Yes, blogging can be a business

I’d love to know which journalist Jason Calacanis of Netscape was emailing with recently when he decided to post a big chunk of the interview and his responses on his blog (something Megaphone Mark Cuban has been known to do from time to time). Was he frustrated by the dumb questions about whether blogging can be a business or not, or was he just trying to share his thoughts with the blogosphere? Hard to say with Jason. In any case, his comments about the blogging business are pretty much to the point, and worth a read. Here’s an excerpt:

We are an eight figure a year business today. In terms of profitability the blogging business is better than the magazine or newspaper business in two main ways: 1. there is no distribution cost to blogging (i.e. printing, shipping, and postage), and 2. we don’t have the large management cost structure because our bloggers are not edited.

Jason goes on to say that blogging is “the most profitable media business today” and describes a good blog as being almost as hard as working at CNN, because the pressure to produce never stops. And then he tells the journalist this:

I think so far you’re looking at blogs are one big thing, and they are not one thing — they are many things. There are blogs done by companies to promote their products. There are blogs done by friends and family to keep in touch with each other. There are “faux blogs” created by unscrupulous marketers to abuse the public. There are blogs that are run as publications in order to make a profit.

And Jason adds that blogs have become “a vital part of the media ecosystem,” in that bloggers are interacting with journalists and “helping them build their stories.” He says the media business has moved from a handful of people speaking on their pedestals, to dozens of folks at hundreds of tables having conversations about an issue. Not a bad description. More chaotic? Definitely. Far from perfect? Absolutely. But in my opinion, still an improvement.

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