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Are 2 Million People in America Professional Bloggers?

Leaving aside the Neatorama Civil War, I thought that I'd turn our attention to a controversial article by Mark Penn.
In America today, there are almost as many people making their living as bloggers as there are lawyers. Already more Americans are making their primary income from posting their opinions than Americans working as computer programmers or firefighters [...] For now, bloggers say they are overwhelmingly happy in their work, reporting high job satisfaction. But what happens if they, too, lose work; are they covered by unemployment insurance if tastes change and their sites go under? Are they considered journalists under shield laws? Are they subject to libel suits? Are there any limits to the opinions they churn out, or any standards to rein them in? Is there someone to complain to about false blogs or hidden conflicts? At the recent Consumer Electronics Show, Panasonic outfitted bloggers with free Panasonic equipment; did that affect their opinions about the companies they wrote about? There are more questions than answers about America's Newest Profession.

I'm incredibly skeptical of the 2 million number, but Penn has provided a follow-up explaining his methodology.  Here at the Neatorama corporate HQ compound, we certainly don't anything approaching that number of pro bloggers.  We do have a ridiculously high number of Blackwater contractors, but Alex insists that such security is necessary for "Stage 3", whatever that is.

Link via Instapundit

Image via flickr user alexanderljung

I'd be joining them if I was actually making any money Blogging. I've got a site with a small but steady and growing base of readers (roughly 150-200 hits per day,) but haven't ever really bothered trying to monetize it yet or really put enough effort into it to make it an income source. Eventually I'll get around to that, but for now I'm just happy to continue doing it as a hobby. I suspect that a good portion of the purported 2 million number is probably in splogs and other less than completely ethical methods.
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It's always weird to see web stats like this. 1.999 million must start a blog account and never use it otherwise there'd be more than the handful of sites that most people frequent... and most of the "good" sites hork half their content from each other.
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Perhaps it says something very ..what's the word... wry...? about US-society- If people were hunted out of your overpayed-overmortgaged house and now they live in small tents somewhere on backlots, perhaps then now they can live off the payments of their blogging activities. Here outside the US we understand that by now about that same amount of people as mentioned live in tents...

The positive side of Crisistimes....?
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I believe that there may be more bloggers than lawyers and I am not sure if this is a good thing. We may find some apt comparisons between the two. And one of them being that most bloggers who say they make a living from blogging are doing the same things many lawyers do all the time--LYING!
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