A little greed is a good thing, but this is ridiculous.
Jason Calacanis has announced Weblogsinc, “a B2B Web site dedicated to creating niche Weblogs (a.k.a. blogs) across niche industries in which user participation is an essential component of the resulting product.” The resulting network, Calacanis says, will make easier for business readers to find information. That might happen. Might.
But who is going to write these blogs? “Our goal is to partner with individual webloggers, letting them do what they do best (writing, creating community, researching) while supporting them with what we do best (upgrading the software that drives their Web site, generating revenue, running the business). We split the profits 50/50 with each of our bloggers taking out only hard costs (i.e., sales commissions, credit card fees).”
That’s 50% of the profits after hardware costs and sales commissons are paid. So, assuming sales commissions are 30%… for every $10,000 in advertising revenue, a blogger will get let’s say… hmm… $2000?
Sounds like Calacanis has basically replicated the cost structure of traditional media, minus the printing presses.
There’s no room for blog owners/managers, unless the owner and operator are one and the same. As Calacanis himself has already moralized about the defection from Gawker of blogger Liz Spiers, bloggers who are employed by blogs are easily tempted by other offers.
Why join Calacanis’ keritsu when a whole portfolio of best-of-breed services is already alive and constantly evolving. Relying on the blogosphere for network traffic, Movable Type and pMachine for blogging technology and Blogads for ad sales, the same blogger could keep $8000, less some Paypal fees.
This is THIN media; lightweight tools, extreme specialization, rampant collaboration, swarming individuals, ad hoc decision-making… lots of small pieces loosely joined, as Dave Weinberger put it so nicely. (Via Buzzmachine.) Update: some good context from Wired.