Webmaster World New Orleans Pubcon - John Battelle Keynote

John helped found Wired. In 1994 the first comercial banner ad was placed on Wired. He also founded The Industry Standard. Went back to Berkley after the Industry Standard business model stopped working in 2001. While the market was doing bad he noticed Google and Overture was doing well and started SearchBlog. He started Web 2.0 conference. About a year and a half ago became the ban manager of Boing Boing. Publishing Costs at Blogs vs Magazines:
Boing Boing most linked to blog. 600,000 monthly unique visitors. Only cost about $1,200 in marketing to get to that level. The Industry Standard cost about $25 million to get to 500,000.

Web 2.0 vs Web 1.0:
More potential now than in the past with a Web OS.

Great Web 2.0 companies...

  • are build on the architecture of participation &

  • leverage work of other people and run lightweight business

Search & Web 2.0

  • Talked about the power of the tail.

  • Search drives most of the action in Web 2.0.
  • Search has large cultural impact which most of us do not yet appreciate.
  • Cited Piper Jaffrey data on growth of search and how the cost per lead was less than half of any other channel.
  • 59% of money in search comes from other marketing budgets
  • CTR on paid search ads increases on longer search terms.
  • New media models were not that new. Get subscribers and attach ads to it.
  • Where search is different than most web publishing is that audience places intent before content with search, instead of buying a proxy of intent with normal ad purchases.
  • Talks about the Point to economy. If people point at you, your site ranks better and people find your site.
  • Publishers thought search was bad because they viewed search as stealing their content.
  • a while ago on his blog he posted From Pull to Point: How to Save The Economist and The Journal from Irrelevance
  • Defamer has much more linkage data than Variety.com since it is easier to link to, and thus is growing faster.
  • Business models that do not accept the new point to economy will continue to fall behind.

Old vs New:
He compared old media to new media, saying newer media has lower customer acqisition costs, healthy profits, and minimal lockin. The lack of lockin makes people have to keep working hard to keep their visitors.

Publishing Synergy:
Publications have three main things:

  • publishers

  • marketer
  • audience

A good marketer adds to the conversation. The synergy of the conversation between the three are what drive the success of a publishing business.

A Market Opportunity:
The authors of well known blogs are industry leaders because people decide to give them their attention. A good blogger is an editor / filter. The biggest difference between blogs and most media is a more direct connection with the audience. Technorati tracks over 10,000,000 blogs.

Many of the best blogs are not the best publishers. Many are created around interest, and not necissarily profit driven.

He talked about Google site targeted branding AdSense ads. Mine are showing on SearchBlog when I just checked :)

AdBrite allows publishers to chose to accept ads prior to listing them. He feels that is important and something the AdSense model missed out on.

John's new Federated Media publishing funded last week.

He wants his new FM Publishing idea to help be an independant fourth item between marketers, authors, and audience. Their goal is to get 10 to 20 high quality publishing partners in each industry.

A while ago I remember writing a few posts about why I did not think something like About.com scaled well, which is the same way John thinks. By not owning the content, it can scale, since FM are partners with the channels, and make the channels easy to buy without needing to worry about the editorial scaling inhouse. To me this is the exact reason why being independant is a better SEO business model than getting wrapped up in a large company, and resonates well with Seth Godin's recent small is the new big.

Published: June 21, 2005 by Aaron Wall in conferences


June 21, 2005 - 6:35pm

So basically John was the first web pimp... another fine title to add to his list!

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