blogs in the news
From the AP: Success of Weblogs Heralds Big Future
[A]s more people have embraced the concept, what once seemed like a passing fancy has morphed into a cutting-edge phenomenon that may provide the platform for the Internet's next wave of innovation and moneymaking opportunities.
"Just like the Internet was 10 years ago, blogging is popular with an underground culture that is doing it for the love and passion," said Tony Perkins, who edited the recently folded Red Herring technology magazine and last month launched a business blog called Always On Network.
"Now there are people like me coming along and trying to figure out how to package it," Perkins said. "It's time to take it to the next level."
Other notables seeking to capitalize on the rise of the Web's so-called "Blogosphere" include Terra Lycos, America Online and Google.
Terra Lycos last month introduced publishing tools to help people launch their own blogs. America Online is expected to offer a similar service to its 35 million subscribers later this year.
"We want to take what has been an underground phenomenon and introduce it to the masses," said Charles Kilby, Terra Lycos' director of product marketing.
I can't say I agree--I see this as another L4m3 and ultimately doomed attempt for business to try to cash in on an Internet trend. For startes, there's no real reason why anyone in the "masses" who wants to do a blog right now couldn't do so, without needing an assist from Terra Lycos or whomever. Also, blogging represents a considerable commitment of time; since blogging software is already easy to use, it stands to reason that learning curve isn't a bar to entry.
Moreover, once again you have the inevitable problem of convincing people to pay for a service they currently enjoy for free. If memory serves me right, Salon's experiment with for-pay software and service hasn't been a stunning success.
Commercial blogging may indeed have a role in the future, but I'm not holding my breath--I don't see much behind the hype here.