I have been reading kottke for a long time and always liked him esp. the tone and cadence of his writing. Today, he declared that he is going pro: "blogging for blogging's sake". He has quit his job and will attempt to write the blog only for a year. I, for one, am psyched for him and rooting for his success.
Usually, I hate to indulge in talking about blogging on my blogs (or anywhere for that matter), but let me make this one exception. Blogging as a medium is not revolutionary. What is revolutionary is the maturation of the consumers of digital knowledge. There were static pages, way back when, that were personal journals, thoughts, screeds writ large and there are blogs aplenty that still do that. There may have been good writers and good content back in that day but it was hard to find, quantify and aggregate. All that and more is now the most mundane aspect of blogging. Good bloggers are just as good as MSM and quite capable of extending the public dialogue.
Kottke's step, in a way, can be the next evolution in this model. Like a subscription to the Week, I can support my blogger in doing whatever she does best and I like best. I mean, I don't demand any specific content from the NewYorker - just quality content. Such it shall be for some lucky bloggers. Though, like NewYorker, I don't think Kottke should simply reject ads out of hand. I see some future in text-only ads; sponsored links. One always assumes that this somehow, somewhere will assail the editorial integrity, but the newspapers have been living with this for centuries. Why can't the bloggers?
Anyways, good luck to Kottke. I will support him. So should you. Maybe I won't even need to become a tenured history prof. Maybe, I can just blog about history and get paid and never have to submit myself to the vagaries of the search committees.
if this becomes popular, will google adsense just return other blogs? "Like CM? You'll love iowablog!" either way, good luck to kottke. i could never give to CM, though. it would just go to coke and hookers. ;)
Rusty of K5 (www.kuro5hin.org) did something similar a while back. He, however, wasnt blogging himself - just managing a blogging site. I remember he collected about 50K in just under a month. I havent read much of Kottke yet, but I would definitely support Chapati Mystery. You have more than blogging potential though. You could write a book. In that case being a tenured prof might add to it's perceived value, though it is by no means an essential thing.
Also don't you enjoy research? Would not being at an academic institution hurt access to research? Do you enjoy teaching?
I love research. And I enjoy writing [big surprise there]. Being at a Research I institute will obviously be great. But other than that, there is always the summer - sabbatical - stuff. Teaching. I haven't decided about that yet.