I spent the morning at the PPA Conference on a panel with Paul Way and John Barnes discussing the challenges of developing a digital business from within a traditional publisher – something we all have a lot of experience of. There were a few questions from the audience which I answered as well as I could – though sometimes, I now regret, a bit flippantly. One answer which I now wish I could have elaborated on was in response to a question about whether blogging journalists in this new world couldn’t set up shop on their own and obviate the need for a publisher.
What I should have said was that the new businesses which are springing up from the blogging medium aren’t really so very different. Consider paidcontent.org which was started by journalist Rafat Ali, had to take on more staff to cope with the volumes of work involved and recently hired ex-Variety VP Charlie Koones to join the board to “help us build out our digital entertainment trade media business”. Sounds a lot like a traditional publishing business trajectory if you ask me.