Time Magazine announced that Andrew Sullivan, publisher of the popular Daily Dish blog, will be bring DD inside the Time tent beginning in January. It’s yet another example of big media realizing that blogs are where the influentials are increasingly turning so they’d better latch on to that if they want to survive.
I’m sure it’s a great relief to Sullivan to have a home and a publisher instead of wandering the vast wilderness on his own. Corporate ownership of blogs can be a good thing if – and only if – they are (or remain) real blogs. What does that mean? A minimum of editorial oversight (just enough to make sure things are on the up and up), a free spirit and sense of authenticity. Those are the traits that made blogs so appealing in the first place. Considering Time has a pretty good online history I’m hopeful that they’re one of the media organizations that “gets” blogging, both in terms of creation and reading.
Jeff Jarvis thinks, though, that Time is going about this all wrong. Instead of bringing Sullivan in-house it would have been better for them to advertise on his site or become his sole sponsor. Doing so, Jarvis argues, would benefit brand extension more than proprietary ownership of Sullivan’s musing. I’m not sure I agree in that even in a new media world there will still be – I think – hubs of information which content is centered around. By signing Sullivan, Time has brought itself a bit more of that world to circle around its’ own unique star.