End of golden era of tech blogging
Jeremiah Owyang writes on his Web Strategy blog about the shifts in tech blogging and argues that a golden era has ended.
Owyang writes that certain trends are leading these changes, including:
Trend 1: Corporate acquisitions stymie innovation
Over the last few quarters, there’s been considerable acqusitions of organized blogs (which are more akin to news sites now-a-days), most notable, we’ve seen Techcrunch, who claimed annual revenues of about 10 mil a year, being acquired by AOL. Yet these purchases are quite common, as AOL has acquired Engadget in 2005, and Huffington Post in 2011. Just two weeks ago, another larger tech blog that has enterprise focus Read Write Web was just sold to Say Media. What typically happens when these acquisitions happen? Often the star talent, or founding team is pressured out, or takes a back seat while corporate business development teams match existing advertising inventory to a new found audience –forever changing the DNA of what created these startups. Lastly, acquisitions often force a conservative mindset over startups, because the purchase is focused on strengths of an asset, the mindset of ‘don’t break it’, keeps the culture to focus on the status quo. As acquisitions occur, innovation decreases.
Trend 2: Tech blogs are experiencing major talent turnover
Perhaps they were forced out, or maybe they saw the writing on the wall, but lately, we’ve seen a major change up in the all-star lineup of tech blogs. Just a few weeks before the acquisition of Read Write Web, the Senior Writer, Marshall Kirkpatrick separated ways now focused on building a product and company called Plexus Engine. Furthermore, Editor-at-Large of Mashable, Ben Parr separated ways from Mashable, yet continues to blog and we should watch for his next venture. Perhaps the most discussed exodus is a majority of the Techcrunch staff leaving, from founder Michael Arrington, CEO Heather Harde, top writer Sarah Lacy, and star journalist MG Siegler. Yet despite this loss, they acquired Eric Eldon, Josh Constine (both of Inside Facebook) and Sarah Perez (formerly of RWW) into the Techcrunch fold. Ben Parr himself listed out in greater detail all the people movements in the tech blogging space, there’s no doubt a shakeup occurring. The talent shakeup is normal after several exits occur –with new stars moving on to new business models.
Read more here.