Avid Life Media, the owner of sites including Hotornot.com, has reportedly partnered with “two prominent gossip bloggers” to make a $20 million bid Perez Hilton’s leading gossip website.
Maggie Shiels speaks with the team behind blogging platform Blogger, which has reached the 10-year mark and now has more than 300 million active users.
Is blogging on its way out or will the platform mark its 20th anniversary?
New Media Knowledge interviews Thomas Vollrath, managing director of domain name registry site 123-reg, for his thoughts on the state of the UK blogosphere and whether there’s money to be made in them there blogs.
Vollrath outlines the differences between running a not-for-profit blog and a design for a ‘sustainable monetised blog’, in particular the importance of content, ownership, not over-advertising, finding a niche and navigation.
The recent end of Shiny Media’s blog network merely underlines the difficulty of making money from blogs, he says.
“What I would say is that blogging isn’t going away any time soon. There still aren’t many other ways to publish short to medium-length articles easily and quickly. Lots of individuals and businesses have proved blogs are useful – whether they’re looking to make money from them or not,” he adds.
Following on from plans to map and identify ultralocal UK blogs and websites, Matt Wardman has started a new directory for local blogs, Nutshell.
It will feature:
- Sites focused on a defined and identified area or community.
- Sites edited and controlled from within that area or community.
- Sites which are editorially independent.
Shiny Media, the UK blog network that went into administration last month, has sold its fashion sites to Bright Station, an original backer of the company.
Catwalk Queen, Kiss and Make Up, Bag Lady, Shoewawa, Crafty Crafty, Dollymix, Trashionista, Shiny Gloss, Star Trip and Nollie have been bought up by Bright Station’s new vehicle Aigua Media Limited, reports TC UK.
The remaining Shiny titles remain with Shiny Digital Ltd, which bought Shiny Media straight after it was announced that it was going into administration.
Former Shiny Media title Who Ate All The Pies was bought by Anorak, but has experienced problems with the site, as it remained on Shiny Media’s server. (According to a tweet from editor Ollie Irish the site should be moved as of Monday)
A call to action on behalf of the Online Journalism Blog, which with the help of Matt Wardman, is attempting to build a map of locally-focused blogs in the UK.
Matt has some interesting thoughts on the opportunities for local news blogs in this post too.
“I think group blogs with varied teams of contributors may be best placed to provide a decent level of coverage and draw a good readership, while competing effectively with other media outlets. That is a trend we have seen in the political blog niche over several years – the sites which have established themselves and maintain a position as key sites have developed progressively larger teams of editors, and provided a wider range of commentary and services,” he suggests.
Arthur picks up on a trend made apparent by anecdotal evidence and research, and Technorati data on the Guardian’s own blogs, that the long tail of blogging is dying as bloggers turn to different, easier platforms.
So are blogs being replaced – and by what?
“Facebook’s success is built on the ease of doing everything in one place. (Search tools can’t index it to see who’s talking about what, which may be a benefit or a failing.) Twitter offers instant content and reaction. Writing a blog post is a lot harder than posting a status update, putting a funny link on someone’s wall, or tweeting. People are still reading blogs, and other content. But for the creation of amateur content, their heyday for the wider population has, I think, already passed. The short head of blogging thrives. Its long tail, though, has lapsed into desuetude,” writes Arthur.
The US’ Federal Trade Commission is extending is monitoring of reviews of products and services to blogs.
New guidelines expected to come into force this summer will expand the body’s remit to bloggers offering false claims or who do not disclose conflicts of interest.
An interesting shift in regulatory thinking:
“As blogging rises in importance and sophistication, it has taken on characteristics of community journalism – but without consensus on the types of ethical practices typically found in traditional media,” reports the AP.
As the BBC makes some style changes to its blog format, deputy director of BBC News, Stephen Mitchell, discusses the role of blogs at the BBC on Newswatch:
“Taking control over Brand You online requires that you are active, otherwise other people will define the image of you,” writes MediaCulpa’s Hans Kullin.
“By using different types of social media you can influence your own brand because many web 2.0 services like blogs and micro blogs rank very high in a Google search. Already back in 2005 I noticed that journalist blogs trump articles in traditional media – an entire career on a newspaper can’t match the high rank of a personal blog.”
Here Kullin takes a look at the positioning of his own name on Google and asks for additional advice from SEO experts.