Consolidation in the Blogosphere – Part II

Yesterday, I posted a video that suggested that perhaps a little consolidation needs to happen in the blogosphere. I was not the first. At the time of that recording, it had slipped my mind that Mike Arrington predicted a roll-up of blogs back in March.

Regardless, the issue has sparked a very interesting discussion around the blogosphere. Duncan Riley took the first major step of actually putting out a call to action on the concept of an advertisement federation.

Steve Hodson complained that he was concerned about the users who read a blog for the blog and might not like editorial restraint that might come from a new “conglomerate”. He did a whole podcast around this. Thanks Steve!

From my perspective, there’s two parts to this equation. There’s a play for advertising dollars where a combined alliance of 5-8 blogs each doing 150k pageviews a month can command a far more significant direct sale interest than any one of those blogs alone.

The second part of that equation is in content, and more importantly, diversity of content. Mark “Rizzn” Hopkins seems to think there is no problem with bunches of bloggers talking about the same things all the time. I disagree, as I think most. But putting that aside, there will always be the echo chamber, regardless of alliances. It’s just that an alliance can present a distributed voice on a wide variety of topics making it more desirable for the combined audience of all member blogs put together as well as the advertisers.

End of the day, this concept still has miles to go before anything actually happens. But I’m happy with the direction of the conversation.

Here’s the second video.

Aaron Brazell

Aaron Brazell is a Baltimore, MD-based WordPress developer, a co-founder at WP Engine, WordPress core contributor and author. He wrote the book WordPress Bible and has been publishing on the web since 2000. You can follow him on Twitter, on his personal blog and view his photography at The Aperture Filter.

14 thoughts on “Consolidation in the Blogosphere – Part II

  1. You can look at consolidation in the blogosphere many different ways – each having their own justification and reasons. From my direct experience what makes the most sense is when consolidation is used to align numerous (semi-popular) blogs so that they can not only maximize revenue but also cross promotion and the content being generated.

  2. You can look at consolidation in the blogosphere many different ways – each having their own justification and reasons. From my direct experience what makes the most sense is when consolidation is used to align numerous (semi-popular) blogs so that they can not only maximize revenue but also cross promotion and the content being generated.

  3. The echo chamber isn’t a big deal to me because most people aren’t like me, and most folks don’t subscribe to every blog out there. Most folks find the voice they like the most and listen to them and a few others. Think back to before blogosphere and RSS. Did you subscribe to the NY Times, the LA Times, the Chicago Sun and the Dallas Morning News? Probably not. If you subscribed to any of them, you probably subscribed to one that was most geographically relevant to you.Same idea, shift it for modernity. We’re talking about the tech sector and we’re talking about electronic news. Sure, there are lots of folks with 100 feeds. There are a few folks with 500+ feeds. And then there’s Scoble (before he nuked his GReader account).My point being is that most folks will sample the blogosphere and find a few they like – they don’t subscribe to everyone. Thus the echo doesn’t exist for them. Choice does, though, and that’s what makes this nice.

  4. The echo chamber isn’t a big deal to me because most people aren’t like me, and most folks don’t subscribe to every blog out there. Most folks find the voice they like the most and listen to them and a few others. Think back to before blogosphere and RSS. Did you subscribe to the NY Times, the LA Times, the Chicago Sun and the Dallas Morning News? Probably not. If you subscribed to any of them, you probably subscribed to one that was most geographically relevant to you.Same idea, shift it for modernity. We’re talking about the tech sector and we’re talking about electronic news. Sure, there are lots of folks with 100 feeds. There are a few folks with 500+ feeds. And then there’s Scoble (before he nuked his GReader account).My point being is that most folks will sample the blogosphere and find a few they like – they don’t subscribe to everyone. Thus the echo doesn’t exist for them. Choice does, though, and that’s what makes this nice.

  5. I left this comment earlier today based on our conversations and the blog post above – it’s 4AM now and I’ve had a chance to finally watch the video.You make a lot of good points, and I do think that a network is probably the strongest positioning point for ad deals like you’re talking about. I have a lot of thoughts on this, and tomorrow, either at my domain or mashable there should be something showing up on this topic. There’s a lot to noodle here, and I’m enjoying watching this conversation unfold so publicly.

  6. I left this comment earlier today based on our conversations and the blog post above – it’s 4AM now and I’ve had a chance to finally watch the video.You make a lot of good points, and I do think that a network is probably the strongest positioning point for ad deals like you’re talking about. I have a lot of thoughts on this, and tomorrow, either at my domain or mashable there should be something showing up on this topic. There’s a lot to noodle here, and I’m enjoying watching this conversation unfold so publicly.

  7. Cross-posting this from Duncan’s blog:While I’m assuming there’ll be no interest, I would like to note that we’re releasing tech later this year to allow all this to happen very seamlessly (and at no risk to member blogs, since they can set a minimum CPM and set a backup code … like their AdSense code).And it also gives blogs access to a sales team which, per my post, is really the biggest challenge.Again, I’m sure there’s little interest to work with me and b5 again, but I’d be happy to show you our plans at Gnomedex, and if you like it, to figure out a way to insulate you from the things you don’t like or agree with.End of the day, what we’ll be launching doesnt’ lock bloggers in, doesnt’ require a commitment, gives bloggers full control and is designed to helping all bloggers (not just the biggest ones) make more money … without giving up their current revenue streams.

  8. Cross-posting this from Duncan’s blog:While I’m assuming there’ll be no interest, I would like to note that we’re releasing tech later this year to allow all this to happen very seamlessly (and at no risk to member blogs, since they can set a minimum CPM and set a backup code … like their AdSense code).And it also gives blogs access to a sales team which, per my post, is really the biggest challenge.Again, I’m sure there’s little interest to work with me and b5 again, but I’d be happy to show you our plans at Gnomedex, and if you like it, to figure out a way to insulate you from the things you don’t like or agree with.End of the day, what we’ll be launching doesnt’ lock bloggers in, doesnt’ require a commitment, gives bloggers full control and is designed to helping all bloggers (not just the biggest ones) make more money … without giving up their current revenue streams.

  9. Jeremy-I’m interested in seeing what you have. Options are always good. Ithink you were talking to Duncan about Gnomedex but if me… Itslooking less and less like I’ll be able to afford the trip.Thanks for stopping by. I hate admitting when Mike Arrington is right.

  10. Jeremy-I’m interested in seeing what you have. Options are always good. Ithink you were talking to Duncan about Gnomedex but if me… Itslooking less and less like I’ll be able to afford the trip.Thanks for stopping by. I hate admitting when Mike Arrington is right.

  11. Well I don’t think Mike’s right. His idea of consolidation is all the blogs selling themselves to him for cheap and him selling them at a premium ;-)And you’re not going to Gnomedex? What’s the issue? Would really suck not to see you there… We have some small projects we’re about to outsource (some coding, some not) if you’re interested…Either way, the approach on this project is to give bloggers total freedom, total choice and to encourage these kinds of “networks” (in quotes for a reason) to coalesce quickly and easily – and hopefully for bloggers to make more money at the same time!

  12. Well I don’t think Mike’s right. His idea of consolidation is all the blogs selling themselves to him for cheap and him selling them at a premium ;-)And you’re not going to Gnomedex? What’s the issue? Would really suck not to see you there… We have some small projects we’re about to outsource (some coding, some not) if you’re interested…Either way, the approach on this project is to give bloggers total freedom, total choice and to encourage these kinds of “networks” (in quotes for a reason) to coalesce quickly and easily – and hopefully for bloggers to make more money at the same time!

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