Pretentious blogger
September 7, 2000 10:54 PM   Subscribe

Pretentious blogger Jorn Barger is calling his potential $1,000/yr banner ads/messages an "Experiment." I guess a guy who lives like a monk in West Rogers Park can't bring himself to admit he's doing business not experiments. Nice blog though, except for his rabid fascination with people living in front of webcams, its not art its voyeurism.
posted by skallas (15 comments total)
Why should he have to 'admit' anything? He owns the domain, let him do or say whatever he wants to with it. He doesn't have to account for his actions with his readers.

posted by kristin at 11:01 PM on September 7, 2000

It's probably an experiment to see if the web can get him the hell out of Rogers Park. As a former resident, I'd drink a glass of vomit before I'd move back there.
posted by thirteen at 11:04 PM on September 7, 2000

True. I have some friends that live there and it has gotten a little bit better. Murder rate is down....

Jorn's site is the first weblog I found years ago and he has paid his bloggging dues. While I didn't even have a URL until late last year, I can thank this fellow Chicagoan for inspiration.

I currrently reside in the burbs. The house I grew up in on the north side of Chicago was robbed three times. There were three failed attempts. One robbery, resulted in an attempted homicide of a friend. I can go on, but let me just say that my old neighborhood is nice compared to Roger's Park.
posted by john at 2:11 AM on September 8, 2000

If we're ploughing the "blogging for money is evil" furrow, skallas, I assume you'll be calling on Pyra to repay their investors.

No? Ah well.
posted by holgate at 3:13 AM on September 8, 2000

Rogers Park should burn down, be ploughed under, and turned into a minefield. As for Jorn, well heck, if he can get ad money, more power to him. Maybe I'll make him Minister of Finance in the coming dictatorship.
posted by aramaic at 6:11 AM on September 8, 2000

Naww I don't have a problem with banner ads at all, but I think its a bit pretentious to call it an experiment. Its an ad, it creates revenue, i'd let it slide if it was the first banner ad. Last time I talked to him his space was donated by his ISP, something must have changed.
posted by skallas at 7:44 AM on September 8, 2000

Hey I like living in Roger's Park.
posted by skallas at 7:45 AM on September 8, 2000

Why can't he call it an experiment? Are there any other (non-porno) weblogs out there supported by banner advertising? Not really. So I'd say trying to establish a weblog that is supported by banner advertising is something fairly new and requires some experimentation.
posted by jkottke at 9:57 AM on September 8, 2000

I see that 'blog jealousy has reared it's ugly head yet again. What a surprise! If he wants to put a little coin in his pocket that's his business, not yours.
posted by Mr. skullhead at 11:30 AM on September 8, 2000

Actually there's a great many blogs with some type of ad attached to them, its an ad not an experiment.
posted by skallas at 2:40 PM on September 8, 2000

>Actually there's a great many blogs with some type
>of ad attached to them, its an ad not an experiment.

It's an experiment when you consider the effects that adding commercial advertising to a high-traffic "indie" weblog might have on readership. What if Matt added commercial advertising to MeFi? Would people be pissed? Would they stop reading? Would they have less respect for the site? I doubt you or anyone else knows the answer to those questions so I'd say some experimentation is in order.
posted by jkottke at 3:24 PM on September 8, 2000

Why isn't it art? Isn't all art voyeuristic? Aren't you just peering into the soul of the artist? I think the question is more whether it's particularly compelling art.
posted by davidgentle at 3:55 PM on September 8, 2000

If I had the money, I would subscribe to support his craft. Robot has been a joy to me for years. To me, it is like paying for a gardener. Maybe soomeday I can payback for all that he has found for me.
posted by riley370 at 12:58 AM on September 9, 2000

Heck, the guy's selling hits for a fraction of the going rate. I may have my differences with Jorn, but they certainly don't extend to insisting that he lose money on his weblog.

For outsiders, West Rogers Park may not be the nicest neighborhood in Chicago, but it's very quiet, and mostly Jewish, particularly Orthodox, with some Spanish towards the east end. When you say Rogers Park most Chicagoans think of the east end along the El, which is a very mixed bag of modest lakefront apartments coveted for their inexpensiveness, a number of granola establishments like the Heartland Cafe, some very depressing areas of poverty, drugs, and yes, violence (mainly directed inward), and easing off toward stable, considerably safer areas toward the west. In recent years Rogers Park has become one of the most ethnically diverse areas in the city, especially as the South Asian community has made Devon Avenue its retail center. Anyway -- to me it's as appropriate for Jorn to be there as anywhere.

skallas, of course it's a form of voyeurism, but it's one that wasn't possible before the internet -- and what's been done with it ranges from the obvious porn industry, through the crass soap opera of jennicam, to the inspirational and beautiful webcam work of Ana Voog. I was there with Jorn when she began, and it was especially fascinating; I'm not at all surprised when he describes RW as his own approach to 'living a life on the web'.

Personally, if he were to cash in, I imagine he could do far better than 3 grand a year.
posted by dhartung at 12:18 AM on September 11, 2000

Dhartung: I lived in East and West Rogers park, and you are correct that the East side is better. That said I still heard guns being fired almost everynight I lived there, and the crime/attempted crime was constant. There are many very mixed areas of the city that are not anywhere near as violent, just as cheap too. I think it is probably the only neigbhorhood in America where you will find Frank Lloyd Wright house's that have been graffitti'd.
posted by thirteen at 8:26 AM on September 11, 2000

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