Federated Media Publishing

alarm:clock uncovers John Battelle’s not-so-hidden blog detailing his plans for his nascent venture, named Federated Media Publishing. [via PaidContent]

From the site, we learn that FMP intends to, “…partner with site authors, acting as a platform which provides important services to them – revenue (in the form of advertising), back end support, and the like. In essence, FM will act as a publisher to sites which need and want a publisher. We don’t plan to take a lot of folks on, initially, but hope to grow over time.”

This is interesting from a number of perspectives, including…

– It is a service-based approach to addressing advertiser issues and opportunities w.r.t. blogs (or more abstractly, fractured media)

– It is an emergent Head play (along the continuum of advertising solutions offered to, or employed by, content creators from the Head through the Tail). This begs two questions in my mind: 1) is there an incremental distribution halo for Battelle’s smaller clients, and 2) will Battelle’s larger clients ultimately outgrow him (i.e., hire their own salesforces, etc)

– It is exactly what the NYTimes is doing with About.com, and what Calacanis, Denton, et al are doing with their properties… but inverted (as all things can be in a Web 2.0 world). Why write for Calacanis et al for $300.00/mth (building their brand, losing all rights to your content, etc) if you can instead scrape your way into FMP’s range?

– The barriers to entry for providing these services are largely structural (i.e., contracts between FMP and its client content creators). Will Newspapers, Magazines or perhaps even Radio and Broadcast players sieze on this by forming similar syndicates?

Interesting times, to be sure…

UPDATE: A few things…

1. Jason Calacanis cruises through and leaves some smart comments. (Jason, thanks for taking the high road and not seeing my commentary as a dig.)

2. Added the “other media player possibility” bit

3. Typos, as usual. One day I’ll proof read before I post… no really…

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2 comments on “Federated Media Publishing
  1. Well, we have folks making anywhere from $300 to $3,000… and many making $1,000. It’s part-time freelance work like working for a magazine, except you don’t get filtered/edited.

    We went to this model from the revenue split model because only 1 in 20 folks wanted to do the revenue split… if you do a revenue split folks have to be able to write for a couple of hours a day and not get paid much for six months. We found there were few people who were willing to do this.

    John’s a really smart guy, and I think him representing blogs of note is a great idea… there is certainly a model for that. If someone has 100,000 pages and doesn’t need to get paid right now I think partnering with JB is a *GREAT* idea. However, if people want to get paid starting day one that is what Nick and I are doing.

    I think there will be four or five different ways for bloggers to go:

    – some will do it on their own
    – some will blog to make money
    – some will partner with a support structure that provides software, sales, etc.

    We tried to do the revenue split thing… we just could find enough folks to do it. However, today there are a lot more “middle-market” bloggers–you know folks who have enough traffic that they could, with additional support, make them into a business.

    I’m excited JB is coming into the space… I’ve heard he is calling it a better Weblogs, Inc. which is the greatest compliment we could get! John’s going to bring with him a bunch of excitement, advertisers, press, and investors… and that it good for our business (and Nick’s).

  2. Mr. Bubble says:

    Not that I’m biased or anything, but if John Battelle is involved with anything then it is a house of cards and it’s all going to collapse and he will end up crawling away with a sack of money while everyone he lured to the doomed enterprise will be screwed. Just sayin’ is all …