Blogs on Ice: Signs of a Business Model?
Uberblogger Doc Searls once noted that blogs don't necessarily need a business model to be worthwhile. "Does your phone have a business model? How about your porch? Or your driveway?" he asked at Dave Winer's Bloggercon last November at Stanford Law School. "Do you refuse to buy furniture unless you can find a way to make money off of it?" His point: Blogs' key value may be indirect, providing satisfaction on their own terms or leading to other opportunities.
Just heard about an interesting example of the latter: Ice.com, the online jewelry merchant, now has three blogs (here, here, and here) that are driving an amazing amount of traffic and sales to its main site. "We get thousands of leads a week from our blogs," CEO Shmuel Gniwisch told me today. Clearly marketing vehicles, these blogs stretch the definition. But given that its customers on average spend about $200 an order, that's a pretty good business model.