Business Week uncovered
Saturday, May 7th, 2005
Stephen Baker, one of the authors of last week’s bullish Business Week cover story on blogging, does the cluetrain thing and writes on BW’s blog, “It hurts to admit it, but Henry Copeland mounts an uncomfortably convincing case that a BW cover story can be a curse.”
Baker rightly notes that BW wasn’t making a market call in this cover issue. But he stands by his prediction that traditional media can dominate blogging: “what do you do if you’re a big media company that’s getting its lunch handed to it by smart, nimble blogging startups? My guess: You try to buy a passel of them.” Maybe. In fact, I know of cases in which bloggers were in negotiations to be “bought” by traditional media, but traditional media could’t match the latitude and revenues that blogging already provides in this early stage of its development. The publisher’s ability to pay was capped both by traditional journalistic pay scales (don’t want those print boys griping when a blogger works 6 hours a day at home and makes more than they do!) and multi-layered publishing overheads, which left not enough juice for all to stay hydrated.
Again, I’m a happy reader of Business Week. It’s extremely well written, concise and full of quotable factoids. It does a wonderful job of encapsulating yesterday and the current moment. I just don’t trust it’s look into the future. Though now that Stephen and Heather are blogging on their own outside of the editorial info-processor, maybe the foresight will improve.