The end of b5media

February 17, 2010

Mass Firings At b5media: Entire Entertainment Network Shut

I’m not happy about it. I’ve settled my differences with the other founders (well, the actual founders, not the interloper), and although there is the odd person who has been fired today I’m happy about, mostly I find the news sad.

The thing is though: b5media is now terminally fucked.

It has to be.

Alexa rank:
Bizzia 12,949
Splendicity 16,648
Blisstree: 12, 949
Everyjoe: 13,282

vs: Inquisitr: 7511
Oh, and I did it on the smell of an oily rag vs $8m.

Yeah yeah, Alexa isn’t accurate. But if there’s one thing former b5media CEO Jeremy Wright and I’ll both agree on, it’s that a high trafficked site will have a sub 10k Alexa rank. None of b5media’s sites do.

And now, zero entertainment blogs. Problogger and Digital Photography School don’t count even if listed on the b5 front page; they are Darren Rowse’s blogs and I’d be highly surprised if they are owned by b5media today.

I’m sure there’s a saying here about orgies in brothels and the ability to organize them…it will come to me 🙂

18 responses to The end of b5media

  1. LOL omg, I totally forgot about that 8 million. Where in the world did that all go, I wonder?

  2. New media companies are good at spending shedloads of cash while sipping their cappuccinos in some poncy coffee shop. Makes no difference if it's Toronto or London baby…

    As for ProBlogger and DPS, yeah I'd be highly surprised if they were in any way linked to b5 other than by out of date icon. If they are, I'd move them NOW! 🙂

  3. b5media is a venture capitalism backed business that made one major mistake: they didn't decide on a business model and stick with it. They continue to try to figure out what would work best in the online content publishing model.

    The one thing they never did, which to this day surprises me because of Darren's relationship with them, is to try to build brands around an individual blogger helped by some secondary bloggers. (like Inquisitr, Digital Photography School, Problogger, et al)

    In the end, I worry that too many business decisions are being made by people that don't understand this space well enough, and the eventual outlook isn't that great. I know b5media will continue to be a major content publisher in this space for at least another couple of years, but if they don't find a profitable model soon, they'll be hard pressed to keep the doors open and the business running.

    Also, you fail to mention that they are re-launching an entertainment portal of sorts tomorrow. The much hyped I will be interested to see what kind of business model they put together, and if this change from Starked to Crushable happens with the other portals that b5media has put together.

  4. More than one major mistake I think 🙂

  5. If they can't draw traffic with something as decidedly mainstream as entertainment content, then they are truly and royally fucked.

  6. The failure of b5media is proof that you can't run a blog network without regard for personal branding.

  7. “Oh, and I did it on the smell of an oily rag vs $8m. “


  8. I remember when I was hired to blog for b5Media. I felt like I had arrived.Every single blogger for hire wanted in and it wasn't so easy.I loved working there mostly because I met such good people.

    However, In the two years I worked there I realized that I was putting my effort into someone else' brand with little regard to my own. In the almost two years since I left, my own blog network has grown at such a major rate and I earn more than triple what I earned at b5Media it makes me wonder why people still do it.

    b5Media is no longer a blog network. It's a content site created to bring in advertising dollars. In the beginning it was about community and there was a good vine. Now it's business and only business. I don't have a problem with that, if that's what they're going for, but they can't pretend they're the same “good feeling” place they were five years ago.

  9. David
    first, Inquisitr has nothing to do with b5media. Never has.

    Agree though on the point: in retrospect the failure of the wide model is that there was never enough solid, bigger sites to anchor the rest.

    Disagree though on b5media going forward; given those stats I'd argue they aren't a major content publisher today, and any pretense that they were died when they shuttered the celeb blogs.

    The reference to Crushable is fair, although this post was written before I was aware of that site (it has since been covered on The Inquisitr.) I don't like their chances at all; extraordinarily crowded space, and they've abandoned all the old content from the old blogs, one of the few things they might have had going for them. They've done redirects, but the index pages will be out of Google within days…then what.

  10. True to a point. Except that they've totally abandoned the old content, so they're starting from scratch. Even with the pop content they now have to work twice as hard to get the site established…and the clock is ticking there. And it's also the most crowded space in new media.

  11. Not that I can change the past, but in the early days it was always going to be that the bloggers would get a share of the company because the company was only as good as the people writing for it. That obviously didn't happen, which is sad.

  12. Wasn't saying that Inquisitr had anything to do with b5, other than comparing its success to the success of the “only” successful properties in b5media.

    I agree that they shouldn't have cut off their own legs like that, and I don't understand why they couldn't re-focused Starked, keeping the old content, and then move forward under this new editorial model. I'm as confused as everyone else about that business decision, but I am still hopeful that it wasn't one made lightly, and that some rationalization will eventually come out of all of this.

    As for b5media in the future, they have opened a NYC office, hired some pretty high quality talent lately, and might have even got another round of funding. All in all, sounds like a company going through a culture shift since changing CEO's and trying to make a go of things the best they can.

    I definitely don't think b5media today is the company that anyone set out to make in its creation all those years ago, and I also think you should never knock someone for trying to enter a crowded space, as you've shown that people can be successful through your work on Inquisitr.

    I'm not going to call b5media dead in the water yet…

  13. If by “high quality talent” you mean media tarts and self promoters, we'll agree. But there's a world of difference between running a varied content network like b5media, and making the social gossip pages of Gawker 🙂

  14. The one thing they never did, which to this day surprises me because of Darren's relationship with them, is to try to build brands around an individual blogger helped by some secondary bloggers. (like Inquisitr, Digital Photography School, Problogger, et al)

  15. Was only a matter of time before this happened i would expect to see more people/bloggers getting laid off real soon from b5media.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. b5media To Fire All Remaining Contract Bloggers, Approx 100-150 People - February 18, 2010

    […] I’ve only just stopped laughing after reading it (see the Alexa ranks for the remaining sites in this post.) But I […]

  2. HENRY - September 10, 2010 Canadian Health&Care.Special Internet Prices.Best quality drugs.No prescription online pharmacy. Online Pharmacy. Buy drugs online

    Buy:Viagra Super Active+.Tramadol.Viagra Professional.Propecia.Levitra.Soma.Cialis Professional.Cialis.Viagra.Maxaman.Cialis Soft Tabs.Viagra Soft Tabs.Cialis Super Active+.Super Active ED Pack.VPXL.Zithromax.Viagra Super Force….

  3. PHILIP - November 12, 2010

    NEW FASHION store. Original designers collection at low prices!!! 20 % TO 70 % OFF. END OF SEASON SALE!!!