Thursday, July 19, 2007

Web 2.0 Smites Business 2.0 ran a story earlier this week on the probable demise of print magazine Business 2.0 and the death throws of tech magazines.

Business 2.0 is one of my favourite magazines as it focuses on the business role of new technology, that is not just tech for tech's sake with all the gory, nerdy details but how technology can actually be used to make something happen, and make money.

In the article, Bye-Bye, Business 2.0, the author, Brian Caulfield, believes this is due in part to ad revenues moving away from traditional methods to targeted, online methods. Caulfield also claims blogs scooped up a large amount of remaining advertising dollars.

I was discussing this at lunch today with Brad Einarsen of Haven Knowledge Systems, and we noted that it appears Business 2.0 was done in by the rise of Web 2.0.

Isn't it ironic (in the incorrect, Alanis Morissette use of the term), don't you think?

As one who works in the Internet, I should be happy to see more ad revenue spent online. But having worked for a website that relied on advertising six years ago, I'm very familiar with what happens when the economy inevitably cycles downward - ad revenue dries up and the lay-offs begin (even if it is a few days before Christmas!).

Based on another article I read today, it appears that some facets of online advertising is even more problematic. Banner ad click-through rates are low - we all know that, but according to Dave Morgan in his blog posting Outing the Heavy Clickers, the few click-throughs they do get tend to be from one small, and not necessarily lucrative, segment.

Every day it seems, I see another Web 2.0 start-up, many are quite cool, but most seem to rely on ad revenue and I think many of these ones will tank (unlike others such as Web 2.0 darling, T-Shirt designer and retailer Threadless). Still, I'd be more nervous to be in the newspaper business now (particularly in the Classifieds department).

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