Neil Ashe, CEO, CNET
Bob Carrigan, President, IDG Communications
Om Malik, GigaOmniMedia
Greg Strakosch, CEO, TechTarget
Staci Kramer tries to take credit for launching Om’s blogging career at PaidContent. Om’s not having it, though.
Neil, you don’t want to be called a tech publisher. Why is that? We’re still tech, but we’ve been scaling horizontally beyond tech: Just launched BNET, business media. BNET about “business from the inside” — how to guides for managers (please, no).
Bob: We define tech broadly: Games, Cleantech, etc. 20% of our business is events, which is great. Higher margin.
Staci says Greg has redefined tech marketplace. Really?
Staci wants to know if Om thinks he’s competing with big publishers or making their lives harder. No, he says, his Gigaom network is an adjunct to what the other panelists are creating. Except he calls them “fast food” producers — I think he means this as a compliment but hard to say. Clarification: There is Whole Foods fast food and McDonalds fast food. That’s still not clear, but I think Om is saying that blogs and traditional publishers all make the same stuff, but that Om and other bloggers package it differently, and better. I’ll ask him afterward.
Neil Ashe on blogs: Some are good, some are not. We have to do that (publish quickly) at scale. We’re good at scale. We operate 300-400 blogs. 25M (?) pages a day.
Bob Carrigan: Yes, IDG is indeed bringing back the Industry Standard, as a sort of experiment. Why not?
Neil Ashe: We’re not done pruning our company, so we can focus on bigger growth opportunities: To meet targets we need to add a new Facebook every two years. So we’ll be ditching, smaller units.
Rafat asks Om if Business 2.0 could have been saved? Yodalike Om: Sure! Anything could have been saved! But why are you asking me? Ask TWX? Also, the save Business 2.0 Facebook group was “a joke”.
What about alternate revenue strategy besides advertising? Bob Carrigan: We sell $20,000 yearly subscriptions to a CIO group. Other print pubs sell. And both “qualified” B2B conferences, as well as consumer-oriented events, like the one that the video game show they just held in LA this month.
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