Blog Networks Re-examined

Pramit Singh, an “information professional working in New Delhi”, has written an interesting piece on blog networks over at MediaVidea.

Trawling through various opinions and scenarios, the main emphasis of the post is on the downside risks and problem areas of digital networks. Many of these points have been aired on other sites, not least on this one.

Here’s the take on Syntagma : “In fact, one blog network, Syntagma Media, which had more than 50 blogs, cut down on all redundant blogs and ended up with just 3 sites, which are now being run along the Engadget model – as magazines.”

That’s not quite accurate since we still have 55 sites. We’ve simply packaged them around three (soon four) portals under a concept we call “network magazines”. It does worry me that some intelligent and otherwise informed individuals can still get this wrong. But then maybe that’s a positive outcome. If visitors now see our inventory as three magazines, rather than a collection of “blogs”, that indicates that the system is working.

Even b5media gets a bit of excessive pidgeon-holing : “B5media specializes in Celeb blogs.” Whatever happened to the other 13 channels?

The fact is, the average surfer is not going to grasp your wonderful arrangements and system concepts while flicking through your inventory. When people who know the ground get it wrong, though, some head-scratching is clearly in order.

It is good to be reminded of these points from time to time, obvious though they are. One thing I’ve learned since coming into this business is that quality of traffic is preferable to tidal waves of Digg- or Slashdot-type invasions. Some of our low trafficked sites make more money than our highly visited ones. The secret of success is not to close down the bigger sites, but to divert specific segments of the tidal traffic flows onto the higher-paying inventory — and that’s the basis of our network magazine theory. It does work too.

The more the content is diverse and easy to use and find, the better the visit rate will be. People do not like too many complications when they are surfing the Internet and most of them have a very average knowledge of computers and the Internet itself. The less they have to encounter problems with the websites they like to visit, the better their attendance will be. In terms of visit, smaller sites tend to have low traffic because people like to put themselves in the bigger groups. This does not mean that smaller cites cannot make big money at all.Blog

There’s one simple principle that’s always drummed into new entrepreneurs : it’s no good making wonderful products if you can’t sell them. This is why our Retailz USA portal will be a step change from what we’ve done before, and will introduce a wholly new concept of managing, producing and presenting content online. What we are dreaming up is nothing less than a revolution in the portalization of commercial content.

Network magazines Mark II will be far in advance of the original concept of blog networks. In fact, you’ll hardly recognize it.