BoingBoing was one of the first blogs that I ever read, and it'll always have a special place in my heart. (This post remains some of the best advice I've read on the internet.) I don't subscribe via RSS or email anymore, but I still stop by once in a while just to see how things are going.
Over the past few months, they've been touting the BoingBoing Bazaar, a section of the Makersmarket website that features products hand-selected by BoingBoing staff.
Presumably, the BoingBoing organization gets a cut of all products they sell through these online outlets.
So does that mean they sold out?
No. In a way, I think they did almost the exact opposite. While they used to offer their readers their opinions and thoughts on the weird internet ephemera that they found, now they can share the equally weird and cool physical goods
Better yet, by getting paid as affiliates (as I assume they do), they're rewarded for all the work they put into the blog. I feel like by including these suggestions as part of the editorial content, the BoingBoing crew is walking a very fine line. However, if their users feel like they're endorsing products strictly in order to make money, they'll stop reading.
While micro-payment services like Flattr aim to make it easy for you to reward the sites or artist you like online, I think they are a bit idealistic (the world isn't ready for this type of whuffie thinking) and don't result in any reward for the person paying beyond a warm, fuzzy feeling.
Online advertising is dead and dying. The future of profitable websites is in their ability to develop content that they can turn into sales of actual, physical goods or services. Whether success comes in the form of the website selling branded goods related to its own brand (BlogCampaigning pogs, maybe?) or by setting up its own, shop like BoingBoing has remains to be seen.
This is an issue with all forms of digital media, from blogs and websites to music, movies and games so I'm definitely interested in seeing how it will turn out.
What do you think? Did BoingBoing sell out? Would you buy products that the BlogCampaigning crew recommended? What is the best way to reward your favorite website?