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Wednesday, April 10, 2002

InstaPundit and ConservativeEconomist Articles Glenn Reynolds has a Tech Central Station column today on the future of weblogs. ("[E]ven top-of-the-line mainstream news institutions like The New York Times are becoming more like webloggers all the time, cutting the size and number of foreign bureaus, and relying more and more on wire services for original reporting to which they add commentary and 'news analysis.' That opens an opportunity for a widely-dispersed network of individuals to make a contribution.") Glenn also points to another TCS column by James Miller. Miller speculates about bloggers "selling out" if the economy picks up: "Soon, I suspect, the Internet will become a more profitable place to operate. When it is again profitable to attract a wide audience, bloggers will be hired by media companies. While not all bloggers will 'sell out' / 'sign up' those that do will get the advantage of working under a media brand name and will consequently grow in popularity and influence." Miller predicts "signing up" will occur because independent bloggers will be drowned out by the multi-media roar of corporate sites: "When high-speed Internet access proliferates...professional sites will go multi-media and the solo bloggers won't be able to compete." He presumes that "selling out" will follow. Maybe. But I'm reminded of the SXSW audience member who observed that fake corporate blogs are "like your dad trying to buy pot." They won't get read. So "selling out" has a built-in disincentive. See generally Gonzo Marketing.

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