September 26, 2003

Link: Toward a Weblogging Empire [Wired News]

Jason Calacanis was last seen as the editor of the Silicon Alley Reporter. Now he's resurfacing as the would-be czar of a weblogging clearinghouse. But is there any money in it? By Daniel Terdiman. [Wired News]

I don't really believe this is going to work, but let's follow this guy's venture.
Google's Adsense program seems to me like a better business model for webloggers desiring to get some revenue from their weblog.
The big problem I see in his attempt is that he does not really provides any value.
If their model is based on subscription, I think a majority of users are not ready to shell out any money for weblog reading. An example of this, not totally a weblog, but a site focused on a specific topic, is when they appeared I registered for a free trial, and found some interesting articles. At that time i was trading a little bit. But when it was time to pay for the content, I just stopped using the site because the value was not compelling for me. Maybe it is for other users, it should, since they are still in business today.
If their model is based on advertisement, then what is the incentive for one weblogger to join the site as opposed to using Google Adsense themselves and get rid of the middleman that a publisher represents ?
They would argue about the traditional role of a publisher to select and filter quality content for you. But this is specifically what is being automated by weblog-related technology. RSS readers, topical aggregators (Technorati, javablog), various social softwares, and other weblogger links achieve this selection today. In an imperfect way, but this is the area where I can see a lot of progress happen: collaborative filtering a-la-amazon, filtering based on geography, acquaintances, etc...
With Google's acquisition of blogger, and giving away the Pro service for free, I can see them scratch this specific itch in the near future.
Tough luck for old-style publishers who want to apply old business models to this new space !

Posted by chanezon at September 26, 2003 12:00 PM | TrackBack
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