At SXSW 2009, John Gruber and Merlin Mann held a panel on “building a blog you can be proud of, trying to improve the quality of your work, reaching the people you admire, and maybe even making a buck”.

The talk, available as a 43f Podcast on Mann’s site, is worth your time whether you ‘blog’ or not. Gruber goes one further and expands on some of the concepts in a short post about obsession and writing on the web:

My muse for the session was this quote from Walt Disney: “We don’t make movies to make money, we make money to make more movies.” To me, that’s it. That’s the thing. […]

No one gets into something like [writing or publishing on the web] without an obsession, but if your obsession is with the money, and your revenue is directly correlated to page views, then rather than write or produce anything with any actual merit or integrity, you’ll dance like a monkey and split your articles across multiple “pages”and spend more time ginning up sensational Digg-bait headlines than writing the articles themselves. It’s thievery — not of money, but of readers’ attention. […]

The entire quote-unquote “pro blogging” industry […] is predicated on the notion that blogging is a meaningful verb. It is not. The verb is writing. The format and medium are new, but the craft is ancient.