Saturday, April 28, 2007

Blogging is Serious Media Business

Blogging is Serious Media Business
By Kristina Joukhadar

MPA member blogs now stand at 400. Not to be outdone, 75 percent of the nation’s largest newspapers currently blog on business related topics.

The Magazine Publishers of America has released an online listing of the approximately 400 blogs established by its publishing members. Although there are 32 publishers—among them Fortune, Forbes, Scientific American, Popular Science, Popular Mechanics, Good Housekeeping, Advertising Age and FOLIO:—who only list one blog for their magazines, many have multiple blogs.

The “winner” in terms of pure number of blogs for one “publisher” would have to be CNET Networks, with 33 individual blogs. This is a bit deceptive, though, because the blogs cover different areas of the network and are not tied to print magazines. In second place, at 17 blogs each, are Business 2.0 and Computer World. InfoWorld is next up, with 15 distinct blogs.

Perhaps some of the most unusual blogs are listed under the Glamour magazine brand. Topics like Beauty Insider, Did You Hear, and Slaves to Fashion are blogs one might expect to see—even Don’t Spotting isn’t too much of a stretch. But two of Glamour’s blogs—in particular, See Allysa Date and Life with Cancer—both written by staffers, represent an incredible extension of the brand in a very personal way.

75 Percent of Newspapers Blog

According to a study released yesterday by the Donald W. Reynolds National Center for Business Journalism at Arizona State University, 75 percent of the national’s largest newspapers now include business-related blogs.

Although 38 of the largest 50 papers have a blog and 24 of them have two or more, less than 10 percent of papers overall have blogs. The average number of blog postings per week is three; and the median number of reader comments to business blogs over a two-week period was nine. Half the respondents said they receive from one to five reader comments per posting; one third receive no responses at all.

"Newspapers clearly need to be experimenting with blogs as another way of reaching readers beyond the printed page," said Stephen Doig, the study’s researcher, “But it’s less clear at this point that blogs give an immediate payoff in increased readership for most news sites.”