Sunday, August 20, 2006

BlogBurst

When you have a blog as distinguished and brilliant as mine, with a list of celebrity contacts as long as a big long stick, you get used to weird emails.

My favourite so far was a journalist from an unnamed paper (I mean I'm not naming it, not that it doesn't have a name, that doesn't make sense, people would get confused in the newsagents), who wanted an interview about the blog and kindly took an extra line to tell me how much they had enjoyed my BBC sitcom 'The Green Room'. More mistakes than words there (I liked the 'my' though).

Anyway, I had this email:

Hello James,

My name is Eric Roach and I am an editor at Pluck.com in Austin, Texas. Pluck has just launched a project which involves a news wire service and syndication network for blogs called BlogBurst. The site is live and we're recruiting bloggers on an invite-only basis to join the system. At its core, BlogBurst is a news service bringing quality blogs onto highly-trafficked, high-brand mainstream publisher sites like the Washington Post, San Francisco Chronicle, Houston Chronicle and San Antonio-Express News.

I believe your blog is great, and would like to invite you to join our network. Below is an invitation, and I would be happy to answer any questions/address any concerns you may have.
Let me know what you think.

Thanks!
Eric Roach
Pluck-BlogBurst

Which is lovely, obviously, but confused me. Who actually benefits from this? Do I want more readers from the Washington Post? Not specifically, no offence to the people of Washington (although actually a large percentage of the white ones would currently appear to be a shower of absolute bastards). Do I want more readers at all? Not particularly. I don't have any adverts on my blog and don't plan to, so there's no financial benefit. I don't have a stat counter on my blog, as it doesn't really affect me how many people read this, although I will admit to checking the number of profile views every now and then, just for fun.

In the end I ran it past my attorney and web-specialist, who said: "OK, basically they want to sell your content to the newspapers.  You get nothing but the pleasure of seeing your blog content on the San Francisco Chronicle’s website.  Meanwhile, BlogBurst gets paid money by the SF Chronicle for providing it with stuff people want to read, i.e. your blog.  And the SF Chronicle makes money by putting ads around it.  Ooh, it’s like TOTAL EXPLOITATION. Tell them to fuck off."

Thanks attorney. Sorry Eric.

UPDATE: on an unrelated topic...


My blog is worth $45,727.74.
How much is your blog worth?



.
AND ALSO: See your website as a graph. Don't know what it means, but it's pretty. More info here.

34 comments:

Terri Nixon said...

Never trust anyone who, in a supposedly formal e-mail says something like: "I believe your blog is great."

Fat Roland said...

I enjoyed Green Room. It was even funnier than The Smoking Wing.

See what I did there? I took the fact that they mistook 'Wing' for 'Room', reversed it and applied it to 'The Smoking Room', which is also a comedy programme, so it works on two levels.

I'm having a very quiet Sunday morning... *sigh*

james henry said...

Good work FR.

And yes, TN - 'it has been scientifically proved that your blog is great' would have been fine. 'I am willing to fight any man who says your blog is less than great'.

I don't want Eric to think I'm having a go at him though - I just think he needs to make a better offer. Let's see what he comes up with....

patroclus said...

What gets me (having looked at this some more), is that to be a member of BlogBurst, you're not actually ALLOWED to have any ads on your blog. So you have no chance of making any money at all, even should you want to. I may write about this myself too.

Jen said...

Ah-ha! Your first meme!

Brilliant.

I totally agree with your attorney. Tell them to shove their exploitative commericial crap up their arses.

Molly Brown said...

once again...humans trying to take advantage of their fellow man for the sake of money!! ahhh! if only I could get a hold of these moroons for a month or two!!!
I'd take a bite out of their arse they wouldn't forget for a dogs year!

realdoc said...

Why would anyone say yes? I don't get it.
Looking forward to 'Little Wing' and 'Greens'(a sitcom about 4 middle aged parents as they try to get their children to eat a healthier diet)

Roddy O'Four said...

Is this your corbeau?

Sal said...

I was a big fan of 'The Green Room' too. I think it was one of your best moments as a writer. All those celebrities chilling out pre/post spanish inquisition by a man with a lisp and silly hair (not you jonathan) talking about how much money they have and which fruit they were planning to name their next child after.
Boo to Eric.

Rose said...

That corbeau video is the most depressing/disturbing thing I've seen.

Also, my blog is worth nothing. Boo.

And your story reminds me of the time a friend asked to 'borrow' an essay of mine. It turned up on his webzine with his name on it. He got paid. I didn't.

Boo to them all.

JonnyB said...

He thinks my blog is great as well!!!

Actually this saves me quite a lot of trouble. I was going to reply with a very nice, completely non-arsey sort of email, basically enquiring what the fuck he was on about. "At its core..." etc.

james henry said...

Mmm, I was mystified. I mean I can see how it's a good business model for him...

Anonymous said...

Graphs are so much less troubling when considered for their prettiness rather than their meaning.

Word verification: apwxs. Brazilians for primates?

Janet said...

Wow. Seeing posts like these remind me just how special my blog isn't.:(

Thanks a lot, James.:)

Will said...

It seems my blog is great too. I'm going with the 'fuck off' argument.

james henry said...

Eek, sorry Janet. You're probably best off out of it.

The rest of us (hello Will) seem to be putting up a united front of British surliness, hurrah.

I just didn't reply - I don't think the idea's actively evil, but if and when I get co-opted by trad media, it'll be for some actual cash, thanks.

RachelFunkeh said...

hmm... my blog appears to be worth $500, wow! might try and sell it on eBay, but i dunno if someone would buy a newbie blog mainly consisting of ramblings of Tamsin Greig stalkage!

Rachel x

Billy said...

My blog is worth $28,791.54! Woo-hoo! I'm rich...

Jen said...

Well, my blog is worth the Grand Total of...

*drumroll*.... $0.00.

Stupid meme not knowing a bloody good Livejournal when it sees one. I even made the header. And customized the whole thing with CSS. *shakes fist*

martin blanc said...

Longtime listener, first time caller here (or visual equivalent)...but my word verification was iceembum, so there was no way I could pass that up. Which by a strange coincidence is, in fact, pretty much my chosen definition. And as for selling blog content belonging to others, my 'friend' (and that's not a crap euphemism for myself, it's a guy who doesn't merit the removal of the apostrophes) started a Gawker-style fake blog all about property just to sell what he hoped would be a huge database of readers' details to an estate agent or a London evening newspaper or some such equally suspect/loaded end-user. And he hasn't made a penny. Tee hee. (At least I don't think he has...if only I were a better friend, maybe he'd've told me he was rolling in it...)

patroclus said...

Funny that, Martin. The sooner everyone realises/remembers that blogging is simply a nice medium, rather than a business model, the better all round.

Ooh, it's like 1999 all over again...must stop saying that.

james henry said...

Martin also gets double points for Grosse Point Blank name/dialogue reference.

today's word verif is 'xrrpgz'. Which is rubbish.

Marsha Klein said...

Although it does contain the letters "rpg" in the middle - sounds to me like something an ardent gamer might mutter in their sleep? Or not.

james henry said...

Well spotted Marsha - maybe a Southern US 'crunk rap' style roleplaying game? I'd play that, fo' shizzle, roll dem d20izzle- no it sounds stupid however you say it.

patroclus said...

Nonsense, it's clearly a hacker role-playing game, where people take it in turns to play at being Dmitry Sklyarov, accumulate l33t haxx0r skillz etc., and upon reaching level 678 you (or rather Dmitry) get to engage in some saucy SSH tunnelling with Angelina Jolie in a swimming pool, having impressed her with your command l33t-speak.

patroclus said...

command *of* l33t-speak.

james henry said...

Ooh you fell at the final hurdle there.

There's an excellent short story online about a bloke rescuing his girlfriend in the style of a hacker text game, I'll see if I can find it.

*puts off work for another hour*

patroclus said...

Actually I fell at the first hurdle, because I meant Kevin Mitnick, not Dmitry Sklyarov. That's me booted out of the Slashdot club. I'm such a charlatan.

love's child said...

My blog is worth $0.00. Fair enough.

Anonymous said...

Wow! Seing these blogs just makes me want to study blog school if there is any. I have to say it's a great blog. Keep it up!

baggiebird said...

Oh dear my blog also seems to be worth a big fat 0, I won't be selling it any time soon then

Jools said...

Mines worth $3000 odd ish dollars...I don't understand that cause no bugger ever comments on it (yes yes you can all put the violins away now as I go sulk in a dusty corner somewhere)

Todd Brown said...

Yay! $435K! I'll sell for half that, though.

james henry said...

We have a winner!