Phil Sim

Web, media, PR and… footy

eCorp dudes to set up Aussie Gawker

We just broke the news on MediaConnect/ITJourno that a new blog media house has been set up in Australia called allure media. allure is a netus company – netus being a technology investment firm backed by News Limited and managed by ex eCorp dudes Daniel Petre and Alison Deans that specialises in transplanting successful overseas business models into Australia.

The company is going to be run by Chris Janz, a former News Interactive editor.

It will start with two blogs, an Australian version of Gizmodo and a gossip blog. allure has exclusive rights to Gawker content in Australia.

Heap of interesting stuff comes out of this. Will the old media model of producing localised version of international properties transfer to the blog world? Can licensing copy be a big new revenue-generator for bloggers? Is Australia big enough to support an Aussie-only blog network? Will big local blog launches like this give the Australian blogosphere some new momentum?

(My answers: Maybe but it depends on the community they can build, yes, yes but it depends on the cost structures, a bit)

Here’s an extract from the original story:

The first, big independent blog media initiative to take on the Australian market will see the launch of a local version of the powerful Gawker Media ‘Gizmodo’ tech blog.

Gizmodo Australia will be published by newcomer Allure Media. Allure is a spin-off from netus – a News Limited-backed investment vehicle that boasts management heavyweights like former Microsoft bigwig Daniel Petre as executive director, and former eBay and eCorp CEO Alison Deans as executive director of operations. Allure is headed by one-time editor Chris Janz.

Netus describes itself as an “Australian technology investment company focused on bringing proven technology-based services and products to the Australian market”, with Allure Mediasignifying its pitch into the blog media arena, based on the company’s acquisition of the rights to the mastheads and content of US blog network Gawker Media.

Allure will launch with two blogs. The first will be Gizmodo, a gadget blog which is Gawker’s most popular masthead with 4.3 million monthly unique visitors and sitting at No. 4 on the Technorati list of most-linked to blogs. Allure will also launch a gossip blog, a Gawker Media staple, closely modelled on the LA-centric Defamer masthead.

Chris Janz – who took an express ride through the News Interactive ranks – is Allure Media’s managing director, but will retain editorial control over all mastheads, in a similar manner to the way Nick Denton runs Gawker Media. Again, much like Gawker operates, each of Allure’s blogs will be chaired by an editor, as well as calling on the assistance of outside contributors.

Janz has been on board for three weeks, having relocated back to Sydney after a stint on the Gold Coast as a producer on Channel Ten’s Big Brother program.

“I’ve been talking to netus for a while. They’ve been looking at blogs for about a year and they’ve gone through all the properties in the States and have cherry-picked those that they’re really interested in, and we’re now bringing them to market,” Janz said.

Janz said that Allure has exclusive rights to Gawker content as well as a “another couple [non-Gawker blogs] that we really think will work in this market”.

Filed under: Uncategorized

Violent Digg-femmes

Tonight, I had the great pleasure of seeing one of my favourite ever bands, the Violent Femmes, who just happened to be playing at my local pub!

I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with this. Should I be happy that my local is starting to establish itself as a genuine gig venue or should i be distressed that the Femmes have been reduced to playing in suburban Sydney! I’m taking the former, I had the best night and if I can get a great gig out of my local once every couple of months, I’m going to be pleased as punch. Although, it did take a couple of bars for me to adjust to the site of my not-well ageing idols!

Anyway, this brings me to Digg-fans having a spaz over Yahoo! using their interface. My message, quite simply, get over it. Did you notice pligg? Did you notice the countless geek clones abounding the Internet? Did you seriously think none of the big boys would ever catch on?

The problem with the Yahoo implementation of the Digg-user interface is that they’ve cocked it up ridiculously. The difficult thing to reconcile with Digg, is the critical mass it has and that’s what makes it so compelling. The way Yahoo! has deployed the Digg-voting interface, for feedback on its services is all wrong. When I landed there, the top item had one vote! There’s a few good example of pligg sites that do this, but they’re ranking are best-ever votes. That would suit what Yahoo! is doing rather than pretend that they’re getting enought discussion going to make the Digg-voting method work..

Anyway, I’ve been toiling with this issue, because I think I’m going to implement a Digg-style system within my 1Eyed network. I’m trying to work out, at what point the voting system becomes useless, and the various ramifactions when you add a high-level of subjectivity into the mix (ie my users are fans of certain teams, and thus certain stories, and if I have a mismatch of users to one team, that is going to affect voting results and reinforce my misbalance).

Anyway, all I’ve got left to say is… Day after day…

Filed under: Uncategorized

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