Ask Jason part two

Running a CEO blog saves me a ton of time because people know where I stand on various issues (ethics, ad networks, partnerships, etc).

Recently I went to lunch with another CEO who doesn’t blog. He spent half the time explaining his business to me. I asked him if he had any questions for me and he rattled off like 20 facts about our business-really inside stuff. I asked him how he knew all that information and he said he read my blog. It was as if we had five meetings already. I could save my breath, he knew all about us.

When I asked him why he didn’t blog he said he didn’t have the time. Ironic considering he had just proved how much time a blog can save for a CEO!

One of the best features on the blog has been “Ask Jason” because it helps me answer questions I might not have thought of. So, feel free to post your questions in the comments below and I’ll try to answer them as quickly and honestly as possible. Look forward to your questions.

Question One: How has your buyout by AOL affected the Blogsmith software? What are your plans for Blogsmith particulalry with non-profits and individuals in mind? Would you consider a typepad-esque turnkey solution or partnering with someone who wants to offer such a solution?

Blogsmith LLC was not part of the AOL-WIN deal. Blogsmith does however power WIN’s blogs, and Blogsmith does have a marketing arangement with AOL in relation to WIN’s blogs (i.e. the “Powered by…” button).

Brian and I are making plans for Blogsmith now, but it’s too soon to make those public. We are certainly going to offer it to the public, and in fact Paper Magazine and now defunct Razor Magazine are using the platform. Good question.

Question: Do you have any plans to create your own ad network? Something that other blogs can use outside the WIN network?

That was the origional idea for WIN-to rep blogs. To be the outsourced solution for blogs. We tried it and it really didn’t work because two years ago there were so few blogs to represent. So we because the outsourced solution for bloggers as opposed to blogs. There are many more bloggers looking to make a living and not many blog owners who have a blog large enough to represent (i.e. over 50-100k pages). If you have less than 100k pages a month you’ll be lucky to make $1-2k a month or $10-20k a year. Your better off with Google Adsense or AdBrite in that case.

Today the idea is a little more workable and two different bloggers told me John Battelle has been pitching Federated Media as a “better Weblogs, Inc.” That’s pretty darn flattering since Battelle is such a superstar. There are also dozens and dozens of WIN-style blog network out there (9rules, Weblog Empire, B5Media, etc) and they will rep your blog too. Not sure if any of them have a dedicated sales force yet, but I’m sure over the next year or two they will.

So, would we get into that business now that the market has changed? Hard to say. Since we own a blog platform (Blogsmith) and since we have a great sales force we could certainly do a good job. So, I’d kick it back to you and say “What would you be looking for in a blog rep firm?”

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