Weblogs Inc Sale to AOL Confirmed – Here’s the Inside Word

I’ve just been forwarded an email which was sent from Weblogs Inc Co-Founder Brian Alvey to Weblogs Inc’s bloggers. It was sent to me by WIN blogger who wants to remain nameless. I won’t publish it in full here as its a private email – but here are the main highlights which shed light on the deal between WIN and AOL.

  • AOL is acquiring Weblogs Inc
  • WIN are selling to increase the resources that they couldn’t provide otherwise (offices, technology, people, infrastructure) as well as extra traffic.
  • AOL are moving to an ad based model which fits with WIN.
  • Nothing is changing – Brian, Jason and the same management will continue to run WIN as an independently operated AOL company
  • WIN headlines will start appearing on AOL home page, netscape, AIM etc
  • Bloggers will need to sign a new contract shortly
  • The new contract will allow bloggers to own their own content for offline use
  • The contract will contain other features yet to be announced that are favorable to bloggers
  • Blogging will continue as per usual
  • There is no increase in pay mentioned but allusions to more money in the network due to the deal
  • There is mention of AOL getting into video content and WIN playing a part in this

Wow – looks like an exciting time for Weblogs Inc bloggers!

More on the deal from Reuters

Update: My source tells me that the reaction from WIN bloggers is for the most part very positive with the news that Jason staying on, increased payments and traffic causing some real excitement.

Gawker Media Potential Sale to News Corp

I just got an email from Duncan at Blog Herald that there are also rumors of Gawker Media being in talks with News Corp with the purchase of Gawker being the topic of conversation. He’s written about it at Gawker Media in Sales Talks. Unfortunately Blog Herald seems to be having server problems so I’m unsure what the substance of the story is apart from that Duncan says that his source is a good one.

Take it as rumor at this point but certainly an interesting one. I’m not sure it’s got as much credability as the WIN rumors to be honest.

Update: Looks like Duncan has his blog up and running again and the rumor is that News Corp is interested in the gossip blogs at Gawker more so than their others. It is certainly an interesting time for established blog network owners with this news, the rumored sale of Weblogs Inc and other networks being approached by VC investors.

Update II: I’ve done some digging around and the more I talk to people the more unlikely this story sounds. I’ve had a chat to some inside people and they deny it.

Also the more I think about it the more I doubt it – I mean can you imagine Fleshbot and Defamer etc in News Corp? Gawker is the edgey blog network – the one that prides itself on offending and breaking a few rules. Maybe my sources are just trying to put me off the scent – but I just can’t see it selling to News Corp or any other mainstream media outlet.

AOL to Buy Weblogs Inc

I was just saying to a fellow blogger the other day that it will only be time before a bit blog network sells out to a bigger web entity for some massive amounts of cash. Well today seems to be that day with Threadwatch reporting that AOL is about to by Weblogs Inc!

Paid Content writes of the deal by saying:

“This is a very quick exit: the company was founded about two years ago, and took some money from Mark Cuban a year down the line. For Calacanis, this is his second company being sold in a space of about two years…his original company Rising Tide Studios was first sold to Wicks Business Information, which in itself was bought out by Dow Jones.”

How much will they get? I guess this will depend upon what the deal includes and how involved the Weblogs Inc team stays involved with the project. Estimates of what the deal is worth at Paid Content range from $20,000,000 to $35,000,000.

The deal is expected to be announced officially this week.

Update: Get the official word from AOL and Jason.

Update: Interesting commentary on the sale at Wealth Junkie.

Blog Adverting Moguls

Interesting article over at Clickz on A Tale of Two Blog Adverting Moguls – John Battelle from Federated Media Publishing and and Philip Kaplan from Adbrite – both of whom are making a mark for themselves in Blog-vertising.

‘One is a celebrated bubble-era publisher, an Internet consultant, a book author and — currently — a blog advertising entrepreneur. The other? Well, he could be described exactly the same way. Yet could two men be more different than John Battelle and Philip “Pud” Kaplan?…’

It’s refreshing to see an article taking a slightly different spin on things than normal.

Do Shorter Posts = Better Posts?

Steve at Micro Persuasion asks his readers whether Shorter Posts = Better Posts?

‘Would you rather have fewer posts with more depth or frequent short posts with high value information? It’s hard to combine them (and maintain a life).’

My answer is that it depends upon a number of factors including the authors available time, the topic, the established pattern of blogging (more on this in a future post) and the voice that the author writes in (ie Steve’s blog is predominantly a link blog and doesn’t get into tips, theory etc which can take longer posts).

What do you think? Head over to Steve’s and let him know.

Attention Apple – time for a PowerUpgrade

I really hope that this next Apple announcement event has a nice update for the PowerMac like all the rumor sites seem to be hinting about. My little powerbook has been great – but its starting to slow down and I’m looking for some more power and a larger screen.

Next time they upgrade the PowerMac this little blogger is going to snap one up with a couple of nice 20 or 23 inch screens. Then we’ll be blogging with grunt!

Journalist Interviewed by Blogger

Jeremy has turned the tables on a blog journalist and is interviewing them about blog over at b5media. His interview is with Nick Douglas of Blogebrity and it’s full of all kinds of interesting information on the current blog network scene.

How to Rotate AdSense & YPN on one page

Jensense has instructions for those of you lucky enough to be in the YPN beta test who are wanting to Rotate you AdSense & YPN ads on the one page using phpAdsNew.

Gizmodo Expands into European Languages

Nick Denton has announced that Gizmodo is going to be translated into six European languages:

‘Under the terms of the partnership, Gizmodo’s content will be translated from English into 6 additional languages, then augmented with local coverage for each market. Besides English, now will be available in French, German, Dutch, Spanish, and Italian and covering the Belgium market in Dutch as well….’