Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Hydrapinion: a different problogging model?

Via ITJourno comes news of the recent launch of a joint blog called Hydrapinion by five Australian freelance technology journalists. The concept is that each of the journos writes one blog entry per week, in successive days, on technology niches: Stephen Withers on Monday about business IT, Seamus Byrne on Tuesday about gadgets, Patrick Gray on Wednesday about security, Anthony Caruana on Thursday about mobile, and Adam Turner on Friday about the digital home.

I commend this innovation by journalists, trying out new things to see what works. This model is an interesting alternative to what has become the norm: a couple of professionals who know what they're doing hire bums off the street to churn out content in a "blog network", and trickle the profits back down to the plebs, Reaganomics-style. These five pros know what they are talking about, and have years of experience and bodies of work to prove it.

Nevertheless the result, at first impression, is of unevenness. After reading so many blogs which stick to one topic and by one author, it's jarring to see every story about a different subject, and by a writer with a different style. I would be fascinated to see how the concept evolves. My opinion is that a collective of freelancers writing for a group bloggish publication is a fabulous idea, but perhaps stuffing them all into a single blog is the wrong way to do it. I would hazard a guess that it would work better if the bloggers maintained their own separate blogs, but used the group approach to go to advertising agencies for revenue. I think that the economic advantages of such a joining of forces are far more important than changing the well-established blog template of one blog, one author. There are also technical advantages in establishing separate sites if your revenue comes from Google ads, since advertisers can buy individual sites in AdWords making, for example, the gadget sub-site much more attractive to a gadget advertiser.

The problem is that freelance journalism for MSM publications still pays far more than problogging, at least for these long-time journos. It is easy to characterise Hydrapinion as a mere toe-dipping exercise rather than a real immersion in the blogosphere - a place of mystery and terror to most MSM journos. I look forward to tracking the adventures of the Hydra boys as they engage with legions of Hercules wannabes.


Blogger redbarren said...

i saw that perezhilton (2m+ uniques a day) posts 30 times a day.. (sometimes only 10) on weekends too. we have a benchmarking problem here with MSM's weekly/daily cycles. (same problem applies to MSM online news coverage) not enough frequency. bb

5:28 pm, November 23, 2006  

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home