A while ago I wrote about promotional blogging, and how I feel that getting paid to promote a product in your blog changes the way you write and the status of the blog, the way gettign paid for what used to be fun so often does. Today I want to talk about "giving it away", about bloggers who give their content to big companies for free.
In Dagbladet.no blogs are the next big thing. The paper has discovered that while journalists can write OK blogposts, good bloggers do it better. So they have opened two new blogs for the public: a gameblog and a politics blog. And they have managed to attract some of the better known individuals in the Norwegian blogosphere to their project, particularly to the politics blog.
While I think it is great that papers in Norway recognize the skill of these people, I am also surprised. These are people who already have good, visible blogs where they reach a large audience in their own right, and then they choose to sell advertising for Dagbladet.no instead?
OK, I can see that there is a certain usefullness in posting under the umbrella of a large newspaper, and get publicity through the paper's front page, but posting under ads for whoever paid Dagbladet to be featured around their more interesting nodes, and even doing it for free? The newspaper does not ask these people to blog for them randomly, after all, they ask because these are names that attract readers. And the newspaper is in the business of selling readers to advertisers, not content to readers. To be able to charge for free content is a very sweet deal indeed.