Begging: Remember when Andrew Sullivan

: Remember when Andrew Sullivan was supposed to be the one guy who was making money doing this? Well, guess what: He isn’t. That, it seems, was our own blog bubble and now he has pierced it.

Now Sullivan is begging, big time. In a long, defensive spiel (you know you’re in trouble when it starts, “This isn’t an easy post to write, since I’m not used to begging…”), he tells us about all the time he’s spending on his blog and then comes up with the too-clever-by-90-percent idea of creating a blog pledge week, in which he’ll mercilessly bother his readers with begging (and then promises to lay off). He even acts as if he’s doing this for some greater good: He says this will help the economics of the blogopshere (though, unless he shared the blog begging booty bounty with others, I fail to see the end of that equation).

This is why I prefer capitalism.

When a magazine or newspaper dies, it just dies. It doesn’t wimper and beg and moan and whine and try to make you feel guilty for its pain. It just dies, quickly and quietly.

And if it doesn’t die, it makes money. That’s how business works.

So the net result of this development is that even the guy who was supposed to be making money at this isn’t and that means there isn’t money to be made. Blogs are wonderful. Blogs are fun. Blogs are good reading.

But blogs are no way to earn a living.

: But I do think there are a lot of other sane economic motivations for blogging. Look at Drudge: His blog made him a brand. He has a radio show (and he’d still have a TV show if he hadn’t blown things with Fox). He has books that sell well. He’s a star, a pop culture icon, a brand.

Same thing is happening to Glenn Reynolds, who is becoming a smart brand online and out of this, I have no doubt that he will get more book deals and media deals and great (cushy) tenured chairs of this and that (but no record deals). Thanks to his weblog (and the work he puts into it, which is far greater than what Sullivan does), he is now known and respected coast-to-coast.

Tony Pierce is turning his blog into a book. It’s self-published … for now. But I’ll bet this, too, will turn into a book deal for him. (And by the way, he tells me that the title will be Blook, inspired by my headline on the post pushing his book a few weeks back… I’m honored.)

Nick Denton is doing what I call nanopublishing with the aforeplugged Gizmodo and the upcoming Gawker, an exciting local project that is employing Elizabeth Spiers.

Patrick Phillips at IWantMedia and Rick Bruner at MarketingFix — among many others — are using blogs to promote their expertise at their day jobs.

It takes a bit of cleverness and creativity to make all this worth your time — or it isn’t worth your time and you shouldn’t do it.

Me? I’m doing this to learn the new medium and hatch new ideas and I know it will pay off for me in some form, even if I don’t beg (yet).