As I’m thinking about the sale of TechCrunch to AOL and Jason Calacanis’s ideas for how to take tech reporting to the next level (in the form of an email newsletter), I can’t help but think about what the next generation of tech blogs will look like. Since the early days of tech blogging, the field has become more professionalized and the major blogs now have plenty of full- and half-time staffers who ensure that no nuance of the tech world goes uncovered. While Twitter and Facebook have changed the way these publications find readers for their stories (in the early days, RSS feeds used to be a huge source of traffic), the blogs themselves all still look pretty much the same (one exception – at least with regards to their homepage – is the rapidly expanding The Next Web).
Is Tech Blogging Itself is Ripe for Disruption?
TechCrunch’s big conference is called Disrupt and focuses on – well… – disruptive ideas and startups. While that blog’s new parents will likely not change much with regards to how the team there operates, it does somehow feel like this current batch of blogs is ready for a disruption itself. We like to talk a lot about how blogs are disrupting the newspaper industry, but I think it’s also worth thinking about what the next generation of tech blogs should looks like?
Looking at the current batch of top tech blogs (TechCrunch, ReadWriteWeb, Mashable, GigaOm, Engadget and the tech-focused blogs published by the NYTimes, Wired and other more mainstream publications), they all look and feel very similar. All of these are great publications in their own right, of course, but we really haven’t seen a lot of innovation in this business lately. Some, of course, focus more on social media, others on the financial side of the startup world and others on reviewing web and mobile apps. In terms of how they operate and publish, however, the differences are rather small.
What Should the Next Generation of Tech Blogs Look Like?
Obviously, I have some ideas about what I would do and will write about that soon, but I’d like to hear your ideas first.
If you were starting a new tech blog today, what would you do that’s different and disruptive?
Bonus question: Who are the tech bloggers that aren’t well-known yet but are doing something new and different on their sites?