2005-05-08

Kommerzielle Blogimperien - Top oder Flop?

--- Die Bloggerszene ist ja am liebsten nach wie vor mit sich selbst besch�ftigt und wird mit der Nabelschau heute mal wieder t�chtig von der New York Times unterst�tzt. Die grey old lady widmet sich -- wie schon so manches gr��ere Printprodukt zuvor -- dem "Blogger-Imperium" Nick Dentons, das nach dem New Yorker City-Vorzeigeblog Gawker benannt ist. Denton ist demnach ziemlich abgeturnt vom ganzen Bloggerhype, weil er lieber sein bisschen Geld damit in Ruhe machen will: Don't ask Nick Denton, publisher of Gawker Media and its growing list of popular Web logs, about his empire. "People come up to me as if it's witty and say, 'How is the empire going?' " Mr. Denton said, "which is pretty pathetic." Don't ask him about his business plan, either. He says he never had one. The only reason he formed the company, he said, was to make his network of blogs - which includes Gawker, the flagship chronicle of Manhattan news and gossip; Fleshbot, the thinking person's diary of smut; and about 10 other titles - more attractive to advertisers. ... "The hype comes from unemployed or partially employed marketing professionals and people who never made it as journalists wanting to believe," he said. "They want to believe there's going to be this new revolution and their lives are going to be changed." For all of the stiff-arming and disdain that Mr. Denton brings to the discussion of this nonrevolution, however, there is no question that he and his team are trying to turn the online diarist's form - ephemeral, fast-paced and scathingly opinionated - into a viable, if not lucrative, enterprise. Big advertisers like Audi, Nike and General Electric have all vied for eyeballs on Gawker's blogs, which Mr. Denton describes as sexy, irreverent, a tad elitist and unabashedly coastal. He says that there is no magic behind Gawker Media, his three-year-old venture based in New York. To his mind, it is built around a basic publishing model. But like it or not in the overheated atmosphere of blog-o-mania, Mr. Denton, 38, remains one of the most watched entrepreneurs in the business. ... a published interview with Mr. Steele earlier this year provides some insight. Bloggers are paid a set rate of $2,500 a month, he told a digital journalism class at New York University taught by Patrick Phillips, the editor and founder of I Want Media, a Web site focusing on media news. When asked in the class if the company was in the black, his response was straightforward. "It is profitable," Mr. Steele said. ... others have begun to wonder if the brand itself is a form of compromise. Stowe Boyd, president of Corante, a daily online news digest on the technology sector, suggests that there may be something lost when networks like Gawker Media and Weblogs turn blogs into commodities, churned out for a fee, owned by an overlord and underwritten by advertisers. "They're pursuing a very clear agenda and they've done very well with that," Mr. Boyd said of Gawker. "But they're just an old media company in new media clothes, and I still maintain that they are missing part of the point." The point, Mr. Boyd said, is that blogging is unique because of its spontaneity and individualism, and that bloggers, like dancers and sculptors, are most interesting because they are "pursuing their muse." ... "If you take the amount of attention that has been devoted in the last year to Web logs as a business and something that's going to change business and compare that with the real effect and the real money, it's totally disproportionate," Mr. Denton said, "in the same way all the coverage of the Internet in the late 90's was out of whack. "There are too many people looking at blogs as being some magic bullet for every company's marketing problem, and they're not," he added. "It's Internet media. It's just the latest iteration of Internet media."

Auch noch: Die US-Regierung hat Milliarden beim Terrorschutz zum Fenster hinausgeschmissen: U.S. to Spend Billions More to Alter Security Systems. After spending more than $4.5 billion on screening devices to monitor the nation's ports, borders, airports, mail and air, the federal government is moving to replace or alter much of the antiterrorism equipment, concluding that it is ineffective, unreliable or too expensive to operate, New York Times.

Erst lesen, dann schreiben. Seymour Hersh erkl�rt in Hamburg, was Journalismus sein kann, Telepolis.

Schily trommelt weiter f�r sein Anti-Terrorpaket III, dieses mal h�bsch verpackt �ber die Bild am Sonntag: in einem Interview �ber die Kapitulation Deutschlands vor 60 Jahren fordert der Innenminister nun schon wieder die Kapitulation des Rechtsstaates mit seiner Forderung nach einer "pr�ventiven" Geheimdienstaufkl�rungsarbeit durch das BKA.

Wer sch�tzt Bin Laden? Pakistanische Politiker feiern die Verhaftung des Al-Qaida-Funktion�rs Abu Faradsch Al-Liby als "Durchbruch". Doch dessen Chef ist noch immer frei - weil er aus h�chsten Kreisen protegiert wird, WAMS.

Bush fordert von Putin mehr Respekt f�r die Demokratie. Spannungen zwischen Ru�land und den USA vor Moskauer Feiern zum Kriegsende, WAMS.

U.S. Cites Signs of Korean Steps to Nuclear Test. The U.S. is monitoring satellite photographs of North Korea
that appear to show preparations for a nuclear weapons test, NYT. Zum selben Thema auch die LA Times: N. Korea Closes In on Atomic Fait Accompli. As North Korea accelerates the pace of its nuclear weapons program, the United States and its allies have limited options to prevent one of the world's poorest and most erratic nations from becoming a nuclear power.

Neuer US-Botschafter f�r Berlin.William Robert Timken soll Daniel Coats nach Deutschland folgen. Zu W.R Timkens "Ranger"-Erfolgsgeschichte als Bush-Unterst�tzer siehe auch einen Eintrag beim Leftcoaster.

License to Kill: Der US-Marine, der in Falludscha einen Wehrlosen erschoss und dabei gefilmt wurde, wird nicht angeklagt.

Ratzinger in Aktion (Auswirkingen noch aus seiner Vor-Benedikt-Zeit): Vatican Is Said to Force Jesuit Off Magazine. The Vatican ordered the editor of the Catholic magazine America to resign because of articles critical of the church, NYT.

Ein Bericht aus einem US-Terrorsimulationszentrum: New Mexico Plays Home To Terror Town, U.S.A. Simulated Attacks Prepare for Worst, Washington Post.

Larger Special Operations Role Being Urged on Marines. Corps Plans New Force of Foreign Military Training Units but Balks at Ceding Its Elite Teams, Washington Post.

Al-Dschasira macht Werbung f�r Bushs "Reformkurs" im Mittleren Osten: Al-Jazeera Puts Focus on Reform. Mideast Coverage by Network Reviled in Washington Is Boon for Bush, Washington Post.