Glenn Reynolds reacts to the sale of the blog Hot Air. I don't really understand what it means to sell a blog that has its character by virtue of a particular writer's voice (or, in the case of Hot Air, 2 writers' voices). It's especially incomprehensible when the person pocketing the money — Michelle Malkin, who owned Hot Air — is not the writer of the blog. Or does it make more sense that way? Ed Morissey and Allahpundit were paid by Malkin — I wonder how much — and now they will be paid by Salem Communication, which operates the poorly designed, ad-cluttered site Townhall.com.
Presumably, Ed Morissey and Allahpundit will retain the motivation to keep writing in the same way, but what if they don't, or what if they leave? What do their contracts look like? Presumably, they can't go off and start a new blog, taking their readers with them. But if Malkin is the one who got the money, and they are the ones who provide the entire substance of Hot Air, then how did Salem protect its interests? If Ed and Allah's writing is so valuable, wouldn't they be open to better offers? If they take them, where does that leave Salem?
Anyway, I've never wanted to be paid by someone to write my blog. I've turned down offers, because I'd be afraid of what that would do to my motivation. I wouldn't want to be constantly thinking about whether I'm writing because I have something to say and I'm having fun or because I need to give value for the money. (This doesn't mean I don't want to make money. I do! I just want the incentive of owning my own business. I make money through BlogAds. And I accept PayPal contributions from readers who want to give me, say, $10 now and then to show their appreciation.)