I like reading blogs. Well, certain blogs; good, well-written blogs. I like reading them and I particularly like reading them at no personal cost to myself. Call me tight, call me mean, but I like to come to the end of a post and find I am still as well-off as when I started. Sadly, perusing blogs lately has become the online equivalent of navigating the chuggers on the High Street. They all want your cash and are not afraid to annoy you to get it.
"Buy my book," they cry. "Go on. Well at least take a look at my Amazon wishlist and buy me something."
"Click on my links! Go on. It'll take you to some sponsored site that is suspect in the extreme but I get a fiver each time some twat falls for it! Go on, click it!"
"Subscribe to hear me read my posts! Yes, all you sad, lonely wankers without real friends can pay to hear someone you sort of know reading poorly written sex scenes and saying the word 'pussy' on your very own laptop! I've got a paypal account and everything."
"Sponsor me. Sponsor my friends. Support the work of the Domestic Dildo Divas, bringing silicone dongs to underprivileged housewives the world over. Send us a tenner. Go on!"
"Donate! Hit the button! Pay my bills, pay my lawyers, pay my way!"
It all boils down to the same thing: Give us your money!
Fucking hell, you think, I only wanted a browse. And unlike the High Street chuggers there's not even a handy face to punch.
Now, I do understand that some bloggers are hard up and are trying to supplement their income through blogging. Some are trying to launch a career. Others are just out for what they can get. Whatever the reason this constant wheedling for cash is a pain in the arse.
I have no advertising on my blog, no paypal account and no begging bowl to pass around so have no idea if blogging really is a lucrative source of income. I can't imagine it brings in that much, especially for the crappier writers, and imagine they'd make more money actually begging outside M&S, sitting on a frayed blanket, with a dog on a string, bearing a piece of cardboard with "Will Blog 4 Food" crayonned on it rather than virtually doing so. It would entail getting off their arse and leaving the house though, which is just as much effort as getting a job, hence the appeal of the blog beg.
Poor hard-up bloggers. I can hear the howls of protest, the reasons, the justifications now. I am unmoved. I am not exactly frolicking in piles of cash and lighting cigars with fivers myself. Money a bit tight? You could save on the leccy bill and go offline for a bit, that should do it.