Spiers back in the game with FishBowlNY; Nick tries to steal her Thunder

As many folks know I tried to get Elizabeth Spiers to do a Gawker-killer for Weblogs, Inc. for the past yearunsuccessfully of course. She told me she was done with blogging, and like an idiot I believed her. This week Elizabeth launched FishBowlNY for MediaBistro and I’m shocked to find out that she isgasp!blogging every day. ES how could you!?!?!

Seriously, I’m glad she’s back in the blogging game (not crazy about the name), and if she didn’t work with us, then why not Toubyshe’s an old school survivor.

A lot’s been made of this blog war between ES and Nick Denton, but truth be told the Gawker-blog space is really not a great business. Sure, it will be get you a lot of influence/party invites, and you can write about all your pals in the media business all day long, but the truth is local blogs are a small business, and local blogs focused on a vertical like media are an even smaller business.

I know this because I ran two local publications that were focused on verticals (Silicon Alley Reporter and Digital Coast Reporter). Now, they did turn into a $12M a year business, but a) it was during the greatest boom of our lives and b) most of our revenue came from events which drew folks from around the world.

These blogs are going to do 10,000 to 200,000 page views a day, and 20% of that will be the Paris Hilton and Lindsey Lohan Google traffic. That’s 300k to 5M page views a month. If you can even find advertisers at a couple dollar CPM, and you run three or four ad slots, you’re looking at like $2-20k a month in advertising. In other words, enough to fund your sales commissions, a full-time writer or two, and some modest rent. That’s the best a local media pub like this will ever do (check in on the Observer or Spy). The way these are being done they are vanity businesses for the owners. So, why can’t I have one??!? 🙂

Seriously, congrats to ES the writing is tight and I’m glad you’re back in the game.

PS – Congrats to Nick on launching two more WIN knock offsI mean blogs (zing!)GridSkipper and LifeHacker. Interesting how four of the last five Gawker blogs follow Weblogs, Inc. blogs (Autoblog, Joystiq, HackaDay and Gadling)flattering indeed! Look for a Gawker media version of Luxist and BloggingBaby next. 🙂

PSS – Interesting that Nick launched his new blogs on the same day as ES launches her new blogs. I mean, Nick is launching new blogs every 120 days or so, what are the chances that lands on the one day of the past year that MediaBistro launches new blogs?! You’re not holding a grudge against your ex- are you Nick?!?!

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