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Blogging 2.0 – Blogging, Podcasting Growing UP -Yes They Are Mainstream November 7, 2008

Posted by John in social media, Technology.
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The economist has a great story about blogging and how it has gone mainstream. I would add podcasting to that list as well.  I was there when blogging started and podcasting and yes it is true both are mainstream leaving many of the pioneers like me and Jason trying to figure out the roles in the new order.  The fact is most pioneers can’t compete with mainstream professionals. The economist talks about Jason Calacannis as the example of blogging pioneer.  Jason is a great blogger and has shown the way for many.

Jason is a pioneer in blogging, but the real reason (my opinion) that Jason stopped blogging was because he had a company to build and run – Mahalo which is in big trouble.  Email makes sense for Jason because it is more controlled, and it keeps his social graph and influence in place verses the treadmill we call full time blogging.

When I started PodTech in the early days of 2005 had a huge audience and my show was very popular – millions of people were exposed to my podcast (thanks to blogging and itunes).  I gave that up to try to run the company that was venture backed.  Now I’m considering doing it again.  See poll on the side bar.

Back to Pioneering or Blogging and Podcasting 2.0

I see blogging changing so called Blogging 2.0.  It will more about real time collaboration.  More about experts not generalists.   In fact other blogger agree at web 2.0 summit I spoke with Toni Schnieder CEO of WordPress and he agrees.  They are seeing massive uptake on expert or specialism blogs.  Also this reaches deep into the web.  Toni mentioned that wordpress has over 200 million unique users – that’s massive.

I have launched a new blog in June called Broadband Developments www.BroadDev.com which is a prototype for a collaborative blogging hub.  So far the results are working.  We’ll see if that can be a model for Blogging 2.0 – experts working together.

Comments»

1. jason - November 7, 2008

How exactly do you see Mahalo being in big trouble do you think?

From where we sit it’s well ahead of plan and I’m feeling really pumped with:

a) 4.4-4.6m uniques a month
b) four years of capital
c) an amazing team of people
d) huge biz dev/advertising partnerships in the works

It seems that by any practical measure we are doing great. Wait until you see what we drop in December at Le Web!🙂

Exclusive Background: I’ve actually put *more* time into my email newsletter than my blog, so the theory that I need to spend more time on Mahalo is not exactly accurate in terms of the facts.

The truth is, the email newsletter (and my blog) have done much more for my startups than almost any business decision I’ve made. The marketing, attention, and ideas that are generated because of my blog, emails, TechCrunch50, and the never ending world-trou of speaking gigs Tyler arranges are, frankly, huge for our business.

The amazing thing about being on the supposed “a-list” is that any feature or product we launch gets 100-250k views/visitors. I can’t tell you what an amazing gift that is for running a business.

At Weblogs, Inc. everyone would, at the very least, check out each blog we launched. At Netscape folks would check out each feature and innovation, and the same thing holds true for Mahalo.

Social media at scale is a HUGE advantage for an entrepreneur. Frankly, half my value as a CEO comes from the massive following I’ve got on my various media channels.

The email newsletter broke 10,000 subscribers recently. That’s 10k core Mahalo beta users who I’ve brought together in about two months. In another year the newsletter could reach 20 or 30k subscribers. How insane would that be!

I do agree with much of what else your saying, and I do love your blog.🙂

all the best… your pal… JMC

2. John Furrier - November 7, 2008

Thanks Jason for commenting. First of all I’m with you on the social media benefits. My point was general blogging for a CEO like yourself doesn’t give you the kind of ROI that the newletter can yield (call it a kind of pruning your social graph to maximize your time). Personally I think the email newsletter is better for you for that precise reason. It really hones your social graph hence the quality – result great collaborative output. This is the new model and I think this is where Mahalo can go. Collaboration is the key to the next evolution in blogging.

My point about being in trouble maybe I shouldn’t have said big trouble but Maholo isn’t at that tipping point yet. I hope it gets there but this market will require supeior monetization on the business model side. I don’t think ad yields will get you there on that traffic. That was my point on the company prospects. Until you can move the ball deep down the field I think Mahalo is still open question.

The good news is you can’t go out of business with money in the bank. Having four years of cash – Damn that some ‘gas in the tank’.

This market will require some precision driving…

3. jason - November 7, 2008

For background, if we cut the portion of our burn that is dedicated to new products and expansion we would be at breakeven. So, at any point we could–not that we would–stop with new product development and run the company to profitability.

From my perspective the opportunity over the next two to five years–the dark years–will be slow and steady growth in products and services that deeply help people.

Our tag line: “We’re here to help.”

Our mission statement: “To provide people with information they can trust.”

We haven’t hit the major tipping point yet, but I can tell you when you race up to a base of four million uniques a month you’ve hit some minor tipping points and you’ve set yourself up for a major tipping point.

We’re gonna launch/evolve a new product/services every four months for the next four years. That’s 12 new products layered on top of our first three (Guide pages/our search results, How to articles, and our liveblog).

My world view, and i think in it in sync with yours, is that you never know what your break out success will be so the best strategy is to constantly innovate and listen…. innovate and listen…. innovate some more…. and listen some more. If you do that for a couple of years you’ll have an amazing product.

That’s what I did with Silicon Alley Reporter and VentureReporter–and it turned out well.

That’s what I did with Weblogs, Inc. and it turned our REALLY well.

That’s what Mike, Heather and I have done with the TechCrunch50.com conference and it’s worked out really well.

That’s what we’re doing with Mahalo and it’s working out really well.

As I’ve gotten older I’ve realized that the startup process is really not that complicated. You combine research, hard work, listening, humility with some delusions of grandeur and you’re off to the races.

Wait until you see the December launch we have planned.🙂

Much love, jcal

4. BobLoblawLawBlog: The Blogosphere Is Not Dead : tinyComb - November 7, 2008

[…] Performancing.com, Furrier.org, Economist and Valleywag November 7, 2008 | jason | tinyComb  […]

5. John Furrier - November 7, 2008

Can’t argue with you Jason on your view that innovation on the product side especially now. I’m really glad to hear that you’re not going to stop innovative just to get to cash flow postive. That would be selling yourself short. If you have ‘gas in the tank’ then keep innovating again like you said if you need to move quick to cash flow positive from some force majeure then you can do that.

In addition to your team it sounds like you have a good plan and great financers. CEOs need to have a strong financial partner (VC) that support the vision and plan for the company. Glad that you’re being supported by investors for thinking big. I know many entpreperenurs who get slammed by their VCs for have a bold vision and the passion and hard working ethic to get it done.

Thanks for the comments.

6. gregorylent - November 8, 2008

micropayments seem to be under-utilized in western countries, though they are responsible for many asian social-media companies being profitable …

(they bypass the credit card companies and their cost per transaction)

do you see a future in blogging/social media for micropayments?

advertising, no matter how niche and targeted, is not enough, i think

7. shelli Johnson - November 10, 2008

I don’t know how you Pioneer bloggers, podcasters and twitterers do it as it is! I’m a news, media, content, tech junkie, and a great multi-tasker, and still it’s impossible to keep up and consume all of the great insights provided by you, Jason, and countless others.

You are on another level to be able to stay in front of, and contribute as much as you do.

That said, we are grateful for your doing so, and we’d be nowhere without access to these resources.


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