Well it's a whole new game for blogs. PaidContent.org has the scoop that AOL is buying out Weblogsinc, the blog network which includes such titles as Autoblog and Engadget. The numbers aren't known yet, but estimates put the price tag between $20 Million and $35 Million. While we generally try to avoid talking about blogs at The Stalwart (we'll leave the rest of the blogosphere and the major newsmedia to do that), we'll make an exception here cause it's business related.
Weblogsinc., of course, is the arch-rival to Gawker Media, Nick Denton's micro-empire that includes gossip-blog Gawker and politics blog Wonkette. Nick, for the right price you can bring The Stalwart into the fold. Interestingly, in March 2004, Mr. Denton, offered some prophetic words on his blog in talking about the battle between his company and Weblogsinc:
I was, as they say back home, royally shafted. That's just like shafted, only worse. For those of you who doesn't follow every navel-gazing twist and turn of the blog world, Jason Calacanis of Weblogs Inc., a rival, poached one of Gawker Media's writers, Pete Rojas of Gizmodo.
Sure, we recovered quickly. Joel Johnson, who was going to write another upcoming site, stepped in. And traffic has rebounded, though those readers may simply be enthralled by the spectacle of an online car crash happening in real time.
Pete will feverishly work night and day on his new site. We'll bring in guest stars, and spice up Gizmodo. Maybe we'll bid against each other, as if it were 1999 all over again, to become anchor tenant of AOL's tech section. (That was a joke... I hope.)
Well, Mr. Denton, Mr. Calacanis seems to have beat you to it. An here's another gem from Mr. Denton, recounting a public debate between the two rivals:
The best line? Calacanis, publisher of the defunct Silicon Alley Reporter, famously turned down an offer from Time-Warner for the dotcom magazine. This time, he's taking the money, first with an investment by Mark Cuban. When pressed by Jeff Jarvis, the moderator, to say how his latest company would make him, Calacanis said: "$20-30m -- and this time I'm going to take the money."
That was from May 2004. Mr. Calacanis seems to have found the exact endgame he was looking for.