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An Insider’s Look at Blogging in the UK; He Forgot The Most Important Element
Ashley Norris, former co-founder of UK blog network Shiny Media has a guest post on TechCrunch where he discusses the UK blogging scene. Ashley left the company last week to create another startup. The post is a good look into why Ashley believes blog media companies haven’t experienced major success in the UK as of now.
Ashley blames the following "external factors":
Limited number of UK online eyeballs
Lack of imagination in the ad industry
Lack of UK media entrepreneurs
Lack of VC support
Too much competition
The omnipotent BBC
When I initially read the post this morning, the reasons seemed legit but something didn’t sit right with me. After re-reading the post, it hit me. Nowhere in the post does Ashley (or Shiny Media) note that perhaps "not meeting customer needs" or any other internal issues could have also led to the undesired results. It’s very, very easy to blame external factors. I don’t know Ashley nor Shiny Media but what I took out of his post was a good bit of education on the UK blogging market but a heck of a lot of bitching and moaning about external factors.
For example, he notes that the BBC has a huge footy (soccer) site that basically forces Shiny’s footy blog, whoateallthepies.tv to be smaller than it could be. Way to rally the troops there Ashley. Let me clue you in on a little secret, every business has external forces working against it every day.
The last interesting bit from the story comes from some of the post comments. The first few comments discuss the look, usability and the type of ads that Shiny Media utilizes. Could the fact that some users didn’t come back because they were turned off by an internal factor outside of the content? One of the commenters noted that the content on Shiny Media blogs isn’t "compelling". While I have no idea if it is or isn’t, I would be very interested in hearing how Ashley and the team reached out to their customers to find out what is working and what isn’t. Blogs need to listen to their customers just like any other product or service.
Maybe Mike will allow Ashley to write another guest post where he shares what internal factors could have led to some of the negative returns he/Shiny Media experiences. I would be very interested to read that post – and I am sure we (bloggers, entrepreneurs, etc.) would all learn more from that post.
From the alcoholics anonymous program: God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change; the courage to change the things I can; and the wisdom to know the difference.