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DIY Poetry Publishing Cooperative

March 04, 2008

I'm puzzling over an odd vein of DIY at the sparkly new WordPress version of looktouchblog, where you pay $6/year to read "protected" posts. Jessica Smith on her new policy:

This price was arrived at by considering the blog as a piece of writing similar to a chapbook. Chapbooks cost around $5. Etsy, WordPress and Paypal all charge administrative fees, so there is cost for “materials” (although the materials are, in this case, immaterial) as well as the (more typical) cost of reading a body of work– in this case a very large body of work.

Oh, I'm puzzling.

In terms of an electronic text functioning in place of a physical one, I can see "selling" one's blog, a living e-book of sorts, a new do-it-yourself option for the doers themselves. But, really, a blog for sale? And, more so, the sale of personal posts in addition to creative ones?

I guess I'm curious what other bloggers & poets & DIYers are thinking about this, because I know you're thinking about it too.

40 Comments:

  • It takes a lot of guts(?) to assume your blog is worth money to read.

    By Blogger Bryan, at 9:56 AM  

  • Jessica Smith is a DIYer and a friend of this blog, fyi. (Which is to say, I'm not going to allow trash talking in this comment stream. Not that anybody has gone there *yet,* ahem.) She publishes Foursquare, a handmade, diy-printed magazine featuring women poets, and runs the micropress Outside Voices. She also organized the DIY Flickr Stream that appears in the righthand sidebar, and partipates in various other DIY ventures. I think her commitment to tiny presses and DIY is pretty much beyond question, whatever you think of the paid subscription model of her new blog.

    And most of her own work is available for free on her site, as well as at cost or smasll profit via POD printer Lulu.com.

    For-profit ventures sometime charge for certain features/special access. A lot of J's blog is still free/public, and private blogs are nothing new. Whether people will choose to pay to read a blog, which is traditionally free, is an interesting experiment tho, agreed. It might work better to allow a snippet of the subscriber-only posts as an enticement.

    By Blogger shanna, at 12:49 PM  

  • I don't mean any disrespect to Jessica, because I greatly respect the beautiful work she has done with foursquare.

    But I feel like if this was truly meant to be an experiment of how much electronic content was worth to the user it would be set up like the way Radiohead released their last album. You pay how much you think the content will be worth.

    And The fact that the user will be paying for poetry does not bother me as much as that the user will also be paying to read about her life. Maybe this is just a byproduct of the reality TV craze but this paying for and sensationalizing real life kind of gives me the jitters.

    And doesn't paying for the whole thing kind of defeat the purpose of blogging? Of having a public site where people can share work and ideas freely? It just seems a bit capitalistic.

    By Blogger Alex, at 2:27 PM  

  • Thanks, Shanna - of course, I mean no disrespect, and am a huge fan of Jessica's extensive DIY work.

    I'm mostly curious, because I haven't seen anything quite like this before. What does this say about publishing? Or blogging? Or the separation between a poet's work and a poet's life? Does this separation really exist? Should it?

    By Blogger jess rowan, at 3:32 PM  

  • No worries! I wasn't talking to you guys. I think it's totally appropriate to discuss this stuff here, but there are usually a few rabblerousers who can't do this politely and I was just saying... ;)

    By Blogger shanna, at 3:46 PM  

  • I figured, but I wanted to make sure I was clear. Rabblerousers will be pressed and bound into a new chapbook about how much bears can eat.

    By Blogger jess rowan, at 3:57 PM  

  • I'll be interested to see if it works out for her.

    By Blogger J, at 4:00 PM  

  • jessica always seems to be on the cutting edge of these things. i think it's a brilliant way to make a few extra bucks. considering how popular her blog is--maybe even more than a few.

    and i've always been willing to pay for foursquare & organic furniture cellar without feeling like a customer--but more like a supporter.

    but i cant bring myself to pay the rather minimal fee to read the private posts...what would i be supporting? if i thought the money would go into making more art, then maybe.

    c

    By Blogger csperez, at 4:10 PM  

  • I think that is a great point, C. I would feel much better about this site if I knew I was supporting to fund foursquare, not supporting her.

    I think the fact that there is so much free content on blogs like BEAR PARADE, that maybe should cost money, is one of the wonderful aspects of blogging communities. I think charging money for blog content is a dangerous precedent to set. I would hate to see this as a trend.

    By Blogger Alex, at 5:17 PM  

  • Well now, that raises the question of whether poets deserve to be supported. When you buy a collection in print, do you wonder whether the author's paycheck is going to "creating more art" or mere food and rent? I don't have a problem with the idea of paying to support someone whose work I like.

    Of course, I've never been to Jessica's blog before today, so I don't really know whether I like her work or not.

    And it doesn't look like I can decide without paying! Hrm. That's not very inviting. For six bucks, I can go buy a paperback that I get to open in the store and browse.

    On an entirely different note, protected posts are inconvenient for me. I read blogs primarily via a feed reader. Protected posts either don't show up or require me to click through to the blog and then sign in. More money for more effort, without knowing what I'm buying? I can't say I'm personally very interested, except to see how it does as an example of monetization efforts.

    By Blogger J, at 5:40 PM  

  • (Hello. I've been trying to comment, but Blogger was freaking out or something. If I end up posting multiple times, I am ever so sorry.)

    I'm not real comfortable with the idea of renting poetry. Sure, nothing would stop you from printing out a stack of pages with URLs and "Page 2 of 2s" on them, but after a year your unrestricted access to the poems and personal entries disappears unless you chip in another six bucks (for a chapbook that isn't really a chapbook and doesn't actually belong to you).

    This idea of you-only-paid-for-access may be new to poetry blogs, but it has existed in other incarnations for several years now. The RIAA's recent change of heart regarding the legality of ripping tracks from your legally-purchased CDs comes to mind; nowadays they say you only bought the CD, not the information within, and not the right to transfer said information to your MP3 player (bull). Also coming to mind: MLB's shafting of customers who purchased Digital-Rights-Management-crippled videos that became useless once MLB stopped supporting its proprietary software. Sorry, sports fans: no refunds for your dud videos.

    I realize that DRM and password protection have two very different purposes as far as the consumer goes, but the concept of ownership in this case is the same: you're not paying to own, you're paying to access, or, rather, rent.

    My desire to own poetry might seem a bit, well, possessive to some. However, when I purchased Foursquare feat. Jess, I received a delightful little package I can read at my leisure, loan to a friend, or stuff in a bottle, cork it, and throw it to the seas if I want. Never, though, will the little pouch staple itself shut and say "Fork it over, Bucko." If I stop subscribing to Sports Illustrated, my swimsuit editions don't go *poof*.

    The blog'll be an interesting experiment, and hey, if she starts getting some extra cashflow out of it, then bully for her for applying the idea. I'll still be purchasing my music DRM-free, though, and my poetry in books.

    By Blogger Willie Ziebell, at 5:46 PM  

  • P.S. I do not actually have an SI subscription. =)

    By Blogger Willie Ziebell, at 5:53 PM  

  • J, good points. I'm not sure Alex means that poets shouldn't be supported through their work, but rather that this is a questionable situation. Would you (anyone) consider buying a published copy of these "protected" posts to help support Jessica as a poet, keeping in mind that many of them are personal, journal-type writings?

    By Blogger jess rowan, at 6:03 PM  

  • Thanks Jess.

    By Blogger Alex, at 6:53 PM  

  • Thanks for the clarification, Jess. As to your question, I can't say whether I or anyone would buy Jessica's protected posts in particular, but I've bought books collecting material that was originally published online for free, and I've tossed money into online tip jars before. I'm not sure I'd donate to someone's personal journal, and as I said I can't read Jessica's writing to have an opinion on it in particular, but I'd be willing to pay (and have) for well written personal essays.

    Willie: You make a good point. Also, from my experience with wordpress, wouldn't changing the password on every post at the end of the year be incredibly time consuming? I've always set passwords on each locked post individually. It seems like it'd be both easier and perhaps more "fair" to customers to have a password for each year of posts. If I pay for the 2008 password, I get to read all of the 2008 posts as long as the blog is around, and in 2009 I can either pay for the new posts or not, at my leisure, but the old ones are still mine to access.

    Of course, in that case, someone coming to the blog two or three years from now would have to pay more if they wanted access to the "back issues"...

    By Blogger J, at 7:09 PM  

  • I wasn't necessarily trying to "rabble rouse." That was my gut reaction at 6 am this morning. I was thinking in the same vein as Willie Z. Why limit your audience and restrict your ideas? Why use money as a limiter of idea-sharing?

    By Blogger Bryan, at 7:23 PM  

  • understood, bryan. again, i wasn't addressing any comments that have come through so far, just making in advance, as it were. (y'all will just have to trust me on this one.)

    By Blogger shanna, at 9:31 PM  

  • Interesting experiment, though I wouldn't want to participate, myself.

    I find that the only things I'm willing to pay for, content-wise, on the internet are communities. Not things where I'm a passive consumer of content.

    By Blogger Julie Carter, at 12:21 PM  

  • Just a few comments.

    1. It is absolutely "capitalistic" to ask for money to read a blog in that I expect all funds to be profit going directly to me. If one wants to support something like Foursquare, where the payment goes to material, one can buy Foursquare (jsspoet.etsy.com). Regarding my efforts as an editor, I don't charge more than the cost of materials for my products. For instance, with the Anthology (poetry2008.blogspot.com) I'm not being paid for any of the vast effort it requires. I really think I can get away with a "capitalistic" venture once in awhile without being perceived as the Devil.
    2. I think the concept of "try before you buy" mentioned here is a bit misleading for two reasons. First because when one orders a chapbook, one doesn't always get to "try" it first (this is the case, as mentioned, with Foursquare). Second, there are many posts on my blog that are available to the public for free, so one *can* try-before-they-buy.
    3. $6 is not a lot to ask for access to hundreds of pages of (I think) interesting writing. You don't *have* to pay it. Since some of you have never heard of my blog, why would you pay it? I'm not forcing anyone to pay anything. By all means, don't. Publicly relevant blog posts remain free. Much of my creative work is also available online for free.
    4. It is, indeed, working. Why? I think most of the subscribers so far understand that I need money. This is a money-making strategy arrived at by someone who's broke.
    6. Once you've entered the password, all password-protected posts show up all the time. You don't have to enter it again and again.

    Ultimately, the facts are as follows:
    - I'm broke
    - I don't want to give my writing away for free if people might be persuaded to pay for it
    - They are
    - I'm absolutely not forcing anyone to pay for protected content
    - Not all content is protected

    Like everyone, I enjoy free online content. As I said, much of my work is available for free online, and posts that are relevant to the poetry community will remain free. Only personal and creative posts have a fee. It's a bit like charging to read an "unpublished" diary or drafts. Which brings us to the question of whether work on a blog is "published."

    Thanks for moderating this discussion, DIY editors.

    By Blogger Jessica Smith, at 1:51 PM  

  • Regarding your point two, as far as I saw, what was publicly available on your blog is posts about your chapbooks and similar projects. I'm going to go out on a limb and guess those read very differently from your poetry. :) Since your writing is, as you mention, available for free many places around the web, you might want to link to a few of those places on your subscription page. Sure, your current subscribers may be familiar with your work already, but I'm sure there are lots of people like me, who haven't heard of you before, who think your venture is interesting, but who would perhaps like a sample of your poetry before we decide to invest in it for the long term. (In general, I buy chapbooks by people I'm familiar with, recommended by people I'm familiar with, or that I picked up and browsed through. I just don't have the budget to buy things without carefully considering whether I'll enjoy them before I commit.)

    (And regardless of how logged in I am once I enter the password, the posts still would not show up in my feed reader, just FYI.)

    Either way, good luck with your venture.

    By Blogger J, at 6:38 PM  

  • I can't help but think what if we were all charging a small fee for interested parties to have access to our personal/creative blog content? I for one certainly could not afford to pay to read every personal/creative blog I am interested in reading, so why then should I pay to read anyone's? Interesting and relevant and well-written or not, what makes Jessica Smith's blog content more significant or worthwhile than the blog content of so many other poets? If I were to pay for her blog content, while reading the interesting and relevant and well-written and FREE blog content of these so many others, that wouldn’t seem fair or right somehow. I would be aware of a certain strange discrepancy or inequity there. I might feel like my gesture of paying to read one poet’s blog content implied that I thought she was more deserving of being paid for her content than any number of other poets, but that is not the case in my mind. I might also feel like I was paying to be part of some sort of elite inner circle and that kind of thing tends to discomfit me.

    As far as Jessica Smith being broke, I can understand that because I am pretty much broke, too. I imagine that a lot of poets are more or less broke. I also think that a lot of poets/artists charge only for their supplies with the special projects that they edit or create. I know I have often been in the hole, spending more on supplies than I am recouping from creative project sales, because I don’t want my creative projects to be cost-prohibitive for other poets with limited budgets. Don’t get me wrong, though. I certainly don’t think there’s anything wrong with poets earning a profit on what they put so much time and effort and energy into creating—or at the very least recouping their supply costs so that they can create more.

    I am more than happy to support the work of poets I like by purchasing their books, chapbooks, and similar creative projects of my choosing—and when I choose to make such a purchase, I don’t really care what the poet chooses to do with any profit, whether it’s redirected back into her/his creative projects or used for something else—because I feel like it’s a mutual exchange in which I received a concrete creation and they received a concrete payment—and I feel good about the whole exchange. However, I feel more wary and tenuous about paying to read what a poet might write later.

    It seems like that’s just a few gradations away from paying someone JUST FOR BEING A POET, which I am not willing to do, because if I was going to pay one person just for being a poet, then there would be a hundred other poets who I admire or adore or am interested in supporting—and again, I would feel as if it was inequitable to single out and pay only one poet just for being a poet. I would feel weird about paying anyone just for being herself. I would not feel weird about paying for a finished product, but I would feel weird about paying for temporary access to a work in progress. Of course, that is just my take on the matter right now.

    I wonder if it would seem different if instead of framing this blog content as a body of work akin to a chapbook it was framed as being more akin to a magazine subscription. Then again, that would not change the fact that it’s a blog and there are thousands of blogs and what makes this one more valuable than the others? Is it somehow rendered more valuable just because its author came up with the idea of charging for it? I’ll admit that when I initially noticed the posting in Jessica Smith's etsy shop, one of my first thoughts was, ‘Is this ingenious or is it insidious?’ After a little more consideration, I don’t think it’s either of those things, but I do think it’s uneasiness-provoking for me personally, for some of the reasons mentioned above.

    I imagine that conversations such as these will draw more attention to Jessica’s blog and that as a result she will receive a good number of folks who are willing to pay for her private blog content--and good for her. For some reason, though, that idea rubs me the wrong way and makes me feel hesitant to even contribute to the conversation (even though I do think that it is an interesting and worthwhile conversation). In another way, I think that any kind of artistic self-promotion can be such a tricky and awkward and unwieldy beast—and I certainly haven’t figured out how to self-promote myself in a way that feels comfortable to me, no matter how much I might desire to get my work out there—there’s such a fine line there and I would most certainly not want to condemn someone for trying a new way to support herself as a poet. Just as I am willing to support poets by purchasing more artifact-like creative projects, others may be perfectly willing to support a less palpable endeavor such as this one, and I think that’s fine. It’s good to have poetic prerogatives, options, and choices.

    I wonder if it would seem different if it was a pay-to-read group blog that a good-sized cross section of different poets contributed to. But of course there are already plenty of free group poetry blogs, too. For whatever odd reason, though, even thinking about paying to read the blog of only one other poet instills in me a strangely uncomfortable sense of feeling left out, almost like this is some inside joke I’m not privy to. I suppose that’s just my own personal neuroticism talking. My own personal neuroticism has a pretty big mouth.

    By Blogger CandyDishDoom, at 6:56 PM  

  • I have published a *FREE* chapbook of work by Alex Burford and I on my blog: http://lunchtimeforbears.blogspot.com

    There are 27 poems in the chapbook.

    There are many more poems on the blog.

    By Blogger Bryan, at 10:23 PM  

  • Uh-oh, Bryan, that sounds like "self-promotion"! Better watch out!

    But, for the record in this discussion, much of my work can be accessed FREE online at looktouch.com, including .pdfs of out-of-print chapbooks including blueberries, butterflies, Discourse Networks, Relation, Buffalo, Daughter, Evolocution, and Pressed Flowers; recordings, visual poetry, and pictures of poetry plastique. If you would like to read and listen to those things, you are more than welcome to do so FOR FREE.

    By Blogger Jessica Smith, at 11:28 PM  

  • I don't have a problem with "self-promotion." I think it's fine.

    I think a lot of "self" things are fine.

    By Blogger Bryan, at 1:02 AM  

  • this blog officially endorses self-promotion. if you don't do it, who will? ;)

    By Blogger shanna, at 7:59 AM  

  • Reb Livingston weighs in here.

    Nobody has mentioned this yet, but I've seen a lot of blogs (political blogs and blogs like Boing Boing, etc.) that accept donations, in a "tip jar" fashion. Encouraging financial support from readers but making it optional is one way to go. This is the same model many shareware programmers (like software and typeface designers) use online to distribute free creative works.

    There are blogs, like many on LiveJournal, that do a mixture of public and private posts that do not, as with WordPress blogs like Jessica's, make the private posts visible *at all.* No one has necessarily said this yet, but it may strike some as a kind of taunt, to be shown post titles for inaccessible material.

    Just some stray thoughts...

    By Blogger shanna, at 8:17 AM  

  • I never understood the difference b/t self-promotion and, like, survival. Not just in the creative/professional sense but in the bare basic sense. Anytime I'm not killing myself I'm promoting myself in some way. Killing myself at this legendary age of 28 would probably also be seen as self-promotion.

    The idea was, I'd continue to keep a private blog but only for a small group of friends--smaller than the group that's had access to my private blog for the past year or so. It's not stuff anyone necessarily *needs* to read-- it's not related to the Poetry profession the way looktouch initially was or the way public posts still are. So every $6 is kind of a gift that I don't expect, but is $6 more than I ever thought I'd make blogging. And right now $6 is $2 more than I have in my pocket, so the payments, or what are essentially contributions from people who're already friends/fans, are severely appreciated.

    By Blogger Jessica Smith, at 10:17 AM  

  • ok, i've been following this discussion closely. and i think, for me, it has raised some important questions.

    for instance, as Jessica & Jess already mentioned, do we consider blogs to be a "published" format? even if only subconsciously?

    also, i'm wondering about the separation we seem to be so willing to make of the person from the work (myself included here). how do we know that when we support the work we aren't supporting the person? or vice versa? i mean, is there even such a complete separation of the "person" and the "work"? i'm not so sure they are mutually exclusive. when i subscribe to foursquare, or any other magazine, i don't think "oh, yay, this is going to produce more poetry/magazines." without the people we wouldn't have the work...

    just more puzzling, over here. but i'm starting to think in a good way.

    i haven't purchased the other blog posts and i'm not sure anymore whether it's because i hesitate to pay for one blog when i don't for the others i read, or whether it's because i'm watching my own funds closely right now. either way, i've got to say Jessica is one of the most prolific bloggers i know and a friend (as are most of you
    :-)). i understand her need for the extra funds and i wish her well on this endeavor.

    p.s. shanna's right though, the post titles without the post are...well, not a taunt to me, but most definately tantalizing! : )

    By Blogger shannon, at 2:01 PM  

  • I think this discussion is a microcosm of the whole discussion of paying for content on the internet. At a time when even the major newspapers are going from a subscription model to the free one, and when artists like Radiohead and Jane Siberry are making a living, somehow, by selling their music for "whatever you want to pay for it", it feels... well, weird, to be asked to pay a set amount for subscription access to someone's blog.

    Out of curiousity, Jessica, are you actively seeking new subscribers, or are you basically just asking the people who already read your blog to pay for it?

    By Blogger J, at 3:34 PM  

  • weird, the backlink feature is buggy (see backlinks below, which don't redirect properly). not sure why, i've never messed with it. i'll look into it when i get back from vacation.

    By Blogger shanna, at 5:48 PM  

  • They seem to be working for me.

    By Blogger J, at 5:53 PM  

  • @Jessica et. al.:
    No, $6/yr. isn't much for access to your information; neither is the $9.99 I paid for access to an album I can't listen to anymore due to consumer-exploitative business practices. I disagree on principle, not price tag.

    And I don't mean to insinuate that a personal pay-to-read blog would exploit its readers; that's a silly notion. When it's a single artist on the receiving end of the cashflow, it's a lot harder to get irked, as opposed to, say, a big-time corporation that's simultaneously exploiting its artists.

    The tip-jars mentioned above are an excellent idea. Google Adsense is also viable. Isn't there also a Poets in Need non-profit out there on the internet, too (that's about all I know about it)?

    I've purchased T-shirts from people online who eventually become popular enough to earn a good living providing free content and making quality merch available. Music and books, too. I've bought Special Editions of freeware adventure games that were just too good for the creator to go unacknowledged.

    I've no problem with artists commodifying the products of their creativity. It's just that when artists provide these goods, and I buy these goods, I like to actually buy them, not "buy" them. (And I realize that Wordpress probably doesn't make it easy to give your subscribers permanent access to their purchases, but this discussion's moved beyond a single blogger's decisions regarding her content.)

    It's not like a membership with the YMCA, where my monthly dues go to what is essentially a service rendered, unless you're counting improved health as a good (I don't). And I'd say paying for mere access to a collection of creative works is paying for access to goods, not for the service of being able to access them. Jabbering? Yes I am, but I think I'm circling around my point, and in close enough proximity to stop here.

    @Shannon:
    As for whether my money supports the artist or the art, I generally don't care. If I give a musician five bucks for a burned CD of his music, I'm not going to expect him to spend it on guitar lessons. Artists can buy food, pay bills, maintain their vices, or do whatever else with it as far as I'm concerned.

    Slightly different (?) issue: I kind of wonder if Ezra Pound were still alive and had a Paypal account, with me looking at his blog and knowing him to be a fascist, antisemitic nutjob, whether I'd donate (OK, I wouldn't). (I have a strict no-go policy about giving grocery money to fascists.) I'd really have to separate the person and the work, but so did Ginsberg, I guess.

    By Blogger Willie Ziebell, at 11:42 PM  

  • Willie: Thanks for voicing your opinion to my wanderings. I pretty much agree with you on not usually thinking about it much, but it had been mentioned in this discussion (although it might have been on another blog discussing this, now that I look at it). So, I guess it was more around this discussion.

    I would wonder if I'd know the artist's political leanings/ethical decisions enough to make that call. With Ezra Pound, maybe, but I certainly can't say that I know those kind of details about all the poets' blogs I read. And in that sense, there is a separation of the person from the work.

    :)

    By Blogger shannon, at 11:57 PM  

  • Wow. I actually found a slightly dated but (maybe) relevant essay on one of my blogs.

    http://bryancoffelt.blogspot.com/search?q=is+art+useful

    By Blogger Bryan, at 1:48 AM  

  • @Willie, a short response. I don't want to use Google AdSense because i feel like that's way more capitalistic and manipulative than simply asking for money to read my blog. I don't want people to have to click on ads for shit they don't need in order to make a few pennies a month. I'd rather just ask for the money up-front.

    Regarding Poets in Need, it's not like I'm dying or something. That money is for serious shit like what Frank Sherlock was going through last year.

    Asking for money to read *part* of my blog seems more straightforward to me than these things. Through straight-out begging might be more straightforward. But I do feel like I'm producing work/entertainment that's worth paying for, but that's a whole other issue.

    Also, the pay-what-you-want model takes more technical skill than I have. It's easier just to make an Etsy thingy that costs $6.

    By Blogger Jessica Smith, at 6:48 AM  

  • and @j, i'm not really looking for new readers for the private posts. new readers will come to the main blog anyway. charging for the private posts is more like putting a gateway so that people don't bother me about getting access to private posts. they have to pay, so that should deter most of them. the posts *are* after all about my private life. when my blog was just private, i got a lot of requests for access that i had to answer. this is more like an automatic gateway.

    i don't think there's enough separation in this discussion of the two blogs. there's the publicly available, relevant, free blog which 99% of people should be perfectly content with. then there's the private blog, which is basically something i'd only want my friends (incl. virtual friends) to read. and most of those people know that i'm not being a sleazy capitalist or whatever, that i just need $6 and that they spend a lot of time on my blog and maybe they're willing to pay for that.

    By Blogger Jessica Smith, at 7:03 AM  

  • Profit isn't capitalist. Charging money for one's work, and receiving for oneself all of those charged monies that one has worked for, isn't exactly capitalist/corporatist. It's self-employment (what "some" might call an ancient mode of production). Comparisons to renting are a bit skewed too. While housing space is a necessity, Netflix and Jessica's blogs are superfluous. I think the confluence of self-promotion with vanity or whatever other negative value you might readily bring to mind is actually an effect of both instituted writing contests and academic writing programs. It's disheartening to see such a baseless ideological posture internalized by so many. I can't sympathize in most cases. In that regard, one could question whether charging for blog content is indeed self-promoting (in that familiar sense) when, in Jessica's case, she's creating what could be a deterrent in the face of free alternatives, more or less. There's restricted access and so less promotion. I can't agree that self-promotion is synonymous with making money. It's about self-respect and an awareness of one's community/environment. This is all to say that, while I certainly wouldn't be inclined to pay in this particular case, I think Jessica's decision to charge is both defendable and applaudable.

    (that said, i did have the experience of purchasing some product from Jessica quite a while ago yet never have received what i paid for. no replies to my emails either, perhaps the address has changed? If she'd care to contact me off list, that would be much appreciated)

    By Blogger Bon, at 1:58 PM  

  • @Bon:
    "Comparisons to renting are a bit skewed too. While housing space is a necessity, Netflix and Jessica's blogs are superfluous."

    Well, yes: shelter's a basic physical need, but please explain why other purchases' relative superfluity matters in this discussion.

    Is it the word rent? If you have a better word for exchanging money for use and/or temporary possession without transference of personal property rights, let's hear it.

    By Blogger Willie Ziebell, at 3:05 PM  

  • Come to think of it, Google AdSense isn't an option because Jessia's on wordpress.com and they don't allow it, or most monetizing options. I think they allow donation buttons. I'm not sure whether pay-for-access is, but I'm sure Jessica researched that before she implemented this so I'd guess it is.

    By Blogger J, at 3:34 PM  

  • Uh.., "the Poetry profssion"?

    What?

    By Blogger Nada, at 2:02 PM  

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