Blogging network GigaOm will announce the acquisition of the small but excellent mobile-focused blog jkOnTheRun this evening. Founders James Kendrick and Kevin Tofel will remain in Houston and continue doing their thing.
The deal size isn’t being announced, and it’s likely small. But it shows what might be the beginning of something that I wrote about in March – the rollup of the better blogs (subjectively defined) as the space gets hyper-competitive (you gotta love zero barriers to entry).
I predict that this is just the beginning of the process that will accelerate over the next 12-18 months. Larger blogs lacking the stomach for competition will sell to large media corporations. The more competitive large blogs who want to see this thing through will start to acquire the smaller ones and group by topic areas. Whoever builds the network of the most interesting and prodigious voices will eventually “win.” Or perhaps everyone will win, but to different degrees.
I’m sticking to my argument that blogs should get cash positive and then start to acquire others – raising a slug of money just gives people an incentive to spend it, and you lose control to a group of investors who may know little or nothing about how to build a blog.
And what’s most clear in all of this is that the small, independent, passionate blogger who writes day and night about whatever it is that captures her imagination plays an important role in the ecosystem. They keep the larger blogs honest, and the best of them will grow into large properties in their own right. It’s a beautiful, nasty, hyper-competitive and chaotic world we bloggers live in, and most of the time I wouldn’t change it for the world.