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the Big Blog Company | Nano-publishing session and vertical blogging
“Who yer callin' a sparrow, you schmuck?!”
The bird on the back.
April 26 2005
Tuesday
Nano-publishing session and vertical blogging
Adriana Cronin-Lukas • lesblogs 
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This session, chaired by Dominque Busso, had the most panellists. Gaby Darbyshire of Gawker media, Jason McCabe Calacanis of WeblogsInc, Julio Alonso of Weblogs SL, Christophe Labédan of The Social Media Group, Ludovico Magnocavallo of Blogo.it and Stowe Boyd, Corante

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Stowe
It’s about social media. We are after the culture [mindset?] not a mass media publication. We connect to community, people who care about social tools, e.g. we have a copyright blog, and build from that advertising, consulting, and events. We find people who are experts and bring them to our Corante roll. We don’t create them, they create themselves.

Jason Calacanis
Le Monde or Times, you expect a certain way it was written – bosses, editors and by the time the story is published is not what you submitted. The reader expects ‘refined content’. But he comes to blog with zero expectations. It’s unfiltered. You can see my comments, my spelling errors but you know I am not being filtered. Both [blogs and journalism] have the same job – to tell the story but two different processes to get to the truth. As a journalist, I say that blogging is more efficient to the truth. It’s the process of filtering journalism does not get you closer to the truth. With blogging, if you get something wrong, the world knows immediately

Christophe
On the one hand we have the traditional media with structured information and on the other side you have bloggers. I think we get more information from blogs. On a blog you can’t avoid confrontation.

Lodovico
Blogs are not common as US, on topics that we are expert. Lot of mistakes but get corrected by other bloggers and readers.

Jason
Define the writers. We split revenue with our bloggers. 6-9 months until the money starts coming in. People want to get paid in perfect way and they take the deal. We want to have 500-600 blogs in the next 2-3 years. And the only way to do that is to give them [bloggers who write for us] what they want and pay them money. Some work only 2 hours a week, some more up to 40 hours a week. Ballpark range $100 to $3-4,000.

Gaby
New barrier to entry – anyone can do it, content and quality, you have to be talented. Writing for us is also for prestige. The distinction between editorial and advertising is blurred. We focus on quality content. We pay flat fee, and the problem then is making sure that the writer can see the fruit of success. But we guarantee you salary that is journalistic salary. It means that you cannot control the business… just like in a traditional publication.

We tried to keep the balance between fair and right to keep talent and make sure that business can invest in growth of new titles. Advertising is not good for writers. People write about what they do.

Stowe
This kind of nano-publishing is another segment of traditional media. In Corante, different parts of the business are done for different reasons…

Gaby
What makes a blog successful is far more interesting. It’s about the quality.

You don’t need capital to launch a blog, as a result of individual blogs as a different objective. In turn you are paid in respect etc. When journalists talk about bloggers parasitical on journalism, they don’t have the time to scour everything. The entire blogosphere is a huge army at disposal to anyone interested in using it. Researching deeper and deeper – well connected and can write in a way that no traditional publication can do. It’s a symbiosis not adversity.

We certainly try to do things right in the ‘new industry’, we make phone calls, fact check, and if we are wrong, we correct.

Dominque Busso
It’s hard for big media to focus, bloggers can.

Stowe
I always tell people who say that they don’t have time to read blogs - you must take the time and do that before you launch blogs yourself. An extra hour on internet is an hour that they don’t watch television.

Creating a brand – consistency, design, regularity. Many bloggers would do that on their own. Title just gives expectation of the brand.

Jason
Tried to buy small business blog but the people are so independent that they would never come to work for us. We have to find another type of blogger.

Stowe
Blogger burn-out is an issue.

Publishing blogs are a stop-gap measure, resurrecting publishing model on the blogs is not the future. [Quote of the session.]

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