to “support its own” and the other not. The grim truth is that you may just not be that successful (yet!) to warrant the support of bloggers you envy. If there is an ideological advantaage conservatives tend to have on radio and on blogs, it’s one you are probably not going to want to admit to yourself, that skewing slightly farther left than a media that is already tilting left makes you less unique. It may be true that it’s easier to become Erick Erickson than Arianna. That means you have to work harder and be better.

  41. by Steve

    Maybe what we need is a federal department of blogging to make sure that all of your critical thinking and facts get transmitted to the proletariat.

  42. by Archangel

    Liberals derive their sense of moral goodness by insisting that others (especially the hated/envied “1%”) pay for things that liberals believe to be a social good. Liberals therefore absolve themselves of the responsibility to put their money where their mouth is. It is no surprise to me that liberals lag behind non-liberals in voluntary support of bloggers, just as they lag far behind non-liberals in charitable giving of all types.

  43. by Morton Doodslag

    I hate capitalism, I hate capitalist pigs, and I hate commercialism!
    Now give me some money!

  44. by Semper Why

    No matter what else you can say about conservatives, they do take care of their own.

    Well, what did you expect? Did you not believe Brooks when his research showed conservatives give about 30 percent more than liberals? Sure, the article is talking about charity, not bloggers, but isn’t hitting your tipjar a form of charity?

    And as for the penny per word that “flattens your soul”… That would appear to be the market’s suggested retail price for your writing. What do you think it’s worth?

    What makes you think you’ll get it?

  45. by Neshobanakni

    What fancycwabs said is true.

    I’m a libertarian/conservative and want to know what R/W bloggers get paid and by whom. Drudge Report isn’t a blog. It’s a news aggregator that sells ad space. Instapundit and Breitbart ditto. Other conservative bloggers have to beg for tips, until they develop a product someone feels is worth supporting with adverts on the sidebar.

    Either your writing isn’t yet developed to the point that it has a natural audience and can pay for itself thru adverts, or maybe you haven’t anything relevant to say.

    You say “Jon Swift” died from not being able to pay his medical bills. Did a hospital throw him out on the street when he sought medical attention? Or did he hesitate to seek a doctor’s help because he didn’t want to later receive a whopping bill? Anyway, I’m calling bullshit on that one.

  46. by Scott

    Progs are freakin nutty – thats why nobody will pay you. A penny a word should be a clue…..

    You should give a HUGE hat tip to LuciAnne.com (conservative blog) beacause I would have NEVER EVER seeked you out – go back under your rock PROG!

  47. by David Winchester

    Everything in life has a value. If you are willing to give away the value of your service, IE; blog without payment up front or via a contract to get paid at the end, the value is reduced to what can I get by having more clicks, IE advertising, to your blog. It is the same with any business. I work as an entrepreneur everyday, many days as the primary sales representative to my company, which employs, a few, people in the electronics business. The constant dance is to value the intellectual portion of my business. It has taken me 25 years to learn what I know, about the electronics business, yet everyday I field questions, from a rookie-newby-DIYer, about how they can purchase, hookup, and program the latest electronic devices. They usually want to purchase from some unnamed website for $5 less than my price, plus they do not have to pay sales tax. In most cases they receive the information that they seek from another source, eliminating any chance that the intellectual information requested would be compensated for. I see this as being the same as journalism and being related to the death of the print media. If someone is willing to give away the intellectual content, why should I be required to pay for it?? Solution? Do not give away content. Reality; someone else might. (Bummer)

    Welcome to the internet age and Hope and Change! Reminder, vote like it matters, one way or another.

  48. by Russ

    I’m a libertarian, but hopefully I can post and get some reaction other than the bigotry posted up above.
    1. Convince an audience your work is worth paying for. pace Dabney, comparing a typical blogger to Drudge is unwarranted hubris: Drudge isn’t an author, he’s a news editor, and like him or not, he’s amazingly good at what he does. If you’re being offered chump-change to work, though, you’re *already* quite a ways past the typical blogger. Bite the bullet, kick your pride in the pants, and do the work. Small commissions graduate to bigger commissions. As Gitomer says, “kick your own ass first.”
    2. As you’ve noted and study after study has confirmed, liberals and progressives aren’t a very giving or charitable lot. BUT remember that whole “knowing your market thing?” You’re in a unique position politically: while the vast majority of liberals and progressives neither know conservative or libertarian arguments, nor care to, that is NOT the case in reverse. Liberals don’t know what their opponents think, and don’t care to (this is why y’all have been getting your political asses kicked for the past thirty years as the country undergoes its “extreme lurch to the right,” but that’s a side issue). Conservatives and libertarians are quite different: while we generally disagree with liberals’ proposed solutions to problems, as a group we’re familiar with liberals’ arguments, care what they have to say, and will pay close attention to liberals who are pointing out worthwhile things (most of your readers would probably be shocked at how closely most libertarians pay attention to Lessig, for instance). For instance, I followed this link here from Instapundit. If you say things that are interesting and worth knowing, you can get paid by your political opponents, simply because they find your writing worthwhile. (And yes, I regularly hit the tipjar for liberals who are producing quality product that gets me thinking. Screeds, not so much.)
    2.5. While Republicans (the party wonks) are just as corrupt as anybody else, and often more so, the Republican rank and file HATES political corruption, and will punish its own representatives savagely. If you have investigative skills and can produce solid (non-rhetorical) evidence of wrongdoing by your opponents…. you’ll find yourself getting paid/tipped by non-liberals for having done the job. Note that this has to be real investigative journalism based on hard facts, however, not whatever’s “truthy” or is following the latest talking-point. Nobody on the right gets paid for paraphrasing conservative hacks like Limbaugh and Hannity — you won’t get paid for being a left-leaning parrot, either.
    3. Demonstrate your product If your angle is that you’re connected in the Tennessee political scene, leverage that. Leverage it big and hard and nail it to your mast. Establish yourself as THE author to read when something’s going down in Tennessee (regardless of which party it is), and the attention and money will follow.

    I now return you to your regularly scheduled hateraide.

  49. by DanB

    1st… @fancycwabs – I see what you did there, you had a once in a lifetime opportunity. Well played sir. Let the water hold you down.

    2nd… There is no fair share, there is only fair opportunity. It is impossible to mandate equality of outcome in a free society, you can only hope that you are provided an equality of opportunity. When you try to force equal outcomes, you will find you are living under a government that has a disturbing amount of power over you and your personal life.

    The only way you can earn money doing whatever you do in life is to find someone who wants the product you produce. You have to add value. That is the beauty of a free market (and why crony capitalism, and the remarkable success of people whose ONLY talent is being well connected is so offensive). In a free market, I produce something you want, and you give me something I want (money, goods or services) in trade. The simplified equation is this: you cannot force me to produce, and I cannot force you to partake. If you change that equation, even if it’s for my own good, through the force of law, we aren’t in a free society anymore.

    dB

  50. by Fred Z

    ‘Take’ more than our fair share?

    Would that be by providing you goods and services that you find irresistible at rock bottom prices using capital and labour voluntarily contributed for a mutually agreed payment? Because that is the only way, absolutely the only way, a conservative gets anything from anybody.

    And please, don’t equate conservatism with crony capitalism, which has more to do with fascism, a poorboy little brother of communism, than it does with conservatism.

    That’s what really bugs all you lefties: Lenin was an idiot and got everything wrong. We cheerfully sell you the rope to hang leftism and you cannot resist purchasing it because we make it so well and so cheap. Voluntary transactions are so annoying. Nicht wahr?

    With specific reference to this poor blogger: Nobody pays you because nobody wants your stuff enough to pay. It’s time to find a something else to produce. Something people do want enough to actually pay you for it.