Friday, December 07, 2007


When I started writing this blog at the beginning of March 07, it was only ever intended to be a record of my time in Manhattan. Since then I have picked up an entirely unexpected constituency and am thrilled by the sheer volume of readers each day. Month on month both my page views & unique visitors double. With this rise in exposure have come emails from potential advertisers: both Agent Provocateur & Net a Porter have approached me in the last month and, today, a blog syndication company asked me to join their network.

I am still in two minds about advertising: I'm not sure that my volume of traffic would generate enough income to make it worth losing my independence. This is because, as a commentator also reminded me, internet advertising for the small, but high quality (!) blog is a somewhat one-sided: the advertiser gets a permanent presence for basically jack, but I get very little recompense.

However, where blog syndication is concerned, forget it. The business model is that they ask you to sign a very wide-ranging licence allowing them to freely edit and then to syndicate your work, royalty-free, in return for the added exposure your blog would receive. The blogger has no control over which parts of the blog they syndicate or to where it will be syndicated.

Whilst I am not, in principle, against the idea of reaching out to new readers in this way, what offends enormously is that the syndication company is paid for the blog content they provide to external media sources, without in turn paying the bloggers.

Of course, I understand that there are 60 million or so blogs out there, and that many people would be ecstatic to be picked out in this way. I am indeed flattered but, dislike the way that bloggers are supposed to be SO grateful at the exposure that they will relinquish their rights - and payment.

I am not in the habit of letting other people make money off the back of my own labours without recompensing me accordingly. (I should make it clear that there is a very small amount of money that can be made through this company, but it is truly, truly negligable). Ethically, I believe that their offer is unacceptable and I will not be taking up their offer to join their network.*

*(Of course, added traffic would make advertising more lucrative, but this is a side effect and still does not address the matter of the blog syndication company making money off the bloggers copy.

*ps I have changed the title of this post at the genius suggestion of the wonderful Nonsense on Stilettos