Colarusso on Blogonomics

Dan Colarusso, who used to run portfolio.com, has now moved over to join Henry Blodget’s blogshop. It’s quite a change of pace, as he explained to me in an IM conversation this afternoon:

Felix Salmon:

So!

You’ve been on the job 2 weeks now?

Dan Colarusso:

yup

getting used to the "velocity"

Felix Salmon:

If I’ve got this right, your employers, in order, have been Jim Cramer, Rupert Murdoch, Si Newhouse, and Henry Blodget?

Dan Colarusso:

yes, with some freelance checks from the Sulzbergers and Bancrofts in between Cramer and Rupert

Felix Salmon:

And Blodget is the highest velocity/intensity of the lot? Is that a blog thing?

Dan Colarusso:

I wouldn’t say the most, just the biggest shift between the pace at Portfolio, which was more reflective and here, which is more, reactive

cramer probably wins the velocity of thought category

he’s a rabid entrepreneur when it comes to ideas

it comes from being a trader

Felix Salmon:

Do you have any fears of being dragged into a CNBC/Cramer-like information-overdose whirlpool? Or is that something fun you and Blodget actually welcome?

Dan Colarusso:

that’s our business now. people consume a lot of information.

Felix Salmon:

So you don’t believe that CNBC is Hurting America?

Dan Colarusso:

it’s fun, kind of like being in a bar with traders all day. a lot of good ideas, and punchlines

america does fine on its own. cnbc isn’t hurting anyone

except for the women whose boyfriends are going to buy them the crappy valentine’s day gifts that are being advertised every 10 minutes

Felix Salmon:

Of course.

Maybe it’s worth backtracking a minute and explaining what your new job is?

Dan Colarusso:

well, i’m the managing editor at The Business Insider, a website that covers tech, finance, green and entertainment business news

we just relaunched this week and the goal here is to become the go-to site for interested, smart business readers

Felix Salmon:

It’s still a blog, though, right?

Dan Colarusso:

very much so, but we’ll be broadening out a bit, trying to do more original analysis and, take a breath now, original reporting

Felix Salmon:

and that’s why a managing editor is needed?

you’ve got the herding-cats job?

Dan Colarusso:

well, i think with the flood of news and fragmentation in the markets, any site with ambition to be viable has to have someone kind of organizing, planning and maintaining the voice of the place.

it’s not enough to be purely reactive, you have to push ideas, start conversation and give people good stories to differentiate

Felix Salmon:

and how would you characterize the Business Insider voice?

Dan Colarusso:

TBI voice is knowing, sarcastic and critical

and quick

Felix Salmon:

And that’s across the sites. You dropped The Business Sheet, which was a bit more tabloidy, when you launched the green and entertainment blogs?

Dan Colarusso:

well, the Sheet was replaced by The Biz, which covers entertainment

Felix Salmon:

aha

Dan Colarusso:

I think trying to do something too tabloidy is dangerous because business readers are serious

it’s nice as a sidelight but it’s hard to ride too hard

don’t get me wrong, we like tabloidy stuff, but for reasons of pacing and less of the core

Felix Salmon:

That said, the name "Clusterstock" is pretty juvenile, and it’s staffed by ex-Dealbreaker types (Carney and Wiesenthal), even if it never gets as tabloidy as Dealbreaker

Dan Colarusso:

i like the name and i like the sensibility though we’d like to get more inside wall street with it

somewhere between gossip and news

and Carney and Joe are talented guys

i was a big fan of both of them in their previous gigs

Felix Salmon:

So I need to ask you about Henry’s announcement of your hiring

Dan Colarusso:

shoot

Felix Salmon:

1. How much screaming are you going to be doing around the Business Insider?

Dan Colarusso:

Probably not much. The intensity level here is good. and it’s a small room.

Felix Salmon:

And 2 was I really "unnoticed" before you came along?

Dan Colarusso:

you’d have to ask henry. I certainly hadn’t noticed you ;-)

but i wasn’t a big blog fan then. you helped convert me

Felix Salmon:

More seriously, how much attention are you going to be paying to the rest of the blogosphere? I’ve noticed that Henry, for one, almost never links to blogs, or responds to blogs who link to him.

Dan Colarusso:

i think we link a lot. but i pay a lot of attention, if not in linking then in simply looking for ideas to spark stories.

sometimes bloggers push so much stuff out, they don’t see the bigger picture they’re painting. readers need to have that big picture put together for them

Felix Salmon:

Which is the New York Post way of doing things, right? Read a lot of blogs, steal their ideas, give them no credit?

Dan Colarusso:

i hope not. We gave plenty of credit at the Post. In fact, more places stole from my business section than I see anyone stealing from anyone else these days

in fact, on the new TBI, we have headline links sending people to all kinds of sites without ever stopping at our stuff

and that’s right at the top of the homepage.

Felix Salmon:

I’m looking at the top of the homepage now, what links are you talking about?

Dan Colarusso:

in the middle rail. it’s the More section.

right now it’s all internal but a lot of the time, they’ll be pointing to other people

and we also will tell the reader where he or she will be going

i wish i had a screen shot to send you from yesterday

Felix Salmon:

will those links turn up in the RSS feed too?

Dan Colarusso:

i don’t believe so

it’s purely our way of giving our readers what we think is worthwhile

Felix Salmon:

which makes them seem like a less-than-core part of your, um, value proposition

Dan Colarusso:

reader service is everyone’s value proposition in this business. we make them obvious and we do get a fair amount of traffic to our home page and section HPs

Felix Salmon:

the section HPs will also be getting external links?

Dan Colarusso:

yup

the top one now is from Wired

Felix Salmon:

and the TBI homepage is already getting good traffic even though it’s only existed for a week and a half?

Dan Colarusso:

not yet, but the section fronts do because they’re more established

actually the TBI has only existed 4 days

Felix Salmon:

The top "More" link on the TBI page now links to Wired?

Dan Colarusso:

the love bandit teddy bear ad is on CNBC right now, fyi

iPhone ‘iShoot’ Coder Makes $600k In A Month that’s the hed

Felix Salmon:

so, is TBI ever going to be as profitable as an iPhone coder?

Dan Colarusso:

it depends on the iPhone coder

i think it’s a good model. we keep costs down, we generate smart posts and in a few months, we’ll be a little more organized in terms of packaging our best stuff to reach more readers and attract more advertisers

Felix Salmon:

How’s the market for talent? I’ve had more people than ever approach me of late asking if I can recommend good financial bloggers they might be able to hire

Dan Colarusso:

there’s talent and there’s TALENT. a lot of the former, people who can type fast and crack the occasional joke.

we’re lucky. i really like the talent in this room. it’s part of why i came here.

but the blogging business is due for a shakeout. too much masturbation going on, in my opinion

Felix Salmon:

As a no-holds barred new-media type, you’ll jump at the chance to name names, of course

Dan Colarusso:

i don’t have to. they know who they are

but i basically read 10-15 blogs and I need the information more than the average bear

that’s not to say everyone shouldn’t be blogging, but there’s a line between a business and eating cat food

Felix Salmon:

who are your favorite business/finance bloggers?

Dan Colarusso:

i like kevin depew at minyanville

and i really like the financial stuff in NY Mag’s daily intel

it’s worldly and smart

Felix Salmon:

Hugo’s a clever chap who’s on the ball, he should have his own feed

Dan Colarusso:

and when i was getting paid to do it, i rather enjoyed your stuff

HA!

Felix Salmon:

gotta run, there’s a big bowl of catfood waiting for me

cats like Felix like Felix, as they say in England

Dan Colarusso:

c’mon now, we know better than that. you do work for conde nast.

it’s gourmet cat food

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One Response to Colarusso on Blogonomics

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