No Web site receives more unsolicited business advice than Salon. Ken Layne's to-do list for Publisher David Talbot includes this item: Kill Salon Blogs.
Marc Weisblott agrees:
"Salon Blogs was a hilarious disaster of Heaven's Gate proportions (the movie *and* the cult). When it comes time to audit when the beginning of the end of the 'blogging craze' happened, it was when they launched that catastrophe."
By my guess, Salon Blogs couldn't possibly cost more than $5,000 a year to run, which Salon could fund by netting $10 a year from 500 webloggers. It's exactly the kind of "lean and mean" project Layne suggests, spawning 1,900 blog hatchlings, some of which quickly become great reads.
What kind of weird Mr. Potter moment is prompting people to seek its demise? Damn that Salon for experimenting with weblogging and bringing several excellent new weblogs into the medium!
Thanks for the props, Rogers. I'm not sure what crawled up Weisblott's ass, but he has made clear his disdain for Salon and the Salon blogs experiment in numerous venues.
I agree with you. I don't see what the big deal is. I don't know where Weisblott is coming from, but Layne and Welch seem to be more disappointed in the half-hearted linking between Salon and the blogs it hosts.
I can see if you were hoping for a more radical reenvisioning of the publication as a blog or a more creative interweaving of the blog content with the paid journalism, then the Salon blogs experiment would seem like a failure.
If it's looked at simply as a cobranded flavor of Radio Userland with a slightly focused audience pool (it seems that a lot of Salon readers - or others, I suppose - do check the recently updated blogs pages), then it seems to have succeeded on those terms.
I was already blogging (or online journaling, or whatever) in placid obscurity for years before launching RFB, but I thought starting a Salon blog might be a good way to jumpstart some audience flow in a more interconnected blogosphere, and it seems to have worked out OK, if not on the Reverse Cowgirl scale of things!
I like Salon Blogs. There ought to be more connections between it and Salon, but overall it should be considered a success to attract several hundred new webloggers and their readers, some of whom might not be blogging at all without the project.
Weisblott gleefully writes on his weblog that Scott Rosenberg won't have a job soon. It appears he's one of the vultures who has become tired after circling over Salon for so long.