"The foundation would support weblogs with hosting, software, and honorariums for a wide array of selected webloggers. It would raise money from sponsor/underwriters, who would receive advertising on selected weblogs, as well as from technology underwriters, readers’ contributions, and other activities."
I personally don’t see the problem Jeff Jarvis is trying to solve, but if the community wants to sustain selected bloggers that way, fine with me. I for one wouldn’t refuse the money, though I’m wary of the ability of any "committee" to take smart, fair and timely decisions.
I’m a lot more interested in the various commercial plans that are currently floating. If weblogs are valuable (of course I do think they are), there must be a way to build a marketplace for them. That’s not to say that labors of love and strictly personal blogs should disappear, but I don’t see how paying to read some of the best blogs, or seeing ads on them, could be wrong. There’s a middle way between crass commercialism and communism, right? (Crass commercial communism? That would be Loft Story broadcasted on French TV, or the worse of both worlds.)
05/14/02 update: I like Nick’s suggestions a little better, but he agrees it’s not obvious to decide who would control such a foundation (in a way that makes sense to the community).
05/15/02 update: more reactions: a lot more support than counter thinking (I must have some genetic predisposition, or I could blame French culture). Seems one of the motives is to help choice voices keep publishing. Next in the blogosphere: a UNESCO fund to help thirld-world people blog (I’m being more caustic than I should, I’m not saying the foundation idea is without merits).
Is "French Libertarian" an oxymoron? Probably, but please leave the "oxy" in "oxymoron"!