Blogonomics: Paying for Content - Portfolio.com: M]ost bloggers are not journalists, and have no desire to be journalists. And that as a result, the quality of public discourse, certainly in the finance and economics space, has improved immeasurably. I defy Mark to find a single journalist in the next month who will write as lucidly and as comprehensively about this year's Nobel Prize winners in economics as Tyler and Alex over at Marginal Revolution did in the space of a couple of hours. There aren't any newspaper or magazine journalists who are better on international capital flows than Brad Setser, or the housing market than Capital Risk, or urbanism than Streetsblog – the list is almost endless. If you have a quick look at my econoblogsphere, you'll find that journalists are definitely in the minority – and that's a very good thing indeed.
These bloggers aren't in it for the money. Every once in a while a blog like Marginal Revolution will really take off, and start bringing in non-negligible amounts of cash for its founders. But Tyler Cowen and Alex Tabarrok are both tenured professors, and they didn't found the blog for the money. If you look at Mark Thoma's hugely successful Economists' View blog, you'll see that it carries no advertising whatsoever....
For all that blogs are becoming increasingly mainstream, the number of people who get a regular and predictable paycheck for blogging is still tiny. That number will rise, but it will never come close to the number of people who get a regular and predictable paycheck for old-fashioned reporting. In most of the blogosphere, the incentives and the rewards for generating content are very, very different from what is found in old-media companies.