Site vs. Network

There’s a debate brewing on Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch blog about the merits or otherwise of networks rather and websites.

But Glam isn’t really the largest women’s site on the Internet – not by a long stretch. Rather, it’s a collection of a few sites that they own that generate some page views, plus a big ad sales team that sells ads for 600 or so other blogs and websites. In August the company claimed 19 million monthly visitors, but just 3.4% of them (654,000) actually visited The company will lose about $3.7 million this year on $21 million in revenue….says Arrington.

Jeff Jarvis takes issue.

But I’ve been arguing to big media companies that they need to become networks themselves. Google is a network. Who cares how large its site is? What matters is its reach on sites all over the internet.

Google grew by building a network. So did Glam. I say that is a model for survival and growth among media companies. Local newspapers, for example, should be building hyperlocal networks of local blogs; with them, they can expand coverage and reach in ways that were never possible when they depended only on staff.

Food for thought.

Update: Jeff has posted a lot more detail on this argument here.

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