I enjoyed Mike’s post. I’ve been at the ground floor of blogging from the beginning but from a podcasters standpoint -which is technically blogging. In fact was there when Techcrunch was formed and hung out with Mike for almost the first year. He’s right that back then blogging was a community. Now its a cage match.
When I founded PodTech I promoted the idea of a relationship ‘rolloup’ with with bloggers with producing video and not blogging. Even though we had one of the best bloggers on staff. My biggest mistake was that bloggers view everyone as competition and don’t like to partner including PodTech who explicitly stayed out of the text blogging. I even brought scoops to Mike very early on in the Techcrunch days, but a relationship never happened. We did a lot for others by developing social media models with video with blue chip advertisers willing to work with bloggers – case in point BlogHaus. Bloggers want an incentive with relationships that fund their business – links don’t do it anymore – links are not the scarce resource anymore.
On Mike’s massive rollup idea. I don’t think that a massive rollup will work. Instead blogger and blog networks better get used to the competition because the barriers to entry are low and there is money out there. I see that the market will shake things out and platforms like Techcrunch, b5, paidcontent will build their own affiliate networks. As a result you will vertical markets with economic benefits to those affiliate content networks that do a good job of targeting and serving their users.
Why do I say this? Because traditional agencies are dying. My new venture will hopefull be an asset to bloggers and blog networks because blogs have more value then is being realized by the current crop of ad networks.
The best blog networks that will be successful are the ones who develop create content, serve a distinct audience, develop profession business practices, build relationships rather than burn them, and act with integrity.
The market will weed out blog networks that have no credibility, no integrity, and poor business practices.