If blogging so far has been a cozy lunch hour rambling for you, then it’s time you take it seriously. That’s what some new media theorists advise. After American Online acquired Weblogs Inc, the two-year-old blog network, for a sum rumoured anywhere between $25 million and $40 million, blogosphere is abuzz with calculations and projections about the monetary value of a blog.
Popular blog search engine Technorati has come out with a simple method to calculate the value of a blog anywhere in the world. Called Technorati API, it is based on the calculations of Tristan Louis, the author of www.tnt.net, who did the math figuring out how much each blog in the Weblogs Inc stable was worth based on Technorati ranking.
Now Technorati has developed a search engine box through which one can enter one’s URL to see how much it is worth in dollar terms.
Based on the AOL acquisition figures of Weblogs Inc as rumoured and the Technorati ranking of the individual blogs in Weblogs, the value of a single link to a blog is calculated somewhere between $564 and $1,000. It means the more people link your blog in their websites or blogs, the more is the worth of your blog.
After Technorati reported about the new tool on its blog on October 24, elated bloggers started quoting the value of their blogs, which run from a few thousand dollars to some claiming the worth more than the GDP of some countries!
Soon, serious bloggers started denouncing the technique used as a worthy valuation method. They claimed that that way anybody could create hundreds of blogs giving links to one single blog, thus raising its valuation.
The debate had yet to end that an article on November 28 in ‘Business 2.0’ written by India born Om Malik, a senior technology journalist, calculated the value of a unique monthly website visitor to be hovering around $38 using recent high-profile web content deals. This means, if you have 1,000 unique visitors in one month on your blog, then you can sell your blog for $38,000.
This has generated another wave of serious discussions on major technology blogs and websites. Views varied from calling it ridiculous to too futuristic. Even some bloggers started guessing it to be the indication of the second Internet bubble.
“Doesn’t all of this remind everyone of the 1st tech bubble? The only difference back then was that pageviews were overvalued. I guess we switched up the metric (from pageviews to visitors) for bubble 2.0,” commented a blogger.
But the most serious question, which only a few addressed, is who is going to buy the blog of an individual and how can it be monetised? In an organisation, which is the result of a collective effort, even if the mentor leaves, the organisation may run successfully. But in case of a blog, which is the outcome of the unique thought process of an individual, the blog has hardly any existence without him.
If Weblogs Inc has been acquired for a huge amount, it is because AOL is convinced how to use the huge community base Weblogs for its falling advertising revenues. Weblogs has been one of the most successful attempts at weaving together a network of individual blogs to attract stable advertisers and cash in on the blogging phenomenon.
Weblog was attractive because it had already established itself as a profitable business venture.
Blogs can only be monetised if they have reliable income sources at present. There is no denial of the fact that the content and the faithful community base that some serious blogs have built are not worthless. But, it is very difficult to evaluate it unless you have some figures to start with.
The only option is blogging communities like Weblogs, which could attract some advertisers on their own and thus, could be appealing to major media houses. Until then, you can calculate the value of your blogs through either the links’ method or the visitors’ method and derive some virtual pleasure. (Kiruba Shankar’s blog, ranked as India’s No. 1 blog, is worth $184,604.58, almost Rs 84 lakh as per Technorati API). As a blogger puts it succinctly, “Now, we are all rich in our dreams!”