I personally had mixed feeling about Matt Klam’s piece about blogs in the New York Times Magazine. My notes:
Jesse and Ezra, whose blog is called Pandagon, were lying with two cute women in tank tops — Ezra’s girlfriend Kate and Zoe of Gadflyer — on futon beds that had been placed on the tiny stage of the performance space. Their computers and wireless mice and some carrots and radishes and paper plates with Chinese dumplings were scattered between them. A month ago, at the Democratic convention, Zoe had accidentally spilled a big cup of 7-Up on Jesse’s computer, killing it. She and Jesse now looked as if they might be dating.
Zoe? The Harvard statistics student? Tank-top indeed.
She was filling out applications for a master’s in social work when Nick Denton called.
Denton is the world’s first blogging entrepreneur. He owns a bunch of these smart-alecky blogs — Wonkette; a New York City gossip site called Gawker; a Hollywood site, Defamer; and Fleshbot, a porn site. Anytime somebody builds a media empire, especially one that includes pornography, you assume the money is good, but in the Wonkette’s case, it isn’t. Her starting salary was $18,000 a year. (She’s getting bonuses now for increased traffic, but not much.)
Meanwhile, Josh Marshall is nearing rich:
Since February, with the explosion of blog traffic and the invention of blog ads as a revenue source, a few elite bloggers have found themselves on the receiving end of a Howitzer of money, as much as $10,000 a month. Marshall is one of them, and now that the release valve has become a job, albeit a well-paying one, he has to resist the tendency to ruin it.
120 big ones a year? I could live with that, especially for blogging.
Moulitsas’s ”friendly relations” with particular candidates got him into a public fight with Zephyr Teachout, who became briefly famous last winter as the guru of the Dean Internet campaign, which in fact employed Moulitsas for several months. Over the summer, she complained in several online forums, and to Moulitsas directly, that he and other bloggers were blurring the lines between editorial and advertising, lines that had always been sacred in journalism. According to Teachout, they were posting comments in support of candidates for whom they were also working as paid consultants and not explaining that conflict of interest, or at least not fully enough for Teachout. In an online discussion with Jay Rosen, who heads the journalism department at N.Y.U., she wrote, ”I think where we essentially disagree is that transparency alone is enough.”
”Zephyr can go to hell,” Moulitsas said at the Democratic convention.
Chivalry, Markos, chivalry. Anyway, Zephyr grew up in the town I live in, and she’s sort of a local hero in these parts. Naturally, as another politically oriented person, I was a big fan of hers. But this blog bashing won’t get her anywhere.