Warning, actual real-life criticism ahead. If you can’t handle it, back away from the computer slowly…
OK, first off there’s Chris Pirillo and the flak he’s getting for charging for Gnometomes. I’m of two minds on this one. First, I understand what Chris is doing, he’s trying to bring in some money for Lockergnome while also not charging for the newsletters, which we all agree would make the subscriber list drop like mad. I can respect that, completely, and I think the Gnometomes might just be a good idea to get LG some working capital without alienating his subscriber base. On the other hand, Dave has a point, there’s nothing in them that you can’t find somewhere else for free. But he’s missing the big point, that this isn’t about getting information you can’t find anywhere else, it’s about paying for LG to find it for you, and contributing to the continuation of what they already do. As someone who’s actually donated money to LG before, and has his own hosting fees to pay, I can get behind that idea! The other mind on this is that Chris was just slightly harsh in his criticism, I mean someone missing the point and criticizing you the way it was done didn’t call for that sort of outburst. On the other hand, this guy was probably the 50th person to write the same criticism, so I can understand the need to lash out. I just wish he hadn’t done that, and I hope, when faced with criticism for something I say or do here, I can keep calm.
The next item, courtesy of Dave Winer’s pointer, is an article by Alex Beam of the Boston Globe. This is just a petty rant against non-professional writers, plain and simple. People do actually read my blog and many others, and find it way more interesting than this so-called “professional column”. I may not have the circulation of the Boston Globe, and I may not get paid to write, but to a few people, (more than 35, by the way. And this is very much an unknown blog!) what goes on here really matters. He also misses the point about writing a daily column when compared to blogging. Writing a daily column is hard because you have to write every day about something that thousands of your readers will care about, or the paper will replace you. I’m not being paid, so if people only find every 10th post interesting, that’s fine by me, and, for the most part, it’s fine with them. They’re not paying for the subscription to my “column”.
Maybe I’ll look him up in Boston in a few weeks and tell him exactly what he can do with his “Columnist” title!
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