Syntagma goes online mag

Filed as General on August 8, 2006 5:26 am

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Syntagma Media, you know – the blog network with the rainbow headers that burn your eyes – are reorganizing. In a recent blog post they announced their transformation from blog network to “continuously updated, online distributed magazine”.

At the moment that feels like visionary bullshit, as all I see is “channels” that coordinate blogs. Online magazine? Yeah, sure, but then you’ll have to name all blogs that way and although that might not be such a bad idea in some cases, it sure feels like playing with names in the Syntagma camp.

Anyway, Syntagma’s reorganization is interesting. We have a whole bunch of blog networks fighting for readers and that brings a need to focus and to find your very own niche so that you’ll not disappear in the buzz. Syntagma’s “online distributed magazine� seems to be a new name for same old, but it might do the job. And that being attracting more readers of course.

We’ll see how it turns out this “autumn/fall�.

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  1. By Darren McLaughlin posted on August 8, 2006 at 8:05 am
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    It’s understandable they’d consider re-organizing. Blog networks aren’t quite the road to riches you’d envision. Without star bloggers, what makes a network shine?

  2. By tdh posted on August 8, 2006 at 8:36 am
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    Absolutely. There’s a lot of blog networks (and aspiring networks) that should at least reconsider this option.

  3. By John Evans (SYNTAGMA) posted on August 8, 2006 at 9:32 am
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    Well, TDH, “blog networks” still attract a rather geeky audience. When we started with Microsoft and Google blogs that’s what we wanted too. Since then, we’ve picked up some great art writers, Shakespearean actors, publishers, theatre directors etc who were all drawn to us because we were not too geeky.

    Now we resemble a distributed magazine much more than a blog network. In fact, most networks of the “wide” variety are similar, if only they knew it.

  4. By Cary posted on August 8, 2006 at 9:40 am
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    “At the moment that feels like visionary bullshit, as all I see is “channelsâ€? that coordinate blogs. Online magazine? Yeah, sure…”

    Boy, that’s qaulity commentary there, TDH.

    More power to ya’ John :)

  5. » SYNTAGMA - Tech, New Media and PublishingAugust 8, 2006 at 10:11 am
  6. By John Evans (SYNTAGMA) posted on August 8, 2006 at 12:29 pm
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    Thanks, Cary. you hit the nail on the head. :-)

  7. By Matt posted on August 8, 2006 at 11:10 pm
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    John,
    TDH is our new columnist. He was announced here the other day along with a brief bio ;-)

    Matt

  8. By tdh posted on August 9, 2006 at 4:22 am
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    John,
    Don’t get me wrong here John, I respect your work and have always had a soft spot for the Syntagma blogs and your design philosophy. It’s refreshing to see that not everybody’s going in the same direction when it comes to layout, not matter what I think of it.

    However, I stand by my initial reaction that your reorganization sounds like syndicated feeds displayed on “channel pages� more than an online magazine. You’re more than welcome to prove me wrong and even if you’d fail that, the end result still could be good for you.

    “Visionary bullshit�, by the way… How many times haven’t you heard about a relaunch, a new direction, fancy new descriptions, we’ll become this and that? In the end it usually end up like a new version of same old, better perhaps, but not the New Super Thing that was promised. When it comes to major reorganizations, like the one you’ve announced, I’m a big time skeptic – entirely based on experience.

  9. By Darren McLaughlin posted on August 9, 2006 at 6:14 am
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    “Channels” is about the only way to envision packaging internet content right now. And let’s face facts, 99% of “channels” aren’t going to drive traffic or revenue, no matter how you bundle the “network”.

    Without some kind of natural synergy, and of these mechanisms end up being a “collection of blogs” rather than some sort of holistic business. And frankly, blogs are not the best way to bundle content for contextual ad revenue. You can earn $20,000 a year on a 200 page static website, but I think you’d be hard-pressed to do it with a 200 page blog.

  10. By Marti posted on August 9, 2006 at 8:46 am
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    Congratulations to John and all of the Syntagma crew! Best wishes for much success!

  11. By John Evans (SYNTAGMA) posted on August 9, 2006 at 11:57 am
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    TDH,

    I agree that rebranding and relaunching are usually fancy ways of saying: “We failed, now we’re going to try something else”. But at Syntagma we haven’t failed, we’ve flowed in this direction as a natural consequence of what we were doing and the personalities who were doing it. The change of name reflects the actuality, not wishful thinking.

    We’re now growing at a measured rate of 250 pc on key indicators, and probably at between 300 and 400 pc in reality.

    Darren,

    We certainly don’t rely on contextual advertising — that’s suicidal for a genuine content provider. Paid advertising is a much more effective way to go for blog networks (magazines) and particularly forming partnerships with big retail outlets with big ticket products. Our new advertising site, AdsViral.com, will be taking on staff soon so we remain in control of our inventory. We may extend this as a service to other blog networks.

    BTW, we have lots of new ideas up our chinese sleeves for the fall/autumn. Stay tuned.

    Thanks, Marti, and good luck with the new book. :-)

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