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May 19, 2008

Is Mr. Blodget angling to sell SAI to Mr. Arrington?

Ed: Is Mr. Blodget angling to sell SAI to Mr. Arrington? 

The history of publishing has never restricted new pubs from displacing legacy pubs. That won't change online. 

Realizing value via an exit has been a relevant issue for publishing. Increasing liquidity for online publishing is good news for independent journalism.

What Ars Technica - Conde Means For TechCrunch, Blog Wars, et al

michaelarrington.jpgThe exact amount Conde Nast paid for Ars Technica has yet to be reported (as far as we know), but most folks agree that it probably accounted for the bulk of the $25 million Conde paid for three sites: Ars Technica, WebMonkey, and HotWired. So let's call the Ars valuation $15-$20 million, or in the neighborhood of the $15 million Doug McIntyre estimated in 24/7 Wall Street's "The 25 Most Valuable Blogs").

What does this mean for the ongoing blog wars?

First, Ars Technica, TechCrunch, PaidContent, etc., are building real businesses that will continue to be seen as vital properties in the portfolios of traditional media companies. We suspect the rate of acquisition--and the valuations--for the top properties will continue to increase in the next few years. We've said before that we think that industry-leader TechCrunch will eventually sell for $100 million. Assuming Michael Arrington & Co. don't blow it, we still believe that.

Second, the blog wars are only going to get more competitive. Now that Conde, et al, have validated this business, we suspect more capital and talent will flow into the sector. This will continue to transform the industry from one with low capital-requirements, part-time amateur writers, and almost accidental success to one that requires significant capital and full-time professionals.

Third, not all trees will grow to the sky. There will likely be, at most, 4-5 properties and brands in each sector that survive as stand-alone, sustainable businesses. (Recall that brief, happy period when folks were excited about the future prospects of Lycos, Infoseek, and Excite). The good news: More properties will be bought by larger players than will survive.

Fourth, there will likely be an increase in blog merger activity. TechCrunch's Michael Arrington has already outlined his blog world-domination plan. If TechCrunch doesn't do it, someone will.

So where does this leave SAI? Running as fast as we possibly can (thanks for reading!).

See Also: TechCrunch's Michael Arrington Wants to Merge With Blogosphere, Kill CNET

Disclosure: PaidContent has reported that SAI is or has been in merger talks with TechCrunch.

Wendy Piersall Shares her Blog’s Tipping Point

Today Wendy Piersall from Sparkplugging answers my question of about when her blog had it’s Tipping Point.

This is actually a difficult question for me, because there were several tipping points. The first one was the first link I received from an A-List blogger - you. It opened up a lot of doors for me. But obviously, links from A-List bloggers can only take you so far, and can’t really act as a tipping point in and of itself.

Thinking back, it would be an obvious answer to say that when I switched from a blog to a blog network was the major tipping point. But in reality, I was already the top blog dedicated to working at home before that. So I can’t really pinpoint one singular tipping point as “THE” thing that happened to put me on the map.

Instead, there were small, but important, tipping points that worked together along the way:

  • The day I changed my editorial decisions from what I wanted to say and based them instead on what readers wanted to read as determined by analytics and reader feedback
  • Winning a ticket and going to Elite Retreat, allowing me to meet and work with some seriously talented marketers
  • Announcing that I landed a writing gig with Entrepreneur.com based on my previous blogging track record
  • Speaking at my first blogging conference, SOBCon ‘07
  • Changing to a blog network in September ‘07
  • Changing from eMoms at Home to Sparkplugging in April ‘08


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