In a recent PR Week article, Lloyd Trufelman, president of Trylon Communications, said “If a blog is going to exist as a commercial enterprise, it’s going to have to track to the same economic rules that govern all other forms of media."
These are the same rules, I assume, that governed vanishing newspaper circulations and network news ratings. The same rules that prompted the New York Times and Knight-Ridder to layoff hundreds of employees, the same rules that prompted Dow Jones to shrink the Wall Street Journal by 20 percent to save on newsprint costs.
With apologies to The Who, the new media bosses are not the same as the old media bosses. The old bosses were close-knit cadres of the rich and powerful; the new bosses are all of us.
I don’t know which blogs will exist as commercial enterprises nor do I care. People Magazine didn’t make money for its first 10 years and no one rang its death knell, so we should cut blogs some slack and let the free market do its thing.
I do know, however, that the rules, economic and otherwise, have changed – not just for new media but for traditional media as well. That’s about all we can predict with any degree of certainty.