“There are lots of ways you can publish a blog. But it isn’t always so easy to get yourself noticed. By starting your blog with Salon, you’ll automatically be part of a community of Salon-based bloggers, which will help you get the word out and bring visitors to read what you write. Your blog will be listed on the Salon blogs recent updates and rankings by page-views pages. And I’ll be following the new blogs as they come online here, providing links and pointers to the most interesting bloggers and posts.”
Ain’t that a strange pitch to do? As if Salon, all by itself, could create more momentum than the combination of Google, Daypop, Blogdex, Trackback, referrer logs, neighborhood maps, social networks, and a thousand other tools and tricks yet to come.
I used to hold Scott Rosenberg’s opinion in high esteem, back when he actually wrote articles. But this demonstrates Salon is not getting the current nature of the blogosphere. This weblogs.com just for Salon (RCS-based recent updates and ranking by page views), doesn’t bring new value to the web at large. And hand-picking the best weblogs? You should have learnt from Yahoo vs. Google that manual work gets beaten to a pulp by distributed computing. Besides, it’s not like Plastic succeeded with that either.
This would have been a very nice thing to do 18 months ago, and I’m not saying it’s inherently bad, but it’s just not very relevant now. This is a nice distribution deal for Userland, and a showcase of their ability to let organizations create a weblog community, but it makes more sense to do so for a very specific niche or a private audience, not a more generic venue like Salon.