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Good Reads | Where Thieves & Pimps Run Free & Good Men Die Like Dogs


My muse for the session was this quote from Walt Disney: “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” To me, that’s it. That’s the thing.

There’s one obvious way to make money publishing a web site, and that’s with CPM advertising, wherein you charge advertisers a penny or two for every page view. And if that’s your game and what drives you is the dough — if, when your web server gets a hit you think not “Cool, another reader” but instead “Ooh, another shiny penny” — it will lead you down what the good Dr. Thompson called a “cruel and shallow money trench through the heart of the journalism industry, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free and good men die like dogs, for no good reason.”

No one gets into something like this without an obsession, but if your obsession is with the money, and your revenue is directly correlated to page views, then rather than write or produce anything with any actual merit or integrity, you’ll dance like a monkey and split your articles across multiple “pages” and spend more time ginning up sensational Digg-bait headlines than writing the articles themselves. It’s thievery — not of money, but of readers’ attention.

What’s so great, so amazing, about this racket is that it doesn’t have to be that way. You can obsess over your work, build an audience based on deep mutual respect, and eventually opportunities to earn money from it will present themselves.

Daring Fireball: Obsession Times Voice