Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

Webby Media Blog Network Folds

Posted By Darren Rowse 4th of October 2005 Blog Networks 0 Comments

Brand New Blog Network – Webby Media has just decided to call it quits just a week after launching. Omar explains it at Too Much, Too Fast? He’d previously announced that Webby Media would give 100% of earnings to bloggers that joined up – I was always fascinated to see how this could be financially viable for not only bloggers but also Omar the blog network himself. Perhaps it really was a case of too much too fast.

One of his lessons learned reminds me of my post last week on Why some Blog Networks are Successful (a post about building a network on credibility and profile). Omar writes:

‘Brand is the only competitive advantage. So if you can’t compete on technology or advertising, what can you compete on? The publisher’s brand. Eventhough I’ve been publishing online for several years now, I really haven’t spent time building credibility. This point is unbelievably crucial. It’s just critical.’

Best of luck in whatever you choose to do next Omar. It’s probably best to fold after a week than after a few months when you’ve put a lot more time into the venture.

About Darren Rowse
Darren Rowse is the founder and editor of ProBlogger Blog Tips and Digital Photography School. Learn more about him here and connect with him on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn.
  1. Sorry to hear about a failed venture but I agree, it’s best to fail faster–it ties in with what you’re saying about brand and credibility. Brand is the promise to the customer. It needs to be focused, clearly stated, and always guiding what we do, because that’s what customers hold onto. By getting out quickly Omaravoided breaking that kind of promise/relationship because it hadn’t been forged yet.

    Still how disappointing for the bloggers who may have planned on that situation. The promise was already made with them.

  2. From the bits I’ve seen, he doesn’t mention quality content. I don’t think network brand comes into it much. If you search on a gadget, you won’t know if you’re going to WeblogsInc, Weblog Empire or b5media.

    In the blogosphere there’s still plenty of room for new startups with the right idea. Competitive advantage seems more appropriate to a much more crowded space.

  3. Thanks Darren. I wonder what the landscape is going to look like a year from now?

    The reason I got out so fast, Strauss, is because we hadn’t signed any contracts yet. No promises made or broken.

    John, what I meant with brand is the reputation of the publisher to pull in writers. Nick (Gawker) is very well connected with the NY media crowd. He not only had a pool of talent to help him get started with the project, he also had readers.

  4. Hi Omar,

    You say that you did not have any signed contracts. Was your primary intention to just get attention with this Ikaros-like venture? I ask because contracts (or trust) tend to be the glue that keeps organizations together.

  5. John is right that if a user searches for a gadget they won’t care if they’re on Weblogsinc, Weblog Empire, or b5media. However, you can’t just think of “brand” as only mattering to visitors.

    Advertisers care about credibility and brand. If you’re Volvo, you might advertise with the car blog on Weblogsinc because you’ve visited their other blogs or heard Jason Calacanis speak or you read Silicon Alley. If it’s a new blog network you know nothing about, even if the traffic was equal, the “brand” established by Weblogsinc is more powerful to the advertiser.

    Bloggers care about credibility and brand. If you’re a talented blogger looking to go work for a blog network, do you choose the startup you’ve never heard of, or a blog network you read blogs on all the time?

    Basically, brand and reputation is very important, beyond just what a user sees.

  6. I agree with the points about Branding, but Omar’s words seem to suggest that he needed to start out with Brand, which perhaps is an oxymoron. Brand is synomous with Trust, and trust is not something you can start off with, nor buy.

    Unfortunately, it just takes time to build up a brand. But kudos to Omar for handling this like a man.

  7. Ah, but isn’t there a distinction between the network brand and the reputation of those behind it. B5 has little brand recognition, but it’s the reputation of those behind it which will draw in the bloggers and advertisers. The network brand will only be built by visibility over time … with a little overlap.

  8. Yes, I think for b5 and all of the networks, it’s absolutely imperative that the guys who are the leaders are absolutely trustworthy, respected figures within the blogging community and that their blogs and seperate brands all have a consistent focus and attention to the network, so that the outward perception is that these people believe in this network and will give everything to push it to success. The perception needs to be that they also have some risk in the venture and some motivation for the network, and thereby, it’s authors and other interested parties to succeed.

    What would be REALLY cool to see from one of them, is an agreement with google, or chitika, or yahoo ads, or other affilliate programs that provides for greater earnings potential from ads within the network (i.e., “Look, Google dude, I’ve got 50 bloggers with traffic who generate [instert really big number here] impressions and clicks per day. We can take our business and go to [insert name of competing ad/affilliate program here], but we’d sure like to stay with you if you can make it worth our while. We’d like to offer a little sweeter deal to our authors than they can get by going it alone and one of the things that would make our deal sweeter would be if we could kick them a bone with a higher earning per click rate than the general public gets. So what do you think, Mr. Google?” Or… alternatively, you could up the percentage that you pay of earnings, without necessarily even making a big deal out of that kind of agreement, if it were to exist.

  9. Matt what you’re describing is pretty similar to the Adsense premium publisher status where publishers with a certain level of traffic get special privledges.

  10. Sorry, Omar. No intent to offend. My concern for the bloggers made an assumption. I apologize for that. –ME

  11. […] You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your ownsite. […]

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…