TheWeblogProject is an effort to get people to send in materials to create a free documentary about weblogging. And it only costs $15 to be a part of it. This has already hit the boards at Smart Mobs, and Steve Rubel has already noted that this is grass roots, but with a side of green. It’s a great idea: create a documentary project relying on a network of fairly technically able people, distributing it on the Internet Archive. But, what’s with the licensing fee? They explain:
We have estimated that an amount ranging between $ 50,000 and $ 100,000 will be required to produce a high-quality final release with enough clout to make it outside the blogosphere.
Now, I do not want to condemn any creative effort, and if they can make this work, more power to ’em. Recently I’ve become very interested in the video potential of the internet (and of bloggers), and I suspect we are about to turn the corner on these things. I might disagree with the premise (the “top 20 bloggers” are sitting on the fence between traditional media and the blogosphere, as far from the “center” of blogging as it is possible to be), but not with the spirit. And I am also not sure why you might need “clout” outside the blogosphere, but, hey, fame is always nice.
But then there is that $15 licensing fee, none of which goes back to the bloggers who contribute footage. Huh? And they are thinking they need $50,000 to do what exactly? Are you thinking what I’m thinking? I’m thinking they are budgeting for crack. Well, since their expenses are going to be completely transparent, I guess I can’t complain. (Where’s that budget again?) They spend some time defending their need for cash from “donations” and carefully selected sponsors, but I’m adding this to my growing record of the great blog sell-out of 2005.