Were blogs ever more than Adsense?

Baldur Bjarnason argues that old-school blogs were always extractive and exploitive:

The blogging economy was filled with bad practices all around. People today don’t appreciate just how rampant these practices were. Most of us didn’t notice because we were in our tiny corner, all reading the same few popular bloggers (an early version of the modern ‘influencer’). But outside of that corner, blogs were done for Google and paid for by Google. After a few years of buying into the hype, advertisers started to push back.

Baldur Bjarnason

This way of thinking about it all is new to me. I can’t dismiss it offhand.

I have always thought of the fall of blogs as being caused by user experience. Centralized social networks have both distribution and better tooling. If I want my writing to be read, I use Twitter. This blog is more like an open journal.

3 thoughts on “Were blogs ever more than Adsense?

  1. How uncanny that Google is bringing back RSS reader now to fuel a new wave (if we agree with the looting thesis)…

    Q: How did you find this, was it offered, or did you seek it out?

    Thank you! There is a lot to unpack in this article, even if some isn’t resonating, it is worth chewing on it.

  2. https://www.theverge.com/2021/10/8/22716813/google-chrome-follow-button-rss-reader

    “Google Reader is still defunct, but its spirit lives on in a “follow button” for Chrome that Google first started experimenting with in May. The RSS tracking feature was limited to the experimental Canary versions of Chrome on Android, but today the company has started enabling it on stable versions of the browser. You can follow a site through the browser’s three-dot menu to subscribe to its RSS feed and have it update in your Chrome app. Sites you’re following will appear in a tab called “following,” which sits along Google’s “for you” tab of recommended articles.”

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