"BLOGS FINALLY GET BUSINESS SAVVY"
Business 2.0's Greg Lindsay has a decent overview of various business models popping up in the blogosphere, and he gives a plug for Tony and AlwaysOn:
Blogs finally get business savvy
Flurry of big deals in recent weeks provide many new ways for Web logs to turn a profit.
November 23, 2005
It can't be said anymore that blogging isn't a business. The problem now may be that blogging has too many business models to choose from.
Andrew Sullivan kicked things off by announcing he would soon decamp with his proto-blog to Time.com. That was followed in short order by the launch of Open Source Media, then the confusion over whether Gawker Media had finally sold out, in this case to Yahoo!, or had merely licensed some of its best known bloggers in exchange for a healthy dose of traffic.
After all the press releases had hit the wires, the usual suspects chimed in: Former Advance Newspapers' Internet chief and New York Times consultant Jeff Jarvis railed that Time.com doesn't get it; Media news site PaidContent.org heard from Yahoo's news and finance chief Scott Moore; and Jason Calacanis, who cashed out last month to AOL, wholeheartedly agreed with Moore. Still with us?
Buried under the flurry of comments and back-scratching were easily a half-dozen different business models, including one that may turn out to be one of the biggest opportunities of all -- although it went virtually unnoticed by the mutual admiration society because it involves print.
But let's recap before we get ahead of ourselves.
Based on all the possibilities, blogging business model options include:
Selling out to and joining mainstream media.
This is what Andrew Sullivan did. Although "selling out" in this instance means handing over the technical headaches of operating his site to Time.com while retaining editorial control and accepting a regular paycheck.
To an extent, Yahoo has done just that with Gawker's syndication (and about a billion other sources). But why stop at recombining them within another Web site? Why not a magazine? Or any other medium that advertisers are willing to pay for?
As it happens, that's exactly what Tony Perkins has done with Always On, where the repurposed punditry of his techie members has spawned a 100,000-circulation quarterly magazine aimed at an audience that missed reading it the first time.
Last week's final announcement, the one that was lost in the flurry, was Perkins' admission and boast that Always On will reach $2 million in sales this year, with a profit margin of 25 percent. The magazine is still an appendage of the site ("advertisers get more real estate, and it's a cross-promotional tool") but Perkins hopes to double sales and boost his margins next year with a 50-50 split between events and advertising. And he's willing to sell 50 percent of his company to do it. (full article)