The Online Photographer. If you're into photography and are a bit of a gear nerd, this blog is an excellent mix of artistic philosophy and technical discussion, with a very fine stable of regular writers.
I've been reading lately from a series of articles by artist and printer Ctein that are in reaction to this much-discussed article by Kevin Kelly, about the possibilities, in today's media market, for artists to support themselves through their work. The idea is that all you need is 1000 "true fans," and enough time and energy to keep them interested in you. Here's the latest installment from Ctein; he links to the previous posts as well.
All this sounds good to me, but every time I think about it I can't help but consider how poorly placed writers are to benefit from such a system. Artists are selling physical artifacts, and can charge a fair amount for each; what we do is ephemeral, the kind of thing people are accustomed to being able to acquire for free. This is true of musicians, too, of course, but as I've said before here, musicians can tour. It seems to me that we're more wedded to commercial publishing than other kinds of artists are to their respective supporting apparatus. Even Kelly, in his original piece, puts us last on the list.
Maybe everyone thinks they've got it worst, though. I know that a few W6 readers (like Jon Frankel) have had some thoughts about this, and I would love to have them weigh in. What do you think, can writers make a go of it on their own, without first becoming famous through conventional means (e.g., Radiohead)? Or are we destined to write for free and make our living some other way?