Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Om Says "Web Workers of the World...Unite"

I like it… I’m not sure I get it… but I really really like it. As Om Malik branches out to make his mark in the world of independent journalism, he has launched a new site called WebWorkerDaily.

It has a great design and a great feel and I’m kinda excited just by looking at it. Now, I gotta be honest (which is tough for a PR person) I’m not 100% sure what the site is supposed to be about. I don’t think it is just another blog for Om. I reckon this is supposed to be more community oriented where people log on to share thoughts and ideas about being connected, but working independently.

If I’m right, and if this catches on, then it could be really cool. I’ve been a huge fan of “wired working.” I live in San Francisco and work in San Jose so any day that I can save the commute, stay up in SF but still get out of my shoe-box-sized apartment, and spend an afternoon doing emails from a café is probably a day that I’m far more productive that battling traffic for 1.5 hours and spending a day in a soul-destroying office cube.

While there are a lot of great blogs out there, GigaOm is hands down the one I pay most attention to. Om covers virtually every space that impacts Cisco and, more importantly, the interplay and cross-overs between those spaces. Om knows telecom like few others so his insights I know come from years of talking to people about the state of the industry; so you know you’re always dealing with quality when he writes.

Now, of course, he’s got a whole new host of writers on the newly independent GigaOm. They all seem to be top notch and I’m find this site as informative as ever. If I have one complaint about the new GigaOm, is that there is TOO much stuff on this site and rarely is a post up long enough on the front page to get a good dialog going between readers.

But with the WebWorkerDaily, it looks like Om is trying to expand his on-line real estate which is way smart. One blog site does not a business make, IMHO. I don’t have any insight into anyone’s finances but it just seems to me that it would be too difficult to make any serious cash just by selling a couple of banner ads on a single blog.

A blog I don’t think can exist in a vacuum and needs to be part of some sort of larger strategy. When I think of bloggers, for some reason I think of Bloomberg News. Bloomberg (if I understand them correctly) essentially uses the news to sell terminals. Their real business is terminals, their brand making exercise is news. That to me is the model for bloggers. The blog builds the brand and creates noterity, but the real business itself has to come from other sources. Those other sources could be other aligned blogs or on-line services, or they could come from off-line sources like organizing events and conferences. (Looks like Paid Content is getting the groove on that as well… will need to follow that trend to see where it goes.)

Anyway, I don’t know what Om’s strategy is, but I wish I did. I don’t think anything I’ve written here is news to him so I’m sure he’s got few tricks up his sleeve. I wasn’t terribly impressed by the whole job board thing , but I don’t think that is the be-all and end-all of his GigaOm strategy. I’m sure there are more things to some and WebWorkersDaily is a peak perhaps to what’s in store.

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