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How Many Blogs Did AOL Buy, Exactly?

"In online content that ranges from music to movies, travel to tech, food to fashion, medicine to mortgages, 85 new topical websites now call AOL and AOL.com home – providing online consumers with new micro-communities where they can connect, debate, editorialize, comment, and learn."

Or so says the press release announcing AOL's purchase of WeblogsInc. WIN claims to have 85 blogging sites, but how many do they really have?

As part of my work with Gawker Media, several weeks ago I was asked to undertake an analysis of WIN's properties. I went to each site listed on their sidebar and took note of the last two posts made on that blog. I also got rid of sub-blogs (Engadget: Wireless, etc.) and personal blogs.

My count was 31. Now, mind you, 31 is still a lot! Gawker Media only has 14 sites. But 31 is not 85.

How did they have so many "blogs"?

  • For many blogs, the most recent "post" was the "Best of WeblogsInc" posts that show up on every blog every Friday. Check out the Xbox2 Weblog to see what I mean.
  • Lots of posts were crossposted on multiple blogs.
  • They counted categories within a blog as separate blogs. Engadget appears on the sidebar blog list 5 times: Engadget Cellphones, Engadget Wireless, etc.

Jason recently claimed that they were going to "retire" some of the blogs that haven't seen posts in weeks. We'll see when that happens.

Now that WeblogsInc is no longer an independent competitor to Gawker, this data isn't really confidential. You can download the spreadsheet below and see for yourself.

· WIN Analysis Spreadsheet [Excel File]

Posted in Business, Gawker, Media, blogs, marketing on October 06, 2005, 05:32 PM | Permalink

Comments

I'm the guy that took Jason to task on the subject of how many blogs he claims to have -- he kind of dismissed it as an "oh, I don't really care! and I don't make the claims, everyone else does" . I found his dismissive responses and then change of subject to be pretty insulting, at best. At worst, you could make an argument for it being lying.

WIN is a great blog network. I read WIN daily. But WIN does not have 85+ blogs or whatever the claim is.

Posted by: Andrew Kaufmann at October 7, 2005 05:47 PM

Weblogs, Inc. is updated now, as far as I see VoIP is updated at least once daily, Flash Insider seems to be updated daily, and the various Engadget variants (such as the other languages) produce unique posts. I'd estimate a total of around 40 blogs active, but with event blogs (which were active) upwards of 55, add in personal blogs (which are updated frequently, but aren't exactly niche thingies) they bought around 60 good, content filled blogs.

Posted by: Chris at October 8, 2005 11:47 AM

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