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March 03, 2005


Charlie O'Donnell

I disagree, for two reasons. First, for personal bloggers, I doubt you'll see very many people want to sign up with big media companies to host their blogs. It may work for Friendster because Friendster is a user focused space which people personally identify with. You can post all sorts of things to your profile, link to friends. Its a natural extention that you might want to write on it as well. Personal blogs are about indentity and who really wants to indentify with the NY Times... the very "mainstream" media that bloggers were supposed to be a juxtaposition against. Second, for the media companies, while it might be a nice revenue stream, do they really want the headache. What if I start a blog on my NBC blog all about how NBC isn't worth watching now that Seinfeld is gone? Mainstream media would never go for having all of this unchecked content tied back to them. Plus, how would people tell the difference between the NYTimes bloggers covering tech and the actual NYTimes tech page itself--especially if the bloggers had better content? It works for portals, and in fact I think Typepad will eventually become Yahoo's blogging system as well. I don't think it works for media plays that have lots of content on their own.... unless, of course, their content is all blogger content.

Bob Wyman

Charlie O'Donnell wrote: "It works for portals, [but] I don't think it works for media plays that have lots of content on their own...."
Personally, I think that the media sites, particularly newspapers or local TV stations, are going to need to work more like portals in the future. They would use their premier ability to provide local content as the means to attract an audience from their community and then provide broad access to other content by partnering with organizations with more global scope. Perhaps I'm twisted in this view, but to me, the really powerful "Google Local" or "Yahoo Local" would actually be branded by local media and was a mix of content sourced from the local as well as other content from the non-local partner. Thus, if I was a resident of Grand Forks, North Dakota, I would go to the Grand Forks Herald to get not only in-depth local coverage but also all that either Google or Yahoo offered. An alternative would be for an organization like the Associated Press to build the non-local components that would then be built into and branded by the local media. In this model, which is untried, the local media would be the portal. Providing a place for community members to blog is just one of the many services that the "portal" would provide.

bob wyman

jim winstead

funny enough, this sounds very, very similar to the business model of idealab’s homepage.com (where i worked, once upon a time), which offered what was basically a rebrandable geocities-like service so places like icq.com and about.com could offer ‘free homepages’ to people. homepage.com died during the bubble collapse.

but back when blogger was having early troubles (about the time megnut left?), i pointed out to someone in management that it might be a good thing to try acquiring. it’s now one of those things i can look back on and marvel at what a stupid genius i was.

one of the widgets we made that people could add into their pages was something that listed headlines using rss, a la my yahoo!’s rss implementation. i don’t think we ever rolled it out on homepage.com, or any of the branded sites. but this was would have been in early 2000. who knew?

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