This may just be me, but I have a hard time getting excited about the news that Weblogs Inc is getting bought by AOL (via gaping void.) Actually, I have a hard time getting excited about the company at all. I don’t read any of their blogs, having dropped Engadget – the only one I’ve ever read regularly – 6 months ago. In fact, I can never remember which blogs are Weblogs Inc and which ones are Gawker Media. They all seem of a piece to me, and none of them interest me enough to follow.
Is there an object lesson here? But of course. There is good money to be made in sharecropping – that is if you are the plantation owner. It may not be so wonderful if you are plowing the fields, but owning the whole thing is lucrative. I’ve always thought both companies were pretty cynical enterprises and I’ve never bought either as a harbinger of wonderful things for citizen media. In fact, I’ve always thought of them as the worst of both worlds – the quality standards of new media with the crappy labor practices of old media. Bleh, who needs it?