I guess when right wing blogs find it ironic that left wingers are complaining about profit margins, the situation quickly digresses into "Attack of the Raging Progressive." This is complete with the typical right wingers are stupid, ugly, and their mother's dress them funny.
Jane Hamsher of Fire Dog Lake, wrote a post called Right Wingers Just Don’t Understand Business. . . and the Stupid Continues . Hamsher attempts to lambaste the Right for their criticisms of liberal bloggers expecting Progressive activist organizations to pay them for running their content.
Hamsher starts off by setting the stage with her "credentials," and then a little lecture on the differences between "paid media" and "earned media."
As someone who actually has a business degree and has made a career of running media businesses, I wrote this in a comment over at Talk Left (Comments section.):
A traditional marketing campaign has two components -- paid media and earned media. Paid media (advertising) is purchased, and earned media would be in the form of reviews, articles and other "free" content that a PR department pushes.
AARP, for example, had the "Divided We Fail" campaign. They put millions into buying ads in newspapers and networks, but sent the blogs a press release. Which means that the New York Times fell into the "paid" media category because of an ad buy, but was also counted on to be "earned" media in the form of news. Blogs were simply consigned to the latter.
The reason the New York Times is around to do "earned" media is because they make revenues off of "paid" media. Everyone understands that, it's just how business works in a capitalist system. And if you look at an advertising campaign for Toyota or Dove or Marlboro, they devote an increasing percentage of each campaign to online advertising. So it's not like we're asking anyone to participate in a system that has no benefit to them as advertisers.
The problem is that groups who send us their press releases expecting "earned media" just as they do the New York Times get the same "earned media" from us that they do from the New York Times. The difference is that they aren't factoring us into their "paid" media budgets, and like the New York Times, without that, we don't have a sustainable business model to keep offering "earned" media. As groups increasingly depend upon us as the only news outlets covering their issues (which we do without consideration as to whether they advertise with us or not), participating in a sustainable structure is something they need to be thinking about.
And right wingers talk too much? Carrying on, Jane's dynamic business modeling might sound fantastic to the less informed, however she conveniently leaves out one small facet called social media. This is the category which blogs fall into, not paid or earned media.
To keep it simple here is the definition from Wikipedia.
Social media is information content created by people using highly accessible and scalable publishing technologies. It is intended to facilitate communications, influence interaction between peers and with public audiences. This is typically done via the Internet and mobile communications networks. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and "building" of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences. Businesses also refer to social media as user-generated content (UGC) or consumer-generated media (CGM).
Social media can take many different forms, including Internet forums, weblogs, social blogs, wikis, podcasts, pictures and video.
Typical outlets such as newspapers, talk shows, and magazines all have massive overhead. Printing costs, production costs, delivery, staff, etc. requiring revenues for publishing which they garner through advertising. Where as bloggers may have to come out of pocket for domain charges, template design, and online publishing tools. Nevertheless, most of this is relatively inexpensive and even less inexpensive when compared to traditional media.
Still this doesn't explain Hamsher overinflating her worth, or that of other Left Wing bloggers, through expectations of payment for running activist content. Trying to equivocate social media to traditional media, at this stage in the game, is as pointless as trying to nail jello to a wall. Hamsher can rationalize the topic all she wants. But, until FDL, or any other Lefty blog, gets incorporated, starts negotiating rather than expecting, and treating blogging like a business, not a bailout, this is all they're gonna get. You don't need a business degree from a Cracker Jack box to understand that.
Take for instance Right Wing talk radio, Rush Limbaugh specifically. He unabashedly admits to receiving press releases from the Hill, yet he still gathers advertising revenues from outlets such as Gold Line, Life Lock, etc. To my knowledge, Rush receives nothing from the people providing the press releases or content. This doesn't mean that he is the paragon of virtue just that he probably recognizes drawing revenues from your sources shouldn't be expected, not to mention a conflict of interest. However, there is one exception that comes to mind, the right-wing think tank, the Heritage Foundation. Limbaugh, recently, has been using their content on his show as well as advertising for them.
Now, I got a really good laugh out of this next paragraph.
Right wing bloggers at the top of the food chain don't have to worry about this dynamic, because they're well compensated through a variety of means -- and also conspicuously silent on the subject. It's the toadies on the bottom who churn right wing propaganda for free who are whining, and they clearly don't understand the financial structure that both traditional media outlets and liberal blogs are operating within.
I find it hard to understand why Hamsher, in her opening statement, accuses right wing bloggers of being "ignorant" in the ways of media business. Then she goes on to contradict herself by mentioning how well compensated the top tier Righty bloggers are. Seems to me most of the bloggers participating in Pajamas Media were doing fine until recently. So, I guess they aren't to ignorant after all.
Of course then there are the "bottom feeders," like us here, who just push right wing propaganda. Part of our propaganda mission was giving Hamsher and Glenn Greenwald credit on some top of the line investigative work concerning Chris Dodd being scapegoatedd. Obviously, we didn't know what we were talking about.
Futhermore, we cannot distinguish which business models blogs fall into, neither can Jane, or how advertising revenue for industrial media versus social media works. I guess we will just have to rely on Hamsher and her business degree to be the shining example on the hill, lol.
Just for the record, I still think she is worthy writer and will continue to read her Progressive dribble, even if it is chocked full of inconsistencies, self indulgence, and infantile jibes.
(Tip o'the Lid to memeorandum)
Related Articles: Seems we aren't the only "bottom feeder" blog to notice Hamsher's high-pocrisy. And this one is a Lefty of sorts.
Winds of Change-Mo' Hamsher Funnies