If you are running something that you call a ‘blog aggregator’ or a ‘blog network’, or an ‘information hub’, then please be advised: I don’t want to join, so there’s no point emailing me. All that will happen is that I will delete your email and ignore you.
You see, I know what you want to do, and it doesn’t impress me. You want to take my writing (note: I don’t call it content, so please don’t you call it that), reproduce it on your own website on a page smeared with adverts, include a teeny, tiny link to me, and take all the ad revenue (and the google ranking) for yourself. You are proposing that I do all the hard work of researching and writing posts, and you take all the rewards, including the possibility of selling the ‘blog network’, once established, to a venture capitalist for $MoreMoneyThanYouEverDreamedOf.
(Good luck with that, btw. Now that everyone’s setting up these hubs, the uniqueness value is lost, which means the potential ad revenues have plummeted, and that means that the venture capitalists aren’t going to be interested anymore. What you’re trying to do is like watching Dragon’s Den, noticing what the ‘dragons’ invest in, then applying to go on the next series with the exact same product/ service. It’s not going to work, people. If you want to sell an innovative, new idea then it has to be innovative and new. The clue’s in the name, really.)
Anyway, it may surprise you to learn this, but I wasn’t born yesterday.
True, I’m sometimes a couple of sandwiches short of a picnic (actually, all the sandwiches, most of the hard-boiled eggs, and a small Tupperware box of cherry tomatoes short of a picnic), but even I can recognise that what you’re offering is a really, really, really, really bad deal. You will save yourself (and, more importantly, me) all kinds of grief if you click on the Creative Commons Licence logo that appears at the bottom of the column to the left of this page, and every other page of my blog. This advises that you are welcome to reproduce writing from my blog, and even to produce derivative works based upon it, provided that you acknowledge my status as the original author, and that you are not doing either of those things for commercial gain.
Oddly enough, I didn’t select a CC licence at random, or on a whim. I selected this licence because it reflects what I want to see happen. I am blogging just for the hell of it, and for the sense of personal achievement, and the feeling of being part of a community. I’m not doing it for fame, so your promises of more readers don’t tempt me. I’m not doing it because I have a deluded belief that, if only they once set eyes on my work, a publisher will fall in love with my writing and offer me a mega-deal in return for my small and insipid dribblings of thought. (I’m not criticising people who do get books based on their blogs published – several people I link to have done just that, or are working towards it, and I support and applaud them wholeheartedly. All I’m saying is that’s not what’s going to happen to this blog, mainly because no publisher has, or ever will, express an interest – it’s really incredibly easy to pretend to turn down an offer that isn’t on the table, and never will be.)
Bottom line, I’m not blogging to make money, or to make my name so I can go on to make money doing something related. And if I’m not making money from it, there’s no way in hell anyone else is going to. Is that clear? Good.
In other news, I won a thing. Not a very big or impressive thing, and I won it by sheer, dumb luck, but still, I won it. I never win anything. Seriously. When we were kids, my sister and I once had two raffle tickets, and right before the draw I suddenly asked her if we could swap. She agreed, reluctantly – and then went on to win the star prize with what had been, until a few seconds earlier, my ticket. That’s the closest I’ve ever come to winning anything in my life. So this makes me happy.