April 30, 2005

But Can They Avoid the Business Week Curse?

GIVE THEM CREDIT for ignoring the augurs and the auspices. Just days after Business Week had blogs prominently featured on the magazine's cover -- thus signaling the end of blogging as we know it* -- a team of bloggers has announced they're going to start a blog-based advertising network and a blog-based professional news service, among other projects.

I do wish the guys luck in their endeavor, and I think the first half of their project could Actually Make Money Someday, provided they're able to a) work out the technical specifics; b) make the product specialized enough to serve both advertisers and blog-writers; c) keep costs very low; and d) convince people with shrinking marketing budgets that blog advertising is the most cost-effective place to spend their dollars.

Certainly there's a potential demand on the blog side for such a service, because it would be useful; but would there be demand on the marketing side? That I don't know.

As for the blog news syndicate, it's a nice idea, but I can't for the life of me figure out how they'll make money. The only workable model for that is advertising-driven, because established media and bloggers alike just won't pay for the content -- or if they do, they won't pay enough to pay the bills. So I'll have to see the success to believe it.

But who knows? Perhaps our intrepid bloggers could break the Hideous Business Week Curse, which has bedeviled investors and the companies, products and services they like for -- Gad, near on a quarter-century. Perhaps they could just pull it off.

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* Many Rant readers know about my long-standing fascination with the Business Week Curse -- and Henry Copeland has a great post explaining it in detail -- including a photo of the infamous Feb. 14, 2000 cover, which reads simply: "The Boom."

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Holy ... Toledo. BW's Stephen Baker, writing on the magazine's blog: "It hurts to admit it, but Henry Copeland mounts an uncomfortably convincing case that a BW cover story can be a curse." Hey, maybe the BW guys do get blogging, after all!

Posted by Benjamin Kepple at April 30, 2005 08:46 PM | TrackBack