I was chatting on Skype with Pete Cashmore last week and I was glad that he came to the same conclusion I have about the current state of the blogosphere. If you haven’t noticed, the rich are getting richer – big blogs are getting bigger. They are getting more eyeballs, pageviews, and advertising dollars. The latter element – advertising dollars – is what is driving the phenomenon. Richard MacManus makes the case in relation to Bubble 1.0 and what he believes is Bubble 2.0:
But it’s funny that this page views model is at its foundation almost identical to the Dot Com days (bubble 1.0). Drive as many users to your site as humanly possible – that’s the modus operandi of all websites, web 2.0 or not.
Blog networks (of which I am part of one) are an obvious attempt to become more like old media or at least assume elements of them – attain a critical mass of great content to drive page views, which ultimately will attract advertisers and their dollars.
Then take a look at what is happening with Gigaom, TechCrunch, and other blogs. These sites, while originating as a “personal brand”, as part of the new media, are quickly becoming old media all over again. TechCrunch, for example, has multiple contributors besides Mike Arrington. Mike even mentioned in his TechCrunch Turns One Year Old post that my buddy Marshall Kirkpatrick “will be taking a big part of the writing load off of [his] back.” In that case, Mike truly will become more like an Editor-in-Chief and probably focus more on business development.
There is no way smaller blogs or even popular blogs, who cover the same sort of space and content matter, can keep up with a TechCrunch. That is why it and the Gigaoms of the world are beginning to run away with more and more visitors, page views, RSS subscribers, and ultimately $$$$.
I even noticed that Richard had a guest blogger recently. My instinct is that in order to keep the content engine running and humming, having multiple contributors on personal branded blogs will become a more and more popular trend going forward. And that’s especially true for those who already have relatively lucrative advertising revenue on their sites.