On being a local blogebrity

Being subscribed to as many feeds as I am, I see a lot of different types of posts come up repeatedly. The meme post, the viral video, the apology for lack of blogging.

Among them is the anniversary post. One year of blogging, three years of blogging, 1,000 posts, 666 posts, etc.

On the occasion of Fagstein’s first anniversary, I’ll add some content so this isn’t a wasted post. But that content will be about me.

Media blogger Julien Brault interviewed me for his blog (reposted at CentPapiers). His questions included some FAQs that I figure I’d repost here in English:

You blog really late at night. Why is that?

My sleep schedule, mainly. My job is an evening one, that sometimes goes as late as 1:30am. There’s also the much more pathetic reason that I find late-night TV much more interesting than early-morning TV. So I tend to sleep between 3am and noon instead of more sane hours of other people.

I tend to blog near the end of the day because that’s when I compose my thoughts. Earlier parts of the day involve reading newspapers and other blogs and making note of those I want to talk about.

Why did you start your blog?

Because I like to talk. I had been blogging personally between friends and eventually decided some non-personal stuff should have a wider audience. I also wanted to build a personal brand, prove to potential employers that I understand the Internet and have an excuse to go to Yulblog meetings (since I write about blogs).

What’s the difference between your blog posts and articles?

I don’t have to have blog posts approved by editors before I write them. On the other hand, I’m not paid for blog posts. Articles involve much more attention to the writing, more interviews and research, and are written for a different format. With blog posts, I can have a bit more fun, talk about myself, and use links and comments to do stuff I couldn’t do in newspaper articles.

Do you ever expect to make money from this? Are you planning to add ads?

Let’s be realistic. My traffic isn’t bad for a local blog, but it’s nowhere near what I’d need to be able to make money off of it, much less enough to live on. Even the celebrity bloggers here have other jobs that pay them more money. If it gets to the point where ads will bring in some money, I might add them, if only to offset hosting costs. But there’s not much point now.

I also look at it as having an indirect impact. I’ve gotten story ideas from this blog, developed contacts, and learned quite a bit. These non-tangible things might help me later on. But mostly I do this for fun.

Will blogs be the end of newspapers?

It depends on what you mean by “blog” and what you mean by “newspaper.” Blogs aren’t some magical force, nor are they all the same. Blogging is simply a publishing system that has articles in reverse chronological order. What you put on it defines what it is. So it’s very hard to make blanket statements about “blogs.”

As for newspapers, their main feature is their team of journalists. TV and radio don’t come close, mainly because they have to devote so much of their staff to technical matters and their journalists have to spend more time on each story. So the stories everyone talks about (including the bloggers) mainly come from local newspapers. That hasn’t changed yet.

Right now, the primary source for newspaper revenue is print advertising. Eventually, that might change and online advertising will become the primary revenue source. Once that happens, you’ll see a lot of newspapers shifting gears (beyond the current lip-service they give to online media) and focusing on digital distribution methods.

I think the newspaper as a format may be on the decline (though it will take decades before they truly disappear), but the journalism that comes out of them is what matters, and there will always be a market for that.

What’s your traffic like?

Not sure how to rate it quantitatively. It’s higher than some, lower than others. I get about 15,000 unique visitors a month, or 1,000 visits a day. Most of it is from other bloggers, friends, people in the media stealing my ideas, and of course myself. I have about 65 subscribers through Google Reader, plus another 20 or so using other services. My top referrers include Montreal City Weblog, Spacing Montreal, Dominic Arpin and Patrick Lagacé. The latter creates a firestorm when he links to me in one of his posts (as he did today), tripling my regular traffic for that day. So I don’t pretend I’m all that.

Any other questions?

2 thoughts on “On being a local blogebrity

  1. Michel Leblanc

    One year is still young in a blog life. Two year is old! This will be the make or break your for your blogerstardom and i am sure you’ll make it. Blog readers are exponential but exponential start at zero. With your witt, when people start reading you, I am sure they keep coming back… Lagacé and Arpin have the overwhelming advantage of TV. Even though more and more people are reading blogs a hell of a lot of others still watch tv…


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