Federated Media Could Be The Next Big Blog Network
No, ladies and gentlemen, blog networks aren’t dead, they’re just a bit more anonymous than they used to. Not counting b5media of course, they’re doing their thing as usual… The blog networks of today are more subtle, not big network navigation bars or set templates, although some still do that. It is more of a subtle form of networking these days, with individual brands linking together in partnerships.
The individual brand is important, so it makes sense to make it stand on its own. I’ve written about that previously on Wisdump.
Back to blog networks. So you’ve got b5media, and then there’s Gawker and AOL/Weblogs, and then some.
Enter: Federated Media?
Why would Federated Media, who sells ads with a 40% cut (not verified number), be the next big blog network? It is a valid question.
I’ve been thinking about this for some time, and it makes even more sense now, with the rumor of Federated Media taking another $50 million in venture capital money, which Duncan Riley over at TechCrunch quickly connects to this response in an interview with John Batelle in March:
Battelle: Well, I can’t say specifically what we might do with any money that we might raise, should we do a fund-raising round. But I think there are an awful lot of opportunities in this emerging field and it’s just good to have access to capital to execute any reasonable ideas that we might have. It’s a very quickly changing market and it needs financing. I mean individual sites need financing and we want to be a good partner for all of our sites.
The last sentence is the key.
Federated Media is connected to a lot of sites, all fairly big, and some being true hotshots, like TechCrunch, Ars Technica, GigaOM, Mashable, and Wikia. We’re talking serious names here.
These will not join a Federated Media blog network, other than for ad dollars.
However, there are others who would probably consider it, should Federated Media provide a package that more or less guarantees more money, traffic, and exposure. There are several sites and blogs in Federated Media’s portfolio that sport less than 1m pageviews per month. Those would benefit from joining the hypothetical FM blog network.
I don’t think Federated Media want to buy in on too many blogs, although they might do in some cases. I do, however, believe that they at least are considering the option to package a select number of sites in a network, where they have some kind of investment beyond the rights to sell ads.
They slammed Glam in the TechCrunch interview. Maybe they are heading that way after all?
Thord Daniel Hedengren is a designer, writer, and blogger, and also the former editor of The Blog Herald. He used to be a hotshot in the gaming industry in Sweden, but sold everything and went International. Most recently he wrote a book called Smashing WordPress: Beyond the Blog, and does loads of kickass design.
Interesting perspective, though funding blogs doesn’t mean they’re a blog network. A “network” by its very definition requires some kind of connection (beyond just one company owning or funding the blogs).
From survey, social network will becoming an important application.
FM has had a few great marketing campaigns, such as this
FM is th next big thing i also think so
In the interview you mention, Batelle didn’t slam Glam for being a blog network per se, but rather for their advertising tactics, namely arbitrage-driven, run of net, low-value ads.
The real opportunity that FM seems to have a firm grasp on is a truly author-driven approach, something that is a sustainable, fun, and ultimately brand value-adding approach. It’s this user-driven approach that’s necessary for blog or ad networks to survive in an ultimately user-driven web2.0 world.