Archive for October, 2007
How do you when you’re in a bubble? Perhaps when one of the industry’s key proponents says we are. In a blog entitled “The Web 2.0 World is Skunk Drunk on Its Own Kool-Aid,” Steve Rubel (Edelman PR exec and Micropersuasion blogger) opines that things have gone too far: “Many people I know, love and respect are heralding every new site as like it’s Jes.usR.com. No one’s casting a cynical eye anymore. No one’s looking at valuations and reality – or at least very few people are.” He bemoans that the thirst for changing the world and creating value has gone and now it’s just about “chasing the almighty dollar.” Lots of his readers agree with him.
In a similar vein, John Heilemann of New York Magazine takes a New Yorker’s look at Silicon Valley and its bubble here. His conclusion: “Well, maybe it is a bubble. But out in Silicon Valley, they don’t think of that as a bad thing at all.”
Hot on the heels of the news of Business 2.0’s demise comes strong rumor of the re-birth of the Industry Standard – poster child of the dotcom bubble and famed for its rooftop parties.
Brad Stone reports the details here, including the hunt for an editor-in-chief. Check out this interesting comment from a former European editor, Mike Butcher:
“As a former European editor with The Standard (and blogger, during their abortive blogging experiment after the mag closed) I’d be amazed they make this work. What IDG should have done was to keep the brand going online during the Nuclear Winter when the market tanked. They didn’t and others have taken the Standard’s place. One thing they could do, however, is concentrate on investigative reporting. There is a lot of chatter these days but very few real dirt-digging scoops.”
It’s been clear for a while that the most popular blogs are faring much better than their traditional media counterparts when it comes to growing readership and pulling in ad revenue. Today, Henry Blodget (he of the Amazon $400 stock prediction) put his finger in the wind and came up with the valution of $100m+ for TechCrunch. Michael Arrington was, unsurprisingly, delighted.
Perhaps the figure is a little over the top, but the point still stands – TechCrunch et al must be looking mighty attractive to quite a few of the mainstream media who have not hit it out of the park online. As Douglas A. McIntyre (who started the discussion in the first place) points out, AOL is already the proud owner of Weblogs Inc (home to Engadget, among others), plus:
“…with the internet operations at newspapers and some other tradition media companies making very little headway, the big blogs take on a very significant attraction. They reach audiences in great numbers. They have credibility. They are not expensive to run. And, they make money.”
McIntyre makes a good case that the New York Times or Washington Post should snap up the Huffington Post for $100m or more, that the Times or Dow Jones should look at popular stock blog Seeking Alpha, and cnet should go for TechCrunch.