Wednesday, April 20th, 2005
Some Spaces bloggers (or members?) are annoyed that I’ve referred to their cohort as as “nobodies.”
I apologize for hurting people’s feelings. I used “nobodies” because that is what, in the eyes of Madison Avenue, most Spaces members are. The word “uninfluential” is kinda obtuse, so in the interest of polemical fury, I stuck with something blunt. (Hell, I’m a nobody too; only about 200 people read this blog a day.) But lest “nobodies” becomes a sticking point, let’s call all us generic bloggers with 1-200 friendly readers a day “uninfluentials.”
The “uninfluentials” point is more or less conceded by a Spaces developper Matt, who says in the comments to this post, “Most blogs on Spaces have a small readership, and that readership is mainly comprised of the author’s friends and family. This has been the product’s intention all along, encouraged by associating IM contacts with their Spaces etc.”
Mark, another Spaces blogger, suggest that I’m upset that Spaces bloggers are ” newbies.” Frankly, the only newbie who worries me is Microsoft, newbie to the game of selling blog advertising. Does anybody out there — hi Mom! — think Microsoft isn’t a newbie to be worried about? This the company that believes in 99% market share.
To restate my case, peddling ad space on “4.9 million!” nobody-or-nothing blogs, Microsoft is taking money out of the pockets of great independent bloggers and muddying their pitch to advertisers who are looking to access “influentials” through blog advertising.
Microsoft could single-handedly move blogging back to the traditional industrial paradigm in which publishers capture 95% of the revenues and writers get the crumbs. With sufficient traction with advertisers and a dash of predatory pricing, Microsoft could strip influential bloggers back to the state in which publishers have tried to keep them for the last 400 years: peonage. Then they’d be peons… hmmm… nobodies… excuse me… uninfluentials.