In its 24 October edition, Business Week has an analysis of the recent sale of Weblogs Inc to AOL from the point of view of the potential for advertising in blogs.
Written by Stephen Baker, one of the bloggers on BW's Blogspotting, the article focuses on what it calls the "promising new micromedia model" where "blogs are cheap, easily updated, and can focus on a niche market with passionate followers - an advertiser's dream."
The interesting bit - how Weblogs can expand to meet advertiser demand:
[...] So [Jason Calacanis, Weblogs CEO] is counting on AOL to give him the resources and freedom to run a blog empire from his base in Santa Monica, Calif. The former publisher of the Silicon Alley Reporter has proven adept at quickly zeroing in on target audiences and hiring part-time bloggers from all over. Jim Bankoff, the AOL exec who negotiated the deal with Calacanis, wants Weblogs to develop loads of new blogs, including sites with audio and video channels. "Micropublishing is the next wave," he says.
Indeed. The article also mentions the deal announced last month between Gawker Media and Dutch publisher VNU to launch European versions of Gawker's Gizmodo gadget blog (if you visit Gizmodo, note the little flags at top-right of the screen - links to the localized versions).
Some good comments to the article, especially this contra one:
The "blogosphere" will disappear much like the "webosphere" did in the mid-'90s. Once the e-commerce benefits were noted and capitalized upon, the geeks were out, the F500 in. No reason to think blogs will be that much different. Web 2.0 may remain the domain of the true believers - wikis and whatever comes next - but consider blogging to have already jumped the shark. Few consumers will really know or care about the difference between a corporate Web site and a corporate blog. The core of transparency will likely go by the wayside on many of these blogs once "big media" has taken control. Discerning consumers may be able to note the product placements and other BS in posts, but non-discerning ones won't - and that's the marketing payoff. I say this as someone with one company that has a blog as its only Web site and another company that consults on blogs. Hope I'm wrong, but I don't think so.
That's not a bad argument, although not one I agree with - I don't believe for one second that the blogosphere will disappear as the commenter envisions it might - and neither does Jason Calacanis. Take a listen to a 20-minute podcast where Stephen Baker interviewed him last week following the announcement of AOL's acquisition.