Edward Champion reported this afternoon the monthly blog subscription service Amazon sells for its Kindle hasn’t been paying these bloggers a reasonable cut of the revenue. In fact, it appears that in some cases Amazon did not even ask permission from the various writers of these blogs. These are legitimate concerns. For one, a person writing n the internet holds a copyright over their work. That someone could make money off my writing without my knowledge is frankly unconscionable.
Champion’s report reminded me of a conversation I had with my sister this afternoon during lunch, where the topic of a blog-consolidation site was briefly broached. Called Bloglines, this site allows one to subscribe to their usual blogs and then presents the posts from all sorts of blogs in one place. Therefore, one doesn’t have to actually visit a dozen (or more) blogs with the hope of getting any fresh content; the merely need to log onto Bloglines.
However, the easiest way to earn revenue on a blog is through advertising, and a service like Bloglines removes these posts from their natural home, thus no hit is recorded and the producers of content are not compensated for their material. And I would imagine that Bloglines has their own advertising, siphoning money away from producers and into the hands of the aggregators. (Disclaimer: this could also be the case with RSS feeds, something with which I am woefully inexperienced.)
Perhaps on the face, this doesn’t seem as egregious to you as Amazon’s Kindle issue, but these sorts of issues are going to be of great concern as a larger and larger slice of our economy exists in cyberspace. The democratization of production is one of the best things about the internet, but this may prevent some from ever taking the plunge due to legitimate fears. Aggregators may be popular and useful, but there has to be a way for producers to receive at least a fair portion of the advertising revenue a site like Bloglines takes in on advertising run with their content.