Calacanis And Copeland: Weblog Advertising Outlook
Network Landscape's Jason Clarke interviewed two entrepreneurs who have carved out successful business models centered on weblogs. Clarke spoke with Weblogs, Inc. Founder Jason Calacanis and BlogAds Founder Henry Copeland.
Weblogs, Inc. publishes 70 niche-focused weblogs. BlogAds in an ad network offering advertisers reach to weblog readership. Both companies have seen tremendous growth in the last year and it's very likely that growth will continue.
In the interview, Clarke asked Calacanis, perhaps referring to Adrants, Adland or the many other advertising weblogs, if he was concerned about launching his advertising focused weblog, AdJab, into a crowded space.
Without missing a beat, Calacanis responded, "I never worry about competition."
In what could be construed as either a validation of the weblog business model or a backhanded slap, Calacanis referred to competing Gawker Media publisher Nick Denton thusly, "When Nick Denton launched knock-offs of Autoblog, Joystiq, Gadling and HackADay three or four months after we launched them I was thrilled. Not just because it establishes us as a leader in the space and Nick as the follower, but because advertisers could look at each of the blogs and say "do I want Coke and/or Pepsi" as opposed to "do I want to drink that strange dark fizzing liquid?!?!"
When Clarke ask BlogAds Founder Henry Copeland about how advertisers should understand weblogs, Copeland responded, in part, "blogs are about "you and me" but big media is about "us and them" (journalists versus audiences versus sources) or "it and it" (corporations versus consumers.) Advertising that smells like anything not created by a human for a human doesnt fit in the blogosphere." Copeland also believes most successful weblogs will come from individuals and not corporations which are tied down by shareholder and legal obligations.