Liz Garrigan's column on WKRN's plan to pay bloggers for their video is generating a lot of buzz in the blogosphere this week. At the station's blogger meet-up recently, I got a chance to talk to WKRN News Director Steve Sabato about the idea and he had some interesting things to say.
"Do you think that local bloggers will be receptive to this?" Steve asked me.
"Shooting amateur news video?" I tried to imagine the bloggers around me hustling to the scene of a murder and laughed. "No. I can't see that happening, unless you're recruiting, you know, journalism grads who need a break."
"Oh no," he said. That's not what I'm talking about. This would be video of your life. You, for example, might shoot video of your two-year-old every day and send it in. Or a musician might send us video of what his life is like behind the scenes."
"Oh, okay," I said. "Well that makes more sense."
"And of course, we'd compensate," he continued. "If a musician could make, say 200 extra dollars a week, that could really make a difference, right?"
Holy hell. I'm not sure how accurate the $200-a-week quote will end up being, but if it holds, I think they'll have "vloggers" coming out of the woodwork.
The problem with the plan is that while I'm sure the video will be fascinating to the people collecting it, it can't see it being all that interesting to the general public. I've seen a few talented video bloggers here in Nashville, but are there enough to support a regular half-hour webcast?
The thought of watching a mechanic show off the motor of a Corvette or a waiter complain about low tippers at Cabana makes my head itch. And while I find it hilarious when my toddler says, "Whew! That was a close one," I'm not expecting anyone outside my family to find it all that amusing.
Of course, I hope WKRN's clever editors and writers could turn the often-boring lives of bloggers into something magical and entertaining.
And if nothing else, the money would allow these lucky video bloggers to buy as many extra pairs of pajamas as they would need for the job.