A new network has formed to try again at creating a UK blog enterprise of any scale. BeautyAndTheDirt.com editor Krista Madden has started Handpicked Media, focusing on beauty, style, entertainment, food, art and culture.
Sites in the network include Handpicked’s own Beauty Woo Me, Stylejunkee and Grooming Guru as well as Gothamist-owned Londonist, girl’s soccer site Kickette and 16 other third-party sites. Madden says she wants to “find innovative ways of monetising their businesses … by recognising that advertising and PR are inextricably linked when communicating with niche consumers”. Does that mean sponsored posts? We don’t know; but it’s effectively about amassing scale for advertisers, via a new blog ad ad house Tailsweep. Advertisers have so far included Lastminute.com, Eurostar, HSBC and Schweppes.
The effort to build a UK equivalent of the Gawker, WeblogsInc or b5media empires is littered with detritus…
— Mink Media, started by Azeem Azhar, shut after its assets were sold in 2006.
— MessyMedia, the blog house started by Lloyd Shepherd and Andrew Levy, launched Westmonster and Glitterditch but shut 12 months ago, citing small audiences and the ad downturn.
— Shiny Media landed $4.5 million VC cash in 2007 but laid off nearly half its staff this year, lost some co-founders and has cut back on content – but it’s still the brightest hope.
— Anorak Media is a male-focused publisher led by Shiny co-founder Ashley Norris.