So my hobby is running this website. Primarily I collect and share jokes. I also create and post a comic. Also you can’t forget about these little asides I keep writing. So quick recap: Collect jokes, make comic, rant, and post it all on this website. For some reason, this brings me a sense of satisfaction and accomplishment.
If you regularly read my Sunday rants (although I highly doubt it), you may have noticed my fixation with visitor numbers. It got me to thinking about things… Why do I care? If curating this site is only a personal hobby, and I don’t make a dime no matter how many visitors I get, then why do I care if anyone ever visits this site?
When you look at people’s hobbies, there’s usually some kind of reward. Let’s look at some examples:
People who exercise get healthier bodies which are more attractive, and therefore increases their social status. Higher social status can lead to additional successes in mate selection and even job advancement along with a higher income.
People who restore old cars get to enjoy seeing that rusty heap turn into a shiny museum piece on wheels that they can then sell to collectors for considerably more than they put into the vehicle.
People who collect things tend to buy and sell for profit. Although mathematically there have to be a substantial number of losers in this game, we tend to gloss over it.
People who learn to play musical instruments can perform in public for money… People who learn to paint can sell their artwork… Actually all artists can sell their stuff.
Even people who go hunting for a hobby justify it by claiming they consume the meat, and that the meat has a monetary value.
Try googling “hobbies that don’t make money” and you are going to get results about hobbies that make money.
My point is, you’d be hard pressed to find a hobby that didn’t have a prosperity potential behind it, and in our increasingly capitalistic minded society, earning something for creative endeavors is becoming the only reason for creating. Isn’t the joy of creating enough?
But that still doesn’t answer the question… If I don’t make any money from this, why do I care about how many people visit this site? To be honest, I wouldn’t actually feel better about running this site if I made money off of it; I’d feel worse because of the stress caused by the obligations that come with monetary transactions.
Let me know what you think in the comments below.
PS: You know I did try incorporating Google Adsense into this site once… Even after two years, it didn’t even manage to get halfway to the $100 threshold needed for Google to cut a check. Never again.
PPS: I think I may have found a hobby where the hobby itself couldn’t lead to making money: Birding (aka bird watching). You might be able to come up with a method of making money off of birders, but no one is going to pay you to watch birds. So unless you’re drawing or taking pictures, or writing books or papers about birds that you can sell, bird watching by itself seems to be financially pointless. Can you think of any other popular and socially acceptable hobbies where money can’t be made?