The Business of Blogging

(my notes from this morning’s program on:)

Companies Talk About the Profits in the Blogging Boom

Wed. Sep 22nd 100 Park Ave. 7:30-10am

Moderated by Alan Brody

Blogging has taken off – and the presidential campaign has added fuel to the fire. But what about the profits? These industry leaders say they are there: the user profile is older and more affluent than most people realize. Viewers give serious attention to the blogging leaders and the companies that support them. Just how much attention and how much that is worth – and where this is going – is the subject of this season’s opening event. Once again, we explore the opportunities for entrepreneurs, investors and marketers in the evolving digital marketplace.

Henry Copeland, Founder, By connecting bloggers with advertisers, has taken what many considered trivial or idiotic, making a market out of obscure, souped-up personal diaries. Today blogs are recognized as king-makers and breakers, and connects hundreds of blogs with a spectrum of advertisers including Time Warner,, The Republican National Committee, The New Republic, Rhino Records, O’Reilly Media, Bagnews and Paramount Pictures. Ad orders range from $10 to $25,000. A former bond salesman in London and New York, and a journalist in Budapest, Henry Copeland founded, the parent company to Beyond serving bloggers, Pressflex today serves as webmaster for nearly 100 newspapers and magazines across Europe.

Dan Rather knows blogs are not just teenagers. Blogs are mavens.
Blogs are highly networked, unlike traditional news organizations, which are very possessive about readers & ideas. They are fast, because they are individual. They swap readers because readers get recycled thru the system. Bloggers are 10x more productive than journalists in terms of page impressions. Instapundit gets 1/100 of NYTimes entire traffic (which is ~400m page impressions/month).
Blogads in 2002 decided there was room in the market for someone to focus on placing ads on blogs. Very exciting audiences , influential readers. And very cheap to get ads on them. Now, 50m page impressions/month.


Stowe Boyd, President and COO of Corante, is an internationally recognized authority on business strategy and information technology, particularly with regard to real-time, collaborative and social technologies. His personal blog is A Working Model.

Blogging is a dialogue. All of the most successful blogs are very interactive. Community members are communicating independently of the blogger himself/herself. Joi Ito is the best example. He has created an infinite # of channels of communication. Bloggers heckle, argue with you. They’re writing as they read.
Blogging is very democratic; the good stuff gets picked up thru wisdom of the crowd
Blogging is unmediated. Corante has 20something blogs, and there is no editorial step where things are reviewed before they are posted.
Generally written in the first person.
Blogging works bottom up
The world is made up of millions of small markets. We used big media / broadcast because that was the only option.
Blogging is driven by personal brand. Cant be manufactured, and cant be imparted by newbies just by putting them under a NY Times masthead.
Media business should reformulate around the new paradigm.
Burn your brochureware. Openly discuss your plans and goals.
Stowe worked with a company that leveraged a team of volunteer experts to provide customer support.
Your markets are smarter than you are.
Brand is not a promise, it’s an invitation.

Bob Wyman, CTO and co-founder of, has been developing innovative, industry leading products for almost 25 years. Bob was the first product manager for the industry’s first customizable and integrated office automation suite at DEC and obtained some of the earliest in the field of DRM (Digital Rights Management.)

Deja vu of dot com.
We’re going thru a change in how businesses do business. Not blogging per se, but growing out of blogging. It’s a change in how we relate to information.
Old paradigm is backward search: go somewhere and look for something, i.e., “polling”. New paradigm: technology brings the info to you.
Blogging technology (e.g., pubsub) will make bank compliance management easier, because it makes it easier to monitor transactions.
Blogging etc. stress the network because news readers polls. In response, we’re developing more efficient ways to use the network, allowing people to communicate via narrowband.

David Teten is coauthor of The Virtual Handshake: Opening Doors and Closing Deals with Online Social Networks, the first mass market book about how businesspeople can leverage social network technologies. He is CEO of Nitron Advisors, an independent research firm that provides institutional investors with access to frontline industry experts. He is also Chairman of Teten Recruiting. He was formerly CEO of an investment bank specializing in internet domain names. David has worked with the Bear Stearns Technology Investment Banking group and Mars & Co. strategy consulting, and run a computer-consulting group. He holds a Harvard MBA and a Yale BA. He runs two blogs: TheVirtualHandshake and BrainFood.

See Twelve ways to make money from blogging technologyfor my presentation


Blogs get great search engine placement.
Every one of his developers writes his own blog, his personal status report.
Blogs do need to add value to get picked up; they cant be just self-promotion.


Mike Levin—What is a blog?
Copeland: it’s personality. A prosthetic device for your entire being.
June Harvard Business Review: article on ‘feed time’: virtually every data generating event in a business should be published in a syndication feed.
Blogging is much more than people talking.
Stowe: Blogs are part technology, but mostly aesthetic
Looking at a FAQ is soulless; blogs have personality.

Instead of finding stuff on the web because of WHERE it is (e.g., on , we’re getting to it because of WHAT it is.

Q: How does Blogads compete with Google?
Blogads now has revenues of a decent pizzeria.
Bloggers in Blogads system have a lot of flexibility in their pricing. Blogads is excited about letting journalists make a living without working for big publishing operation.

Koreans, Italians, Poles, Brazilians, Dutch, are really into blogging.

Q: relationship between blog phenomena and usenets.
Bob Nyman: these technologies generate different styles of discussions.
Teten: Usenets are serial discussion. Blogs generate a broader, parallel, set of answers which are more thoughtful.
Blogs have advantage of bottomup, not top down, taxonomy
Importance of ease of use, make blogging popular.

Blogs allow digital reputation/whuffie/swarmth.

Brody: People will vote with their links.