TechCrunch head honcho, Mike Arrington, has made it no secret that he is gunning for CNet with the creation of his own blog network. It’s kind of weird to go after the old guard, but I’m guessing that Arrington is more interested in CNet type numbers for his site than CNet type of respect.
It doesn’t seem that CNet though is going to sit still and let these fancy “independent” blogs take all their glory. With the launch of Webware, CNet has introduced themselves into the blogging game. Now they have had blogs on their main site for a long time and CNet is already a network of sites, but by creating an individual site that works like a blog they are able to publish fast and often, helping them to keep up with the competition.
With the larger publication sites, the problem has never been of quality or their ability to grab exclusives, the problem has been speed. Today’s readers love information overload because RSS and other technologies allow them to quickly view an entry and move on if they wish without being bothered by going to the site and reading an article in detail. Because of this they might not mind that a site has 8-10 entries a day because they know they can get a quick synopsis of them and choose which ones to spend their time on.
If you publish on CNet you can’t avoid having to push your articles through an editor and therefore slowing down the publishing process, but on blogs you essentially become your own editor and so you decided when to publish. By creating Webware, CNet extends their “trusted” brand to an external site that allows for quick publishing and discussion…
This is kind of where the problems start to kick in and CNet was doing so well with this concept. I wanted to post a comment on this entry giving them props for producing a quality and entertaining video. However, to do so requires “free” registration just to get my words published and a discussion started. Not gonna happen from me considering I might only post a comment there once every 8 months. Now have a look at the actual comment page and see if it inspires you to register just to join the thrilling discussion.
The quality of the writing on the site is good. The video was a high-amateur quality (a good thing) due to the resources that CNet has, but missing the basics of how discussions get going on a blog site really is a negative for them. I think any large site has the ability to create a blog and do some real damage, if they learn that they can’t always do things their way. As long as they keep thinking like this Arrington will always have a shot at the big time. Not like he is hurting now anyways though.