Gawker and Weblogs Inc. are cashing in on the fever surrounding blogs. Weblogs sells to AOL, Gawker signs a distribution deal in Europe. But their success doesn't mean much for millions of other bloggers. Instead, it shows us that the blog world is a promising place for media entrepreneurs.
Gawker's Gizmodo and Weblogs' Engadget are new media magazines. They have wide readership, lightning fast editorial processes, and a format that invites interactivity. What's more, they operate in a lively and fast-growing sphere that pulsates with buzz and propagates links by the millions. As a publisher, what's not to like about that?
This is a new form of mainstream media. This isn't to say that millions of other blogs won't develop their own economic success. But that will likely be grounded in micropublishing and ultra-targeted advertising. It's a different story altogether.
I look at Gizmodo and Engadget as a sign of what's coming in mainstream journalism. As these two worlds converge, more and more journalists will be sitting at the breakfast table blogging, just as I am now. Some will have bosses, others will be on their own. Most of them, I'm betting, will have to buy their own health insurance.