When I talk to traditional publishers and editors, as I invariably do in my day gig, and they say they don't believe blogs are ever really going to impact their business, as they invariably do when I have that conversation, I invariably end up pointing them to TechCrunch.
It's kinda hard-to-believe that TechCrunch only turned one today. In just a year, it has come to totally own, dominate it's market niche. In doing so, it has cut a leg or so out from underneath a couple of major tech titles like Internet.com, ZDNet and even the likes of Infoworld and eWeek. Bet none of those guys saw that coming when TechCrunch launched as a simple, one-man blog 12 months ago.
Full credit to Mike Arrington, who has done an absolutely amazing job. But it would be wrong to view Mike as a blogger. He's run TechCrunch as a professional, media business since the very early days. He's placed a big emphasis on marketing, he's built a community via events and networking, he's brought in professionals and external contributors when needed and he's taken every opportunity to monetise his success, enabling the snowball to keep up its momentum.
Most bloggers don't have the time, resources, talent to fulfill half of those criteria, but really the most important one is to continually build on your mometum. It's the same of any business but double important in publishing. You've got to keep feeding the beast and the more you feed the beast, the hungrier it gets so you've got to keep upping the ante and that's really, really difficult to do unless you're particularly motivated and talented. Heaven knows, I've had no success doing that with this blog. On my list of priorities, Squash sits at about number ten and subsequently I've never, ever taken advantage of the various stages I've had success to keep the ball rolling. And the frequent dormant periods have eroded a lot of the wins I've managed to have in the past.
But that's really, the only thing that traditional publishers have to rely on. The fact that most bloggers don't have the time, the expertise or the drive to keep evolving their business like a traditional publisher can. A successful media operator is like the Juggernaut character in the new X-Men film. Once it builds up momentum, the momentum just gets stronger and stronger and it becomes unstoppable. TechCrunch proves that when you have a Juggernaut like Arrington, blog-style media can steal eyeballs and consequently revenue. I think TechCrunch has set a precedent for all aspiring blogging Juggernauts and if I was a traditional media operator, I'd be listening for the rumbling…