The new tech boom is nothing like the last bubble! Honest — this time we have blogs!
It was silly enough when tech blogger Om Malik took a few hundy thou for his GigaOM blog network, even sillier when we heard that lawyer Michael Arrington tried to get venture capital for his blog TechCrunch (his deal fell through). The whole point of blogging is that it hardly costs anything, so it's easy to pull a profit within a few months. Why would these two take funding that beholds them to investors?
One of the investors tries to explain, but he gives all the wrong reasons.
- "With information overload comes opportunities on a number of fronts. The most obvious is authority." Which b5media doesn't have. Why not invest in someone who's already established some of that?
- "The next opportunity is a chance to execute on Doc Searl's [sic] vision/theory of the intention economy... While many will dismiss this as just blather about making money with ads, I believe there is more to it." No there isn't. The "intention economy" is Doc Searls rediscovering the targeted advertising market. Nothing special.
- "Finally, there is Shel Israel." Exactly. The blogger has spent more time and words on the Internet than Perez Hilton, Gawker's Jessica Coen, and probably not too much less than Boing Boing's Cory Doctorow, but he's not even a B-lister to their A-list. Shel's tendency to waste hours on comment-thread arguments makes him a liability.
- When the investor capitalizes the company name differently than the company's web site does, that's a red flag.
But hey, if someone wants to throw $2 million at the most overhyped of the dozens of small-time blog networks, at least it'll make it more fun when the company implodes.