Irish writer Catherine Ryan Howard has made her blog available on the Kindle. Or rather, Amazon have done it some time after she asked them to :) Amazon have a service that allows readers to subscribe for a fixed amount per month, and have blog content delivered straight to their Kindle.
I am confused.
Before I even start this, I want to make it super-clear that I have no problem with people who choose to offer their blog on a platform that generates income. We're all trying to monetise our words here, and I'm not going to judge anyone who is trying to find legal and non-evil ways to pay the bills.
However, I am not mad about the idea myself.
I have no idea why anyone would pay to read content that I am making available free. You may think my posts are worth paying for (if so, thanks!) but they are free to read. I am willing to pay for chocolate - I'm willing to pay a lot for chocolate actually - but I don't volunteer money when I'm given free chocolate (my day job gives us all a free bar of chocolate every Thursday, so I have handled this conundrum in real life).
As a blog reader (I was a blog reader long before I was a blogger) I would be willing to pay to read most, possibly all, of the blogs I follow. But I follow tons of blogs, and I couldn't afford to pay for all of them, and since I can read them for free on my computer, I'm not likely to pay to read them on a different device. Why would I?
But as a blogger, I have even more concerns. We all coast a little on our blogs sometimes. I've made entries that were a bit rubbish, badly thought out, or poorly written. If someone has paid for content and I'm not delivering what they expect, they'll be annoyed at me in a very different way than if they have just spent two minutes of their time on me. I don't want to introduce that kind of dynamic into blogging - I feel that it's the spirit of sharing common knowledge that makes blogging so much fun. Introducing commerce to that relationship makes me uncomfortable.
Also, if you're going to spend money on stuff for the Kindle, I'd rather it was being spent on books.
How do you guys feel about paying for blogs? Would you ever? Would you ever make yours available at cost?