Attention – Due To Allegations of Plagiarism, This Article Is Highly Suspect

I was pleasantly surprised when a Blogging site where I blog sent me a voucher for Rs.10, 000 for my activities. Another overseas site regularly sends me a small sum in dollars into my Pay Pal account every month. The amounts perhaps aren’t a great deal,though for an activity which you haven’t ventured into to get paid, the amount is still welcome. I mean, there are still lots of things you can buy for 10,000.

 

Although Google’ s Ad Sense model is perhaps the most well known, there are several sites on the net which do not generate their own content like say the CNN or BBC or NDTV but rather depend on a host of people who visit these sites to put up stuff. Since the advertisement and hits on the site are fully dependant on the quality and quantity of the matter put out by those who have registered to write for it , it probably make sense to distribute the advertisement slice with the registered subscribers. Some sites like Ibibo of course have been aggressively marketing the prize money they give out and it seems to be jacking up the numbers who blog there – at least in the short haul.

 

Blogging has come a long away from its evolutionary origins as merely an online diary.  Projects like Global Voice s have tried to capture all that is being said and recorded in blogs from around the world and have begun giving it the credibility that mainstream media channels get. Blogs and podcasts and video casts have become an effective way of expressing dissent, especially in those countries where the freedom of expression through mainstream channels is muzzled. Citizen journalism is emerging as an alternative source of content, especially that kind of content that is often not highlighted in the regular media.

 

But now this medium is slowly getting commercialized. Of course it can be nobody’s case that that bloggers should not be paid. It is an activity that takes effort, time and although it is unlikely that too many will make enough money to entirely live it; there are a few who do. But in a nascent medium, it is important to try and ensure that the flow of money does not render the medium trite or beholden to interests of this or that point of view. When a web site advertises that people should blog on their site and the top 100 or 200 bloggers would be awarded , it could be promoting not quality expression of creativity but commonplace traffic with writers competing with each other to be most “visited”, not necessarily the most read or discussed.

 

Unlike mainstream media which is self regulated through various regulatory bodies, the world of alternate media is still largely unregulated. This allows a virtual free for all in the virtual world and when governments in India and elsewhere make ham handed efforts to regulate or gag them, they are rightly opposed. However in the jungle that the blog world is today , without self regulation of some kind  and money   being paid out – some times injudiciously ,if one may say, there is the danger that the blog writer ‘s pen will pipe out themes that are guided not by the need to express but by rampant and unregulated commercialism and if that day comes, it will be to every one’s regret. Hopefully the day when the lure of money alone shapes’ the blogger’s script will not dawn.

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