Tuesday, July 25, 2006

It ain't worth nuthin', but it's free!

Freedom's just another word for nothin' left to lose,
And nothin' ain't worth nothin' but it's free.
--Kris Kristopherson
Got to love that line. It describes blogging perfectly. Unless you are a corporate blogger pimping your words for pennies (speaking of worth nuthin') everything you post is gratis.

Now one might argue that you get what you pay for. And this is a pretty good response to trolls and contrarians who use comments to pull the teeth out of the gift horse they've ridden for free. But it is also why people don't value free blogging. If you aren't paying for it, it can't be worth anything. Right?

Unfortunately, this is how most people view it. Writing, art and photography can't be any good if no one is paying you to do it. Fortunately most of the great artists throughout time weren't aware of this or Van Gogh's sunflowers would be gracing someone's bathroom wall instead of an art museum.

Maybe it is because we come from a capitalist society that we can't value anything we don't pay for. Studies have shown that if we removed fares from public transportation, ridership would likely drop. But charge for it and people will ride and look for ways to try to get out of paying the fare.

I can't tell you how many times I've seen consultants paid to give the same advice I'd already given. The difference was that they charge more.

I'm glad, however, no one is paying me to blog. Because if I was paid to blog, I'd also be paid to blog what whoever paid me to blog wanted me to blog. And then I wouldn't be free...Literally.


Alex Pendragon said...

You SOB! I want my money back! I can't believe you conned me into purchasing a subscription to this thing only to find out everybody else has been reading for free! Dammit, Tim, you are going to burn in heck for this!

(So this explains why everybody sends back my subscription envelopes empty)

Well, Tim, this is alot like Public Radio. I get to listen for free because enough people aren't so screwed by "capitalist" thinking that they send in money to support it. There are some pretty good regional bands now that will perform "house" concerts if the hosts agree to provide a large enough audience and set out a jar for donations. It's much more personal, genuine, and the audience gets to make a real connection with the artists, rather than being held at bay by large security guards. You DO get what you pay for, but it's HOW you pay for it that really makes the difference.

Time said...

Dear Fan,
Thank you for visiting Dizgraceland. Your comments are important to me. It's fans like you who keep the posts coming on a regular basis. Your generous contributions help keep Dizgraceland commercial free and edgy.
Tim Id

darlingina said...

UUmmmmmm, Tim..... see where trying to take money for those big boy shots got You. For Shame! ;o) I love your new banner too, it rocks!

Time said...

Gina, Obviously I have no shame. :)

Hayden said...

ehh... consultants get paid to recommend changes that are too politically risky to do without someone expendable to blame. It isn't about valued advice, it's about a compelling image and a way to make change safe for the people that are about to implement it.

as for free - the thing that draws me is the excitement of voices not blunted by editors who homogenize art to feed the masses. when you sell its gotta' go through the bland-i-lizer.