Precious Cargo

Refreshingly Bitter And Twisted Observations On Life's Passing Parade.

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Location: Valley Village, California, United States

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

You'll Never Get Rich Blogging

“The good news is that it’s still possible to create a top-ranked blog,” says Shirky. “The bad news is, the way to get into the top ten now seems to be public relations.” Just posting witty entries and hoping for traffic won’t do it. You have to actively seek out attention from the press. “That’s how they’re jump-starting the links structure. It’s not organic.” Indeed, when Huffington announced her venture and her celebrity guests, bloggers grumbled that it weirdly inverted the whole grassroots appeal of blogs. Larry David and Danielle Crittenden are hardly what you’d call outsiders to mass media.

When I call her, she is at her desk in her new company’s offices in Tribeca. She’s being backed by two angel investors—Carter Burden, head of the Webhosting company Logicworks, and Justin Smith, president of The Week, a news magazine. Their first blog, launching in March, will be called Dealbreaker, and devoted to Wall Street gossip. Her advertisers would be? “For Wall Street? Pretty much everybody,” she says. “It’s a high-income demographic, pretty attractive.” The start-up money lets her pay for a full-time blogging staff, which she’ll need since she wants her writers to actually do reporting and break news. And this, she argues, is the future of the professional blogosphere.

It’ll be more like the mainstream media, really,” she adds. “Blogging is increasingly becoming a survival of the fittest—and that all boils down to who has the best content. The blogs that are going to stand out are the ones who break news and have credibility.”

Blogging now goes the way of all things internet and personal computer. Nobody's going to start another Apple Computer in their garage.

Blogs were touted as the answer to the blocked arteries of the mainstream media, because there are no barriers to entry and the promise of infinite diversity of opinions. But very few people will maintain a blog for very long once they realize no one is reading it. And the most reliable way to get readers is to spend money to make potential readers aware of your existance.

The only new blogs that will break through the noise floor and command attention will be the online equivalent of a newspaper or magazine, with a staff of editors and writers, and backers with the capital to launch the pr campaign to bring attention and readers to that blog.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Another interesting threat/opportunity for the mainstream media is the rise of community news aggregators like News Bump.

12:00 AM  

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