Intriguing to see what’s happening over at The Spectator, which has just ‘bought’ two blogs: Stephen Pollard and Clive Davis. Both have abandoned their former blogging arrangements, here and here respectively, to blog exclusively under a Spectator banner. (The magazine has also launched its own ‘house blog’ this week, called The Coffee House.)
Pollard is relatively well known, I suppose, in the right circles – and has a Technorati rank of 22,560, which is decent but not stellar. On the other hand, I’m afraid Clive’s is a new name to me… and his former blog barely scraped into the Technorati top 100,000. (To be entirely fair to Clive, he did also have a Blogger-based blog, but that only just scrapes into the top 900,000.)
Initially, it seemed an odd thing to do. Neither blogger has a huge audience, so it’s not going to boost traffic significantly. Potential SEO benefits, perhaps. But on reflection, it’s a perfectly natural move for a publisher. They already pay columnists to produce articles to appear in print; I guess this is an identical arrangement, albeit with a higher turnover of content. It’s what magazines do. Whether it’s right for websites? – that remains to be seen.
When the Telegraph announced it would allow people to have their own blogs under the Telegraph banner, I wasn’t the only one to wonder if people would be prepared to abandon their own former blogging platforms, to join someone else’s. Clearly the Spectator has found a way to do it; but I wonder what commercial terms they’re talking.
I have plans of my own for this blog in the not too distant future; but if any news organisations want to offer me loads of cash to transfer to their servers… it’s not too late for me to reconsider those plans. Click here to start the bidding. 🙂