Business 2.0 covers blogging entrepreneurs in its latest cover story, calling the upstarts “Real businesses, with real revenue streams from real advertisers — not overhyped next big things with pick-a-number valuations based on selling out someday to some overenthusiastic big-media sugar daddy.” Writers Paul Sloan and Paul Kaihla herald the entrance of “mainstream blogdom” (the MSB?). Obviously, since B2.0 is Om’s former employer and he continues to write a column for them, there are a lot of conflicts of interest here, so we’re throwing the rookie into the ring! Yay.
The story keeps its eye on the money, pegging Gawker’s revenue at $3 million this year, Boing Boing and paidContent at more than $1 million per year, with TechCrunch making $60,000 per month (making an additional $50,000 from sponsors at that party last Friday) and Fark “soon” making $600,000 to $800,000 per month. Meanwhile, paidContent, GigaOM, and the Huffington Post have raised venture capital.
Sugar Publishing (which is raising VC money now) gets 12 million page views per month but “doesn’t expect to earn a dime until the end of next year,” though after that it’s purportedly going to make “$15 million in revenue in 2008 and $40 million in 2009.” The big exit so far is Jason Calacanis’ $25 million. For a note of skepticism, B2.0 notes Organic’s estimate of total blog ad spending at just $40 million, with bloggers selling most of their ads at discount rates.
New publishing technologies are thrusting media empire-building into warp speed. We all know how dude-with-a-blog can quickly turn to dude-with-a-brand, but it’s not clear how dude-as-a-company will work. Don’t blink!