Why Mike Rundle Can’t Sleep: BlogMedia Buys Blog Herald

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There are only 2 types of divorces. The kind which end amicably and the kind that ends with one or both wanting to run the other over with a Mack Truck.

No matter how the divorce ends though, the real pressure falls on the new guy (or girl). They will always be wondering in the back of their minds, “How do I compare to the ex?”

That question will be soon be running through the minds of the executive staff of Blog Media. They just picked up the audience of The Blog Herald recently dumped by blogebrity Duncan Riley.

The divorce seems to be an amicable one. Duncan annouced he wanted out weeks ago. It was thought he was leaving with over $70,000. But that relationship fell through and Blog Media came into the picture.

The new owners of the Blog Herald tell us to expect much of the same:

Our intent is to operate the Blog Herald in much the same manner that Duncan has since its founding – reporting on news around the blogosphere and commenting on the technology that drives this strange new medium we find ourselves in.

And a few changes:

Down the road a bit, you’ll see us put together a blog channel within the BlogMedia Network and leverage the unique content of each of our sites across the network.  We’re already doing this on a small scale within Problogging.  We’ll also have our designers (Chris Pearson and Ben Bleikamp) give the site a facelift in the near future.

I asked Matt, the new editor, how much did BlogMedia pay for the Herald. Here’s the answer I got:

As far as the price goes, we made a deal that we were all happy with.  We paid a price that we thought was fair and reflected the value that Duncan had created with The Blog Herald. 

Whatever. I’m guessing the low 30′s.

BlogMedia is not an uncontroversial owner. In fact, the famed 9rules massacre where Scrivs and company started removing sites began with those sites who were affiliated with BlogMedia.

Now that BlogMedia owns one of the most influential blog news sites has to make Mike Rundle and the 9rules gang a little uncomfortable. Especially after saying

…this new policy was put into effect because we feel that we cannot be associated (either directly or indirectly) with companies or brands that may negatively affect how people perceive 9rules…

Now, one of those companies, own a high profile Blog news site. 

This is going to be fun to watch. 

Explore posts in the same categories: 9rules, blog herald, blog networks, BlogMedia, Duncan Riley, gossip, Mike Rundle, Paul Scrivens

38 Comments on “Why Mike Rundle Can’t Sleep: BlogMedia Buys Blog Herald”

  1. author Says:

    Just as the purchased price lowered, so will the quality of the blog herald.

  2. chartreuse Says:

    You think?
    All you have to do is post what’s going on in the blogosphere. It’s not exactly brain surgery…

  3. Matt Says:

    Thanks for the link and interview Char.

    Author, I can assure you that we have no desire to lower the quality of the work done at The Blog Herald. In fact, I think if you look at my track record as an editor at Blog Network Watch, we’ve quickly established that site as the leading source of information about Blog Networks. I’m confident that as we put together a blogging team at The Blog Herald that we’ll be able to live up to the high standards that Duncan has set.

    Char, to your point about 9rules. We report on them at BNW because it’s news and they’re pretty high profile. We’ll do the same at The Blog Herald. I’m certainly not going to ‘target’ them out of any personal animosity I may or may not have. In fact, I have a ton of respect for Mike and Colin and the skills that they bring to the blog network / design / technology world. I can’t comment on Paul because I don’t really know him.

    Thanks again for the article —
    ~~Matt

  4. Liz Strauss Says:

    This has all gone on soooooo looooong. I’m having trouble caring. Is there something wrong with me? Perhaps I need anti-depressants or something.

  5. Matt Says:

    I can share some of mine if you like. I prefer scotch though.

    Matt

  6. chartreuse Says:

    Liz,

    Let me tell you why this is interesting to me.

    I think blogging isn’t going anywhere. All industries has it’s news sources, Blog Herald happens to be ours. If it’s coverage is biased in some way that’s interesting. Really.

    And what’s this rumour I’m hearing that you think I write Copyblogger? I am so much more interesting than that guy! :)

    Matt,

    Thanks for not answering the one question that matters to me. :(
    And Good luck.

  7. Loren Says:

    I don’t get what the fuss is all about, it’s a B to B blog about blogs. Guess they are counting on Google, because no consumer brand will ever care about any of this blogosphere drama. What happens when the word “blog” becomes passe’? I don’t own blogs, I own websites. Best of luck to these guys.

  8. Matt Says:

    Loren,

    I agree with you that most do not care about the blogosphere drama. In fact, I usually could give a shit one way or the other.

    What I do care about is building great sites and great communities.

    Matt

  9. chartreuse Says:

    of course no one cares about the drama…but if I didn’t mention it I think I would be doing my audience a disservice. And god knows that chartreuse (beta) is all about service…

  10. Loren Says:

    Matt,

    Way to go that’s the spirit. Enough with this blog stuff, let’s inform, entertain, and have fun, and make cash. You’ve done a tremendous job at Blog Network, go get em.

  11. Loren Says:

    Char,

    Didn’t mean you my man. Of course you need to report on it. BTW this site is the best of all the blog biz sites. I read you everyday, you get it.

  12. Barry Bell Says:

    Money just doesn’t equal quality. You can buy all the big name, online properties you want, but at the end of the day, what counts is what you actually deliver, rather than what you own. And what you promise to deliver doesn’t actually count for a thing unless you go out and deliver it.

    And in terms of quality, I still don’t see where the selling point of the Blog Herald was. I hear all these people claiming it is ‘the’ news source for the blogging industry, but as a credible and professional news source in the real sense of the word, it was always pretty dire.

    What pushed it along is the fact that it has never, ever had any real competition.

    True, it had a huge audience, but the success of Blog Herald is one of the most blatant cases of ‘right time, right place’ I’ve ever seen. But then quality is an especially subjective issue anyway.

  13. Martin Says:

    I never saw the Blog Herald as being “the” news source for the blogging industry – far from it.

    I guess the “selling point” of the BH was what it could have been.

  14. chartreuse Says:

    Competition…right about that, there has been none. Which makes it all the more valuable in my book (but god knows i hardly read!).

    It gives me some good copy though.

    Loren,

    We gotta talk about what’s going on at 1938 Media. Really. There are some great ideas swirling around over there. You’ve arrived is great.

  15. chartreuse Says:

    martin,
    Why is it that I am getting a lot of email (and comments here) now saying negative things about BH? If BH is not “the blogging industry news source” then what is?

    It smells to me that a few people around here really don’t like the new owners.

  16. Barry Bell Says:

    >>I guess the “selling point” of the BH was what it could have been.

    Yep. And unless the new owners do something radically different, or even slightly useful, it’s always going to be yet another blog about blogs, bloggers, and blogging.

    Emperor’s new clothes, as far as I’m concerned.

  17. Barry Bell Says:

    It’s nothing to do with the new owners.

    I guess that people have always tagged along with the (false) idea that the Blog Herald is some kind of uber news source. Which it wasn’t. The truth is that it’s always been a personal blog (about blogging) written by someone who’s closely connected with the whole blogging industry.

    I find it hard to believe that no-one has ever called it out before – but that’s just your typical ‘hey, follow me’ lemming culture coming through.

    I sincerely hope that the new owners DON’T “operate the Blog Herald in much the same manner that Duncan has since its founding”. Because, with its current standing, and current audience there’s an awful lot of good you can do with a property like that.

    There’s a fine line between writing yet another blog about blogging, and turning it into a voice that the world will listen to. And I think the new owners will fast discover that the Blog Herald’s success has been built on Duncan’s (loose cannon) personality and opinion, rather than as a bona fide news source.

    Owning the Blog Herald is a real chance to do something worthwhile for the industry, and to position blogging as a credible media source.

    But only if you start afresh. And that’s what I was hoping for with the sale.

  18. Matt Says:

    Owning the Blog Herald is a real chance to do something worthwhile for the industry, and to position blogging as a credible media source.

    Amen. I agree with you. More to come.

    ~~Matt

  19. Matt Says:

    Char writes:

    It smells to me that a few people around here really don’t like the new owners.

    Most people don’t like Cowboy. That’s already come up over at Workboxers in regards to this purchase.

    ~~Matt

  20. Martin Says:

    Why is it that I am getting a lot of email (and comments here) now saying negative things about BH?

    I wouldn’t have a clue, mate.

    If BH is not “the blogging industry news source” then what is?

    well, there really isn’t one. It could just as well be you or any other hundreds of blogs that blogs about blogging.

  21. Liz Strauss Says:

    Thanks Matt, for the offer of anti-depressants. I think I’m over it now. Whew! What relief.

    Char, put it down to momentary confusion caused by a cryptic message involving the letter C . . . and too much excitement.

    I wish the Blog Herald many years of growth and good luck.

    And if you guys let me drink cognac instead of scotch, I’m in.

  22. duncan Says:

    Barry
    to be fair it was always news based, but in the last say 6 months as I’ve spent more and more time with b5media my ability to cover as much news as I would have liked to did decline. Go back through the archives, you’ll see that 90% of it was news, and it was news that wasn’t being reported anywhere else (particularly up to say the beginning of 2005). As for personal blog? News to me, Google me and Google The Blog Herald, you’ll find that my name only really started to become known in probably the last 12 months as I wrote some more opinion pieces and guides etc… The Blog Herald as a brand though remains today a much stronger brand than me personally.

    BTW: If you want to put the boot in now atleast have the courtesy to do it in person first. In making this attack it only reflects on inourself, and I can promise you that’s it doesn’t reflect positively in the slightest way.


  23. Well .. I FIRST STARTED to read the BlogHerald … – Duncan pretty much posted all the interesting news already because the day was almost over Down Under~ and I was just waking up .. it saves time when someone else does all the legwork, and especially in one place. I later liked Duncan’s attitude in his posting .. and, well like him or not, he does tend to say what’s on his mind! I suspect it will continue with Matt. I’m not sure about how it will continue with the news though .. if he can keep the blog network news out of the blog herald and keep it on the blognetworkwatch blog and concentrate on general news and build up his media company .. well, time will tell! I ain’t removing my Bloglines Feed !


  24. [...] Firstly, the price of the transaction has not been revealed anywhere and Duncan is reluctant to reveal it too (part of the deal). Chartreuse has asked Matt about it and here’s what he has to say As far as the price goes, we made a deal that we were all happy with. We paid a price that we thought was fair and reflected the value that Duncan had created with The Blog Herald. [...]

  25. Barry Bell Says:

    Morning.

    No attacks. No boots. Just an opinion as part of a discussion that’s going on here at this site. And if I’d seen it on any other site – including the Blog Herald – I would have put the same points forward.

    Man, I didn’t even start the discussion.

    >>”In making this attack it only reflects on inourself, and I can promise you that’s it doesn’t reflect positively in the slightest way.”

    Shush. I have a hangover and I’m cranky.

    ;o)

  26. John Says:

    … it’s always going to be yet another blog about blogs, bloggers, and blogging.

    … the Blog Herald’s success has been built on Duncan’s (loose cannon) personality and opinion, rather than as a bona fide news source.

    Barry, you’re not comparing like with like. Blog Herald is never going to match the Wall Street Journal. It’s a micro-publication in a bona fide niche, what we call the blogosphere. Its growth potential is probably up to 10 times what it is now, but it will never become mainstream to the wider population.

    That doesn’t mean it’s worthless, as you seem to imply. Let’s not deride blogging because it’s not News Corp online. Even Rupert Murdoch is buying into the blogosphere, so there must be some value there.

  27. Barry Bell Says:

    >>”Blog Herald is never going to match the Wall Street Journal. ”

    Yep, you’re right. It’s not.

    Sure, it’s a great source for blogging-related content (a blog about blogs, if you will), however, my opinion (and I’m entitled to that, right?) is that the Blog Herald didn’t paint a great picture of blogging as a credible industry, as ‘news sources’ should do.

    Case in point: a post about blogging business models from one of my sites was recently picked up by newsvine which put it in front of a (very) tech savvy audience. Not a huge audience, but an audience none the less. Now, a few of those tech savvy readers commented on the article on newsvine and those comments stretched from “I really don’t know what, if any business models, blogs can have” to “a LOT of blogs on the internet, [don't] have a lot of worthwhile content outside of a small group of people or friends”.

    OK, so it was a small sampling, but it’s not the first time I’ve seen comments like this. And remember, these words are NOT from an ‘MSM’ audience, but from early tech adopters – people who use newsvine and digg every day.

    Anyway, what I take away from reading stuff like that is that blogging still has a long, long way to go before it will be perceived as a credible and serious business model by a good proportion of the ‘tech’ community, nevermind the MSMs.

    Another case in point: my Dad, a retired teacher and freelance journalist, wanted to know about blogging a little while ago. He’s pretty savvy and uses the web a lot for work and research, so I pointed him to the Blog Herald as one of a few starting points. His reaction? “The writing’s awful. Is there anything better I can look at?” I’m taking a wild guess here, but I doubt he’s the only one to ever say that.

    What I’m trying to get across is that if we have a site that’s touted as being ‘the industry leading blog news site’ (as it was in the Sitepoint auction), then shouldn’t that site be up to scratch in terms of quality of writing, quality of news, and unbiased opinion?

    If ‘one of the defining blogs in the industry’ (taken from Jeremy’s original post about the sale) isn’t quite up to scratch, then what do you think peoples’ immediate perceptions of lesser blogs will be?

    It’s hard to write this without sounding like I’m attacking Duncan (which I’m not, by the way) – I simply think there is a gaping big hole just waiting to be filled by a high quality, and genuniely definitive news site about blogging – one that might work a little harder at repositioning blogging as something to be taken seriously. As far as I’m concerned, Blog Herald wasn’t that blog.

    Maybe Matt & co will fill that hole. Maybe not.

    Like I said, I’m cranky this morning.

    And what do I know anyway? There are 75,000 TBH readers each month who’ll no doubt say otherwise.

    ;o)


  28. More Funda about the Price of the BH: Duncan came into my blog and posted this saying that the price was $72K, when I had mentioned it:

    So:: Now Duncan’s comment seems to have sparkled something interesting… Why should Duncan come all the way just to say the previous price is $72K, when I have mentioned it (though as $70K).. So my intution says that the previous price gives an hint to the current price. Ofcourse, we may never find out the price but chart, we need to have a closer estimate in the end! Since Matt has mentioned “Duncan & We are Happy” and since Duncan has used this “:-)” and since the previous bid was an extremely high 70K, Duncan would not have sold this blog for a measly 30K when he could have waited and got atleast 60… So I say, it should be definitely around 70K, Duncan is not a fool. ;-)

    It can’t be more than 80K or anything since I don’t think the BM inc would have bought it for that much and there’s this common misconception that blogs always are worth less than sites so Hmm……

    Do give your comments on this and let me see what Matt & Duncan say about this..

    ——-
    Posted @ Chrontron.

    What do you say chart?

  29. chartreuse Says:

    I dunno…
    I still will stick to my 30kish number. But rumour has it I’ve been wrong before, just ask my ex-wives!

    Poor Barry, I’m sorry you got jumped over here. I get what you are saying. But it’s interesting that none of these things were being said earlier in the process.

    I’ve always looked at the blog herald as the blogging news site. I think a lot of folks do. We’ll see in the long run if that’s true or if it really was just a Duncan weblog.

  30. Barry Bell Says:

    >>”But it’s interesting that none of these things were being said earlier in the process.”

    Maybe it’s because this kind of thing is a difficult subject to bring up without being accused of launching attacks on people.

    But then again, if TBH wasn’t a personal site in the first place, then the umm… ‘attacks’ wouldn’t be seen as being personal, right?

    Hee.

  31. Barry Bell Says:

    Oh, and are we going for a ‘Scoble’ number of comments in this post?

  32. John Says:

    Barry, I agree that Duncan’s spelling and grammar often leaves a lot to be desired, and he knows that. Like many journos, he needs a good subeditor. Blogging doesn’t provide that, which is its weakness and its strength. As a journalist myself I sub my own copy and aim for a high standard of accuracy.

    But the fact remains there are few sources that provide the kind of concentrated river of news about the blogosphere that Blog Herald does.

    Jason Fry’s WSJ piece today illustrates what a savvy journalist thinks about blogging. It’s not all bad news.

  33. Barry Bell Says:

    Arrrgh. I’m not saying it is all bad news. Far from it. I’m actually arguing in favour of blogging here.

    And believe me when I say that I’m not knocking Duncan, or TBH, or Rolf Harris, or Neighbours, or even their lager.

    ;o)

    I think he’s done a fantastic job building the site to what it is/was – regardless of whether it was a piece of genius marketing and brand building, or a right place, right time fluke, or even if it was simply through lack of competition. One of the biggest strengths of the site – and this is a credit to Duncan – is that it has offered an unbroken stream of industry content for such a long time. Three years of hard work, as any blogger will testify.

    All I’m saying is …. oh forget it. I’ve already said it.

  34. David Krug Says:

    I just thought I would come out of my cave for a moment and say thanks for all the warm feedback. Please feel free to send me thoughts on ways we could improve TBH to david@problogging.com

  35. chartreuse Says:

    Thanks for dropping in, David. I’m sure you’ll get quite a few. :)

    Flava Flav has left the building.


  36. [...] All the best to BlogMedia Inc again, yes people have been harsh on them but Matt Craven has impressed me and I can’t wait to see more! [...]


  37. [...] – Matt Crayon “Char, to your point about 9rules. We report on them at BNW because it’s news and they’re pretty high profile. We’ll do the same at The Blog Herald. I’m certainly not going to ‘target’ them out of any personal animosity I may or may not have. In fact, I have a ton of respect for Mike and Colin and the skills that they bring to the blog network / design / technology world. I can’t comment on Paul because I don’t really know him.” [...]


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