Lots of talk about blog networks. I have a pet peeve. Figured I might as well discuss it. First, what is a blog network? In my opinion, the network has to have ownership or some sort of control of the blogs. Not necessarily 100% control but some controlling interest. Of course a blog has to satisfy the accepted definition of a blog. In my opinion, a blog has comments, a web site doesn’t. Boing Boing and Scripting News are not blogs, they are web sites using modern technology and initiate a conversation. Blogs take it a step further by initiating and having the ability to continue to the conversation. There has to be a difference between a blog and a web site using modern technologies, right? For the record, I don’t view a “network” based on subdomains as a network. It’s a site/blog using more sophisticated navigation.
Given those presumptions, why isn’t cNet considered a blog network? Look at their offerings. News.com, GameSpot and ZDNet all have dated entries, allow comments and trackbacks, they have controlling interest in the blogs and they all have different domains. cNet offers a wide variety of content and from the outside seems to be successful. Actually it is a blend of controlling their own content and integrating outside content (I think this area could be improved) but in truth, it’s sort of a blend between “classic” blog network setup and the community type model. They integrated media within their network and that too seems to be successful. They have multiple ways to monetize their venture…always a smart move.
If I were going to start a blog network cNet would be my foundation and I would improve upon it. Tweak it to my own liking and subject matter, plan to grow into a cNet unless I hit the lottery of something because there is no way I could afford (at launch) to do what they are doing now. What I do not understand is why people do not consider some of cNet’s offerings worthy enough to be a blog network? cNet doesn’t come up in the conversation. Why?