Media Technology

Techradar Tuesday: Woz’s wind-ups and blogging for bucks

Is it Tuesday already? To celebrate the news that Woz is doing the US equivalent of Strictly Come Dancing, here’s a cheery look at some of the other daft things he’s done. Sadly there wasn’t enough time to Photoshop a pic to make him look like The Joker.

When we discovered that Steve Wozniak would be competing in Dancing With The Stars, we had two thoughts: one, could we get Steve Ballmer to go on, too? And two, is there anything Woz won’t do for a laugh?

The answer to both questions, it seems, is no. For the tech industry’s very own Joker, tomfoolery is never far away.

And here’s one about blogging for money.

Is there an alternative to ads? Not really. Citizen journalism photo agency Scoopt shut its doors last week because it couldn’t persuade papers to pay a decent whack for images – it seems that major media outlets would rather get you to send in your snaps for free – and the wages offered by firms via Amazon’s Mechanical Turk are pathetic. Write a review? Five cents. Do some digging into historical figures? Three cents. Build a space rocket, fly to Mars, discover intelligent life and bring it back in a cage? Seven cents.

3 replies on “Techradar Tuesday: Woz’s wind-ups and blogging for bucks”

I don’t know about you but I’m rather relieved to hear that nobody is really making any money out of writing on the Internet. I thought I was missing a trick there. Now I can relax in my poverty comforted by the fact that everybody else is in the same boat :)

Assuming you’re not being sarcastic, which is always a dangerous assumption to make, I think it’s quite interesting – the numbers look very like the numbers for any other creative industry, whether it’s music, writing novels, acting, whatever. A very tiny group of people makes an enormous amount of cash, a very large group of people makes absolutely bugger-all, and the ones in the middle made a bit but not as much as you’d make from a day job. I wish I had the figures to hand for the average income of professional musicians, novelists etc. I know they’re all sub-£10K.

I have this pet theory that creative industries are fuelled by a Big Lie, so for example musicians are shown Beyonce, U2 et al as examples of what you can achieve if you have a bit of talent, when the reality is that 95% of people don’t get signed, 95% of those don’t sell any records, 95% of the ones who do sell records don’t sell enough to make a second one, 95% of the ones who do make a second one… etc etc etc.

One of the other things that popped out when I was looking into it is the way in which making money from blogging often requires very non-writing skills: SEO, ad targeting, and in some cases blatantly writing around affiliate links. It’s not exactly pure blogging.

Sorry, missed a bit: the Big Lie theory explains why there are so many sharks and other unpleasant types making a decent living, whether it’s pay to play promoters in music, make money from the internet ebook publishers, sites promising exposure for writers but not cash, etc etc etc. People believe the Big Lie and don’t see themselves as the joining the unsuccessful ones: they’re the next Beyonce, U2, Andrew Sullivan, JK Rowling, whatever, so their talent will transcend the things that fool other people.

There’s a much longer, more sensible and considerably more coherent version of this in my head but Baby B had an all-night yell-fest, I’m behind deadline and I’m generally feeling subhuman right now.

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