Blog’s Going Pro
The worst of the dotbomb bubble must be past us, when entrepeneurs are gong to launch the next big thing by creating a B2B blogging portal (blortal, and yes it is an ugly term, completely on purpose). Wired is reporting on Jason Calacanis, once editor of the Silicon Alley Reporter, and his plans to get rich creating a large portal of bloggers.
Corante is currently riding exactly this model, but nobody is getting rich (and if they are, they sure as Hell aren’t sharing). Jason’s idea is pure dotcom asymptotic craziness – pick a trend, assume a constant growth rate and an ability to maintain a constant share and ride the curve: <blockquote>”A thousand dollars a week in ad revenue (per blog) is not that hard if we can scale,” he says. “The architecture is already built, and it scales nicely. We can just add more weblogs.”</blockquote>
I doubt there are a dozen blogs that make $4000/month in ad revenues, but Jason’s model assumes that he’ll be able to build a stable of 300 such blogs within a year. Maybe Jason read this article about projected online ad sales of $32.5 billion in 2005 and thinks a stable of blogs can’t help but catch that big a wave.
Hey Jason! Sounds great to me. I’ll jump ship, I’m available. But I want a 12 month guaranteed salary based of 30% of your <strong>projected</strong> ad sales. Call me.
Return to reality – 300 blogs at $4000/month is $1.2M in monthly advertising sales or $14.4M annually. The New York Times will have on-line revenues of $19.6M this year. Some folks have short memories, but a business plan that assumes equaling the on-line revenues of established business leaders within 24 months, just has too much flavor of pets.com. Hold onto your wallet and insist on a contract.
There is no shame in using blogs to softlaunch a magazine – finding your voice, demographics, editorial tone, etc. Just don’t follow Tony Perkins’ example at AlwaysOn in claiming to embrace bloging while doing so. We already fell for that one once.
[links to faux blog networks redacted]