Remember 9rules round 8? The “winners” are finally announced, and it is a mere 26 sites. I wonder if this means that there wasn’t as many submissions as usual, or if the ones that came in just wasn’t good enough? Tyme White says they won’t be releasing any statistics this time around, so we’ll never know.
I received an email tip via Performancing today about some key b5media personalities having to leave the network–one of the bigger blog/new media networks today, in terms of content and contributorship. Foremost of these is AboutWeblogs.com founder and b5media “co-founder” Shai Coggins. In a blog post today, Shai explains the circumstances behind her leaving b5.
Even with the fresh injection of funding, the economic times aren’t cooperating.
So, it all ended with another Skype chat. Well, sort of. On the 14th of January 2009, I used Skype to pay for the call to the b5 conference line – where the company COO and CEO broke the news to me.
Times are tough.
And that’s how it ends.
I’m not sure I am at liberty to quote or discuss the actual contents of the email, as it appears to be privileged communication between Jeremy Wright and his fellow b5′ers. But it appears that this move was due to some belt-tightening measures that the company has had to do in line with its trimming of costs, refocusing of strategies and exploring of new opportunities. read more
Brian Gardner announced that b5media will use one of the Revolution themes as the base theme across the network, and CEO Jeremy Wright confirmed that it is indeed so. The theme will apparently roll out in a network redesign due next year, and not a moment too soon if you ask me.
While I have nothing against the Revolution Streamline theme, which will be the basis of the new design, I’m a bit surprised to see b5media going with something that is a premium theme available for all. Or is it? I can’t seem to find it on the Revolution Two website, so maybe b5media bought the rights to it? I’ve contacted Brian and Jeremy for a comment on this.
There is no doubt that the current financial situation is hitting the web as well as the rest of the media industry. This is certainly one of the reasons why we’ve seen blog networks close, cut costs, or rationalize their portfolio. So is the blog network business model in trouble, and what does the established blog network hotshots thing about these things?
I decided to find out, in the first roundtable discussion here on the Blog Herald. That’s why I invited these fine blog network heavyweights to participate in the discussion.
In his ever present search for more money through slashing, Nick Denton of Gawker Media obviously concluded that the 1 million pageviews monthly on tech gossip rag Valleywag just won’t do. It has to go, and will do so at the end of the month according to Owen Thomas. Valleywag got to stick around two and a half years, but will live on as a part of Gawker Media flagship site Gawker, to which Thomas invites us for more snarky tech gossip.
9rules is now accepting submissions to round 8, which Tyme White wrote a few words on yesterday, and Scrivs announces – with traditional subtlety – today. If you want to be part of the 9rules blog network, submit your site and hope for the best.
ReadWriteWeb has disbanded its blog network, which included AltSearchEngines and last100, as well as the main ReadWriteWeb blog. Richard MacManus says that the reason for the decision is “to focus on building and extending our core ReadWriteWeb brand”. That makes sense, we’re in a recession after all, and it is better to tighten the portfolio and strengthen the things you truly believe in.
I will retain a personal stake in both AltSearchEngines and last100, but as of 1 November they are under the majority ownership of Charles Knight (AltSearchEngines) and Steve O’Hear (last100). I’d like to thank Charles and Steve for putting in so much effort to build up AltSearchEngines and last100 respectively. Both have done a great job covering their respective niches and we wish them all the best in continuing to grow the sites.
We are going to use this new investment prudently, to enhance our technology platform and content offerings, add to our current portfolio of publications and expand our Events and Briefings businesses. We are in investing for the long-term — in ourselves.
This move shows that Giga Omni Media will continue to expand aggressively, and further acquisitions, following the ones of jkOnTheRun and The Apple Blog, is likely.
Nick Denton’s successful blog network is getting ready for harder times. 19 of the 133 employers is being laid off, while another 10 is hired to strengthen the successful sites like Gawker, Kotaku, Gizmodo and Lifehacker. He’s also temporarily suspending the pageview bonus system, which have already seen some slashing, for the first quarter next year, while hinting that it might be out of the loop longer in his memo. It’s not all bad news for Gawker Media bloggers, though, since the base pay amount will be raised for the ones not getting sacked.