Jason Kottke, one of the web’s earliest and still most influental bloggers, announced today (on his own site, of course) that he’s quit his job and is now blogging full-time. Not for a professional site, mind you, or a niche site- but rather, his own personal, any-topic-goes weblog. It’s a pretty bold and exciting move that should have the community buzzing for a few days.
Always out there with unconvential ideas, Kottke is foregoing any kind of advertising-supported or subscription-based model and instead opting to ask his readers for voluntary donations.
Because Kottke is a much-loved and widely-read blogger, I predict that his voluntary donation model will work quite well, especially at the outset. But as community-minded and utopian as the idea is, I’m not sure how well it would work for much of the long tail. I’ll have more thoughts on this later on as I think it over.
I donated $35 to the cause, in part because I’ve been reading his site for about four years or so, and also because I hope that a move like this by a long-time “spokesperson” for weblogging will help to stir ongoing discussion around the issue of financially-sustainable blogging.