Looks like AOL will be axeing many of the more unpopular blogs (less than 1 million pageviews a month) from the network acquired from Weblogs Inc. This is convincing evidence that all niche blogs on the internet should abandon all efforts especially coming from Nick Denton, who makes a living off of such niche blogs.
It’s a bit disappointing to see AOL just shutting down the blogs. If they are indeed convinced about letting these properties die, I’m sure readers would rather they gave the writers an option to buy out their blogs or be given the option to own the blog in lieu of a severance package (a great way to cut costs too).
There are many other blogs with lower traffic being monetized smartly to at least support the blogger’s living expenses if not turn a profit. It’s really not a warning for niche blogs but rather an illustration of how big corporations are not suited to run small blogs since the economies don’t scale.
The wizardry of contextual advertising and blog publishing platforms will allow internet publications to flourish in a thousand niches. Well, that was the theory. The practice? AOL is closing down a slew of smaller blogs it bought from entrepreneur-provocateur and Valleywag staple, Jason Calacanis, in 2005. The bulk of AOL’s ad revenues from its blog network, running at more than $1m a month according to Calacanis, come from a few star brands such as Engadget, Autoblog and Joystiq.