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.