Some feedback on my “making money from blogs” talk at SXSW 2004

Seems like a couple of folks have posted notes about my panel at SXSW. I’m going to post them here.

A really (really)long transcript by Kathryn.

Simon Willson: I attended a whole bunch of panels, and tried to sample a good range of topics. Surprisingly one of the most thought-provoking was Monetizing the Blogosphere, which I went along to purely to see if any fights would break out. It turned out to be a marketing pitch for Weblogs Inc, but their business plan and author package was impressive. Authors get the first $1,000 earned by their blog every month with the rest of the revenue split 50/50. The value proposition is that Weblogs Inc will actively seek advertisers and sponsorship deals – the kind of miserable task that most bloggers would run a mile from. Jason Calacanis added an element of fun to the proceedings by introducing a purple furry monkey as a “proxy” for rival blog promoter Nick Denton, who was unable (or unwilling) to attend the panel. Moncur: Since Peter Rojas left Gawker Media’s Gizmodo to start the EnGadget weblog for Weblogs Inc, there has been some bad blood between the two. The other day I attended CEO Jason Calacanis’s presentation, Monetizing the Blogosphere, at SXSW, and he made several nods to this.

The most entertaining bit was when he said (paraphrasing) “I invited [Gawker’s] Nick Denton to sit on this panel with me, but he declined, so this bunny will be playing the part of Nick.” He then conducted a rather comical dialog with the bunny. (See my photo at sxswblog)

The non-bunny parts of the presentation were very entertaining and informative, and all in all it left me with a very good impression about Weblogs Inc. I met Calacanis later, and he was surprisingly down-to-earth. I’m not as optimistic as he is about making money with weblogs, but I make enough money on Web advertising to find Nick Denton’s pessimism hard to believe.

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