The Team, The Meme and The Individual Blogger

[qi:076] Fred Wilson this morning laments how TechMeme, a site that tracks the world of tech blogs, is changing. “I still go to it every day to take the temperature of the tech blog scene, but I don’t see my friends on it so much anymore,” he writes. I know how you feel, Fred, but then the blog cosmos is ever changing, as new voices emerge on an almost daily basis.

Still, there is one point he made that needs to be addressed.

The other thing that has changed is that many of the blogs I “grew up” with are not individual blogs anymore. Rafat has a team, Arrington has a team, Om has a team. They are much better at putting out a stream of blog posts all day long, but they aren’t the same thing as Mike and Om blogging along with me. And you can’t compete with an army of bloggers on the techmeme leaderboard.

What Fred says is certainly true. I have a team, and they all work hard and create great content on a daily basis, and that’s what you would expect from a startup whose main business is content. However, his assessment isn’t 100 percent on the mark.

Like Fred, most people presume that because I have a team, I don’t personally blog as much. Take this month, for example. So far, we have published 82 posts on GigaOM.com, of which 60 were written by me. That’s roughly 74 percent of the total posts published on my blog. It works out to about four posts a day (given I don’t work on weekends).

What I have are domain experts on topics for which my knowledge is simply not up to snuff. Gaming, for instance, where I defer to Jane and Wagner, or Web 2.0 strategies, which are tracked by Anne. There are some guest columns, of course. But the blogger is like a solo performer: a cellist, for example, who brings in a pianist and a violinist to add more flavor to the performance. Turn it into a 40-piece orchestra and yes, the performance loses some of its intimacy.

That is what we have been trying to avoid, and why we have chosen to build separate brands around GigaOM — and keep GigaOM as close to its roots as possible. Building new brands like NewTeeVee, WebWorkerDaily, FoundRead and Earth2Tech is a challenge, but in the long run it is a better strategy. It addresses the very questions Fred brings up. The GigaOM community continues to get what they expect (most of the time.) After all, isn’t that precisely why I left my job to start this company?

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