Friday, October 24, 2003

Will blogs ever be profitable?

The guessing goes on about the Google purchase of Blogger. It is clear that current revenue from blogging is not a factor --the money just isn't there. The fact that one of Google's first moves was to drop pay per year Blogger Pro in favor of an across the board free Blogger shows that cash flow is not a consideration. The speculation goes on as to what will happen next. Take this, for example:

Still, privately held search engine bought blogging pioneer Pyra Labs in February of this year for an undisclosed sum, a move that prompted the mainstream media to look more closely at blogs. The business logic of the purchase is hard to see, but in a rare reversion to pre-dot-bomb business priorities, the company said that the acquisition was based on strategic rather than on revenue considerations. The fact that blogs are rich in content and links seems to fit well with Google's goal to find and organise the information on the Web.

Here's where I think the profitability problem is going to come in: bloggers are cheap. I'm sorry, but they are (I include myself). At this point in time we are all used to a free ride and any attempt to charge any significant fees would probably result in a mass exodus away from Blogger. "Moreover, although there are many blogs, few blogs are maintained to a point where bloggers would pay to keep them on-line. Of a total of 4.12 million blogs on eight blog services, more than two-thirds, or 2.72 million sites, have been either temporarily or permanently abandoned."