Hot Recap: The State of the NY Blogosphere at 92YTribeca
Wed Feb 25 2009
What's the state of the New York blogosphere? As the director of product for The Daily Beast, Bryan Keefer aptly put it "broke and thirsty." But hey, who isn't these days? Last night at 92YTribeca, five prominent members of the local blogging community shared their thoughts about the future of the industry and the general state of the media. (Oo oo, let us guess: Bad?) The audience couldn't stop Twittering. Here's a quick rundown:
The discussion kicked off with Matt Buchanan, associate editor of Gizmodo, who quickly pointed out the imprecision of the term New York blogosphere. In order to stay afloat, Buchanan claimed, many of New York's top blogs are steering toward nationalization. He cited Gawker as an example of a blog that has been, to paraphrase, rescued from the Brooklyn literary crowd in order to gain wider appeal. So is it still a New York blog? He didn't know and neither do we.
Next up was the irreverent Alana Taylor, a journalism undergrad at NYU and writer for Mashable. "If you have a pretty face, exploit it"—the industry is full of "geeky guys," Taylor exclaimed to a somewhat disapproving crowd.
Reading notes from his iPhone, senior editor of Silicon Alley Insider Nicholas Carlson offered some advice for making it in the biz: Blogs that survive the market push other products on the side. Mashable, he noted, makes most of its profits from events, while the folks at College Humor keep the dream alive by selling T-shirts.
Finally, Bryan Keefer tackled the subject on all of our minds: Um, how do we get paid? Keefer didn't have a concrete answer, but he offered several reasons why no one in media is making ends meet, starting with the idea that businesses haven't figured out how to optimize the medium of online advertising. You know how some people watch the Super Bowl just for the commercials, and others "read" fashion magazines only to look at the advertisments? When is the last time you or anyone you know went online to check out an ad? Exactly. Daring us to remember some of our favorite online ads, which no one could, Keefer pointed out investors' unwillingness to give up dough for an unproven medium. Alas, we may all be doomed.—Josh Frank