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November 17, 2005

Open Source Respectability?

One good thing about the project is that it has attracted MSM attention, and therefore some additional general-public attention as well -- raising the profile of blogs, even for blogs not part of the OSM network, or whatever it is.

That's a good thing, I think. Advertisers are people, and people make decisions for dubious reasons all the time. Hollywood is more likely to make a movie out of a book, for example -- even if it's a bad book, that no executive has actually bothered to read -- because there is a reassurance in holding that book in their hands. It's something concrete. It's real. It's not just a "premise" or a "concept" or even a spec script.

They can carry that book -- that little signifier, that 300 page reifier -- and show it to investors and say, "This is the thing we're making a movie about. This real thing, which you can touch and feel and even smell, if you like smelling books." (And, frankly, who doesn't?)

Similarly, major advertisers, who have been reluctant to advertise on blogs despite the fact that the cost-per-eyeball is far lower than the CPM for placing ads in magazines and on TV -- might now see that there's a "real business" out there called blogs and decide that OSM -- with its investors, its incorporation, its editorial board, etc. -- now signifies a certain reassuring amount of professionalism and take-it-seriously-ism.

That little intangible could be the key to the whole deal's success or failure. Advertisers have known about blogs for years, of course, and some corporations have even set up their own blogs. But will OSM reassure them further that this is a real thing? Will OSM let them finally smell it?

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posted by Ace at 05:35 PM

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