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I was previously a constitutional law and civil rights litigator and am now a journalist. I am the author of three New York Times bestselling books -- "How Would a Patriot Act" (a critique of Bush executive power theories), "Tragic Legacy" (documenting the Bush legacy), and With Liberty and Justice for Some (critiquing America's two-tiered justice system and the collapse of the rule of law for its political and financial elites). My fifth book - No Place to Hide: Edward Snowden, the NSA and the US Surveillance State - will be released on April 29, 2014 by Holt/Metropolitan.

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Blogger economics

Prior to starting this blog, I was a regular reader of countless other blogs. Invariably, at some point during the year, virtually every one of those blogs asked their readers to donate money to the blog. Although I donated for a couple of my favorite bloggers, I never fully understood the rationale behind the request. It seemed to me that blogging was a hobby they chose to do and people generally don’t receive donations for their hobbies.

Now that I am blogging myself, I have a very clear understanding of why those requests, as unpleasant as I’m sure they were to have to make, are necessary. To do it correctly and meaningfully, blogging really is a full-time job, sometimes even more consuming than that. Like newspapers or magazines, bloggers create and provide regular content for their readers that provokes, informs, entertains and, at its best, galvanizes.

Especially for blogs that are comprised of just one or two people, the workload is heavy and continuous. For a blog to have any impact, the blogger is almost certainly foregoing other income-producing activities in order to create content for the blog. I know I have done so and want to continue to do so. I am passionate about the issues I am blogging about; I believe that blogs can have a real impact; and I want to be able to continue to devote my energies to these matters.

Beyond the blog itself, many bloggers are attempting to translate the energy and passion of the blogosphere into something which can have an impact on actual political events. I am currently involved in a couple of projects with other bloggers devoted to developing methods for having the influence of the blogosphere extend beyond the computer screen. In this way, blogging becomes a form of political activism as well. But the unfortunate reality is that being able to devote such a large portion one’s energies to this work depends upon finding a way to make it financially feasible.

All of this is by way of explaining that I have put a "Make a Donation" Paypal button on the side of the blog and am requesting that anyone who enjoys this blog and who is so inclined to support it do so by making a contribution. Anyone who wants an alternative method can e-mail me and I will provide the information. I love working on this blog and will continue to, but I need find a way to do so in a way that is not financially burdensome. I know there are people who can’t donate and, either way, I’m genuinely appreciative of every person who reads this blog.

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