New UK blog publisher launches

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Media stories tend not to be our staple fare here at TechCrunch, but it’s worth mentioning the launch of a new professional blog publisher in the UK, MessyMedia, and welcoming them to the blogosphere.

I wrote an article over two years ago for the Financial Times about what I thought at the time would be the rise of blog publishers in the UK. Others noticed the trend too. But today there is only one big player left, ShinyMedia. Granted there is also the three-month-old startup BlogNation, but it appears to be concentrating on being a global, rather than UK-specific blog network, as well as becoming a “TechMeme for the rest of the world“. Successful blog publishers, who have flourished in places like the US, Canada, France and elsewhere, have been few and far between in the UK.

However, MessyMedia has a particularly good publishing pedigree, which is unusual in the wild world of blogs. It’s headed-up by Lloyd Shepherd, formerly of Guardian Unlimited and Yahoo Europe, and Andrew Levy, formerly of Yahoo Europe. Both are former journalists and both know a lot about online publishing.

Westmonster – their first site – is a new blog about British politics, which will be “irreverent, clued-up and scurrilous“. It’s written by Westminster insider Sadie Smith. Others are planned.

  • Ivan Pope

    Yeah. Whatever. Remember Mink Media? Big hitter, big ambitions. Started with a blog about politics. Why do they always start with a blog about politics? How about a blog about schools, or housing or crime or something with a broad populist bent? Eh?

  • Lee Sai Fon

    There’s also – they’re not very good at PR though…

  • Bob Jones

    A pink politics blog? Seems off to me .. political gossip colulmn? Wow, thrilling.

    It looks like a blog that would be dicussing what type of suite would suit Gordon Brown or what exactly is wrong with Sherie Blair’s hair – not exactly what I’ll be reading.

  • Agency guy

    The problem with blogs is that the advertising buying points don’t take them particularly seriously; you have to generate tens of million of impressions to make them a growth business financially, and you won’t get that from a UK blog. If all they are looking to do is earn an honest crust but not get rich, then they may do that in time off CPA andGoogle ads. Content is king but you need to demonstrate seriousness by taking your publishing seriously – that’s what the agencies are looking for.

  • Mike Butcher

    Agency guy – so you don’t think the ex-head of online content at the Guardian and Yahoo plans to take this very seriously, right? Maybe when ad agencies take their collective heads out of their collective arses they’ll see the value in blogs, as much as the readers already do. Having written about media buying agencies in the past and witnessing their general inability to understand significant online media trends (“Ah bugger it. Let’s just buy some TV ads, eh?”) you’re probably right, it ain’t going to happen any time soon.

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