Tuesday, April 21, 2009

The Fifth Estate: Bloggers

Excerpts from the Wall Street Journal article "America's Newest Profession: Bloggers for Hire"

The Information Age has spawned many new professions, but blogging could well be the one with the most profound effect on our culture. If journalists were the Fourth Estate, bloggers are becoming the Fifth Estate. In America today, there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers (see chart above). Already more Americans are making their primary income from posting their opinions than Americans working as computer programmers, firefighters or even bartenders.

As a job with zero commuting, blogging could be one of the most environmentally friendly jobs around -- but it can also be quite profitable. For sites at the top, the returns can be substantial. At some point the value of the Huffington Post will no doubt pass the value of the Washington Post.

As bloggers have increased in numbers, the number of journalists has significantly declined. In Washington alone, there are now 79% fewer DC-based employees of major newspapers than there were just few years ago. At the same time, Washington is easily the most blogged-about city in America, if not the world.

It is hard to think of another job category that has grown so quickly and become such a force in society without having any tests, degrees, or regulation of virtually any kind. Courses on blogging are now cropping up, and we can't be far away from the Columbia School of Bloggerism.


At 4/21/2009 3:39 AM, Blogger Sravan said...

Not to be a nit-picker, but 498,090 is greater than 452,000 by about 10%. Bartenders still rule!

At 4/21/2009 5:59 AM, Blogger 1 said...

"At some point the value of the Huffington Post will no doubt pass the value of the Washington Post"...

Why not?

Someone who would believe what's in the WaPo would also easily swallow what's being foisted off at the HuffPo...

At 4/21/2009 6:30 AM, Anonymous AMATI NONYMUS said...

452,000 by about 10%. Bartenders

Is he the poor man's psychiatrist, or the poor government's interrogator for serving up the glasses of poor man's thiopental?

At 4/21/2009 9:23 AM, Blogger misterjosh said...

Is there really that much difference between a journalist and a full time blogger? Sounds like merely a shift in nomenclature to me.

Gossip, town crier, journalist, blogger... It's all the same to me.

At 4/21/2009 10:54 AM, Anonymous andy weintraub said...

Wait until some politician proposes that bloggers be licensed!

At 4/21/2009 11:15 AM, Anonymous khris said...

I have check the bls table indicated as a source and I could not saw anywhere the term "bloggers". Also, 90% of the blogs that have 100k unique visitors per months are not generated $75k per annum

At 4/21/2009 4:35 PM, Blogger ExtremeHobo said...

Also lack of competition breeds waste. Someone needs to bring some competition in to TicketMaster. They invent more fees than you would think possible. At least 3 "fees" have applied to any ticket ive ever purchased from them

At 4/24/2009 6:32 AM, Anonymous CMS said...

Blogging has become one of the best marketing instruments as well. Just take a look at how many products, artists, movies, politicians etc. that have become known to the world and a success because of bloggers.


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