Did you hear the one about the blogger who lost his job because not enough people were reading his words?
It’s not actually a new idea. The companies that aggregate blogs figured out quickly that if nobody was reading what one of their bloggers had to say that they were paying for nothing of value. The Gawker Medias of the world have been ruthless toward their mostly-underpaid staffers for years.
Now, The Washington Post is in on the act.
Is this bad business, or just another example of necessary business change? More of the latter, I’m afraid, but imagine you were writing a column for a big newspaper, were asked to do the extra work of writing a blog, had that blog promoted via means you weren’t told about, didn’t understand, and had no control over, and as a result of not enough traffic finding its way to your blog entries lost the job you had been doing for years. Ouch.
Now here’s a funny extension to things:
A couple of months ago, David Pogue, the New York Times’ lead technology journalist and the 935th most popular blogger in the world, suddenly became a non-force. His ranking dropped to zero. Why? Because somehow, the forces that make the Internet work got confused and though THIS blog was his. Yes, the problem has been fixed.
Which explains how I know that David is only the 935th most popular blogger. And raise the question: if David Pogue ranks 935, what chance do lesser lights have when their bosses start measuring them?
And firing them.
Watch the way you business goes, and the way you manage business change. Watch very carefully.