More on Yahoo and AOL getting blogs

A reporter from a major newspaper just emailed me asking me some questions about MSM embracing blogs. Here are my quick one-liners to the reporter. Note: I’ve been doing a lot more email interviews with reporters… makes it so much easier for both parties, buts down on being misquoted (but not 100%), and it gets me a free blog post. 🙂

  • (on how being @ AOL has changed us) We have never filtered our bloggers and never will, so nothing has changed for our users. We’ve had no feedback–good or bad–since nothing has changed.
  • The things that have changed are all on the backend. With AOL’s support we can hire more bloggers, promote the blogs, sell more advertising, and ultimately pay bloggers more money. That’s the basic concept behind the deal: scaling the business.
  • We have 130 bloggers right now and we want to get to 300. So, we’re got a lot of work left.
  • It makes perfect sense to me that mainstream media would embrace blogs because they a) produce great content and b) the audience wants this unfiltered content.
  • Now, getting it right for MSM is not going to be easy. Having five folks at the New York Times who can blog about whatever they want and however they want, right next to the folks who have to follow the editorial process is going to cause some “manageable friction” is my guess. For example, when the bloggers start taking on their bosses and how they run the business you might see some higher ups get upset, but you wont see that at AOL or Webogs, Inc. Everyone here understands that the bloggers are going to do their thing and it’s our job to support them.
  • It’s really sort of like having a letters to the editor page or a counterpoint–just that this is non-stop and more brutal. Unlike a letter to the editor which may or may not get printed, bloggers don’t have to ask to be printed and once get their hooks into an issue they will ride it forever. The blogosphere is a real, and it can be really harsh on fakes… so, if you’re a phoney you’re going to get your bell rung.
  • Yahoo’s support of blogs in their news section is great, but nothing new. We’ve been in their News search for months, and Google News has many blogs in the index. It’s obvious that many blogs are doing as a good–and sometimes a better job–covering thew news… why shouldn’t they be included in main stream media?

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