In round 3 of this championship bout, Calacanis says a blog could be worth a million — or two. Denton replies that Calacanis is blowing the bubble again. And Calacanis counters, arguing that one blog could make $500k a year.
As Nick says: Ah, a data point!
Pardon my dyslexic calculations, but to make $500k on advertising at, say, a $5 CPM, you’d need to get 100 million page views. Not going to happen, not for a B2B product, especially, not even for a porn product. OK, so say you could sell at $25; that’s still 25 million ad impressions. Say you could get $100k with other revenue — conferences, special reports, T-shirts, job ads. You still need too much traffic to get to that $500k.
And that’s the real issue the boys are battling over: How big is big these days? $500k is clearly too big and the problem with trumpeting such a number is that when you fail, there will be plenty of people — investors, competitors, reporters, curmudgeons — ready to nya-nya-nya themselves silly.
What you’re really seeing here is a war of styles. Calacanis is a master salesman; he’s a hypester and that has served him well. Denton believes in letting things grow on merit (I’ve pushed him to do more PR for Gawker and Gizmodo but he has resisted, wisely, for both sites gained attention because they were discovered by influencers, not hyped to them).
In this arena, style matters. For the world is only just beginning to discover weblogs and it’s in our collective interest to make sure that people root for our success, not our failure.
I like Calacanis and think he’ll succeed at his new venture. My one piece of advice: Don’t oversell, Jason.
I respect Denton (he introduced me to blogging) and know he is succeeding. My one request to him: Ignore Jason and get your next blogs started; your audience is eager.
: Update: Calacanis has changed his model to pay bloggers the first $1,000 in revenue each month. Details here.
I’ve told him that he’d really be a hero if he could come up with a way to get bloggers group health insurance.