I have seen several complaints recently about mercenary bubble bloggers. Patrick charges for links now, other sites have ads and Paypal buttons. (Including this one.) Heck, Ben Jones even bubble blogs (Can you use that as a verb now?) for a living. The occasional comment I’ve seen accuses bubble bloggers of trying to profit from the bubble, and trying to drive traffic to their sites in order to make money. (I’ve even seen that accusation for a site with no advertising!) So what gives, anyway?
Some of the comments I’ve read are a little disheartening. (None from readers here on Doom, for which I’m grateful- comments I’ve seen were referring to other blogs.) I haven’t seen anyone’s income statement besides my own, so I can’t speak for others, but so far I haven’t found battling the bubble a lucrative pastime. Now mind you, I’m OK with that. If I were really interested in riches I’d write something like, “Why the Real Estate Boom Will Not Bust- And How You Can Profit From It.” Wait a minute- that one’s been done. Well, I’d write something like that anyway.
You see, people are willing to pay a lot to hear about “get rich quick” schemes. I wonder what David Lereah and David Seiders make? What about the guys that run those seminars, telling you to suck all the equity out of your home so you can flip houses? Unfortunately, there just isn’t anything sexy about encouraging people to remember prudence and risk management, so I doubt bubble blogging will ever be a lucrative field.
So why attempt to monetize a site, if not for filthy lucre? If memory serves me correctly, Patrick said if he could cut back on his work hours, he’d have more time for family and keeping up the site. Rich of Piggington’s said he uses his funds for subscriptions and such. Keith of Housingpanic said his ad money went toward his beer fund. And Housingdoom’s revenue? I have two financial goals in mind. My more ambitious one is to replace my rather antiquated computer. The other is to establish my “Chinese takeout” fund- so I have something easy for dinner on evenings with a particularly demanding post.
Major financial interests spend millions of dollars every year to perpetuate fallacies and foolishness in the real estate market. As near as I can tell, bubble bloggers are trying to take on this well financed evil real estate industrial complex with old computers, a few subscriptions, Chinese takeout, and a couple of beers. (And I’m not a drinker, so I have to do it without the beer!)
So at any rate, you might want to ask yourself what you get from the bubble sites. If you enjoy the debate at Patrick’s or Ben Jones, if Housingpanic makes you laugh or teaches you something, if you enjoy what you read on Piggington’s, or learned something on Housingdoom- is the fact that these sites are being “monetized” really as bad as the fact that David Lereah gets an actual salary?
There are also a number of excellent sites that cover their expenses out of their own pocket- we have a bunch of them on the sidebar. They include Bubble Tracking, Sacramento Landing, DC Housing Bubble, Immobilienblasen, Bubble Meter, Seattle Bubble,Marin Real Estate, as well as others. (Our own John falls in this camp by the way!) These folks get paid by hearing from readers who find their sites worthwhile- I suspect I speak for all the bubble bloggers when I say that the real payday is when you get those emails- so if you want to do your part to support the fight- drop your favorite bubblehead a line.
Thanks as always for dropping by- and for your continued support.
Debi AKA Twist