I’ve talked about the world of blogging in past columns so I won’t bother with the detailed definitions here. (Quite simply, if you work in the online business today and don’t know what a blog is then either get informed or consider a career change). What is worth re-stating, however, is that blogs are incredible opinion machines. Bloggers love to chat and rant to the world at large about any issue under the sun. Without that darn fiddley HTML, blogs made personal publishing easy, and the greatest exponent of this was Blogger.com itself, alongside a handful of other platforms.
Some bloggers have managed to even make money, usually with a PayPal “tip-jar” (like AndrewSullivan.com) but they are a rarity, and, like Sullivan, are often moonlighting professional writers. This is the “op-ed” end of the blogging spectrum. Few thought blogging could amount to much outside of sheer vanity publishing.
But in mid-2002 strange things started to happen. A handful of entrepreneurs started launching blogs as business propositions. Nick Denton, the former British journalist and founder of Moreover.com, aired his theory of “80 per cent publishing”, and “Thin Media”.
Then in July last year, Denton launched Gizmodo.net, reviewing and providing quick links to new hi-tech gadgets. The result? An online media property that has so far been read by over 260,000 people, of whom over 8,500 people visit each day, and which gets about 500,000 page impressions a month. Not bad for something that takes it’s editor less than a couple of hours a day to update. And the revenue? The jury is still out, but as an Amazon affiliate, almost every gadget is there to buy. And besides, the running costs are practically nothing