Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Canon Communications buys a blog; Pharmalot blog editor will continue and contribute to other properties

Good news for blogger: you, too, can be bought out! Cannon Communications announced in a release that it was acquiring a well-known blog that covers the drug industry, Pharmalot.
Pharmalot’s owner, Ed Silverman, will join Canon as an Editor-at-Large in the Pharmaceutical Media Group and will continue as Pharmalot’s Editor. Silverman will be "helping spearhead further development of Canon’s digital assets, including webcasts and podcasts."

“Ed is an original voice within the pharmaceutical industry with an outstanding career as a journalist covering the major issues affecting the industry’s growth,” said Patricia Spinner, Canon’s Sr. Group Publisher, Pharmaceutical Media Group. “He is also a great addition to our digital media team, and we look forward to working with Ed as we continue to expand our digital offerings across all of the industries we serve.”

For reasons I continue not to grasp, B2Bs struggle with blogs. One reason, of course, is that editors, already busy trying to edit their magazines and websites, are often the ones called upon to launch blogs for their websites.

But my experience also shows that editors fail to recruit bloggers to add content to their sites, or to launch separate blog-based websites. This is really a failure of imagination. Blogs are not only part of the mainstream now (yes, TNM is doing nothing special), but are an incredible marketing opportunity and traffic promotion opportunity for B2Bs. Specially branded blogs can extend and enhance the reach of a B2B brand, while creating more inventory and impressions for those selling web advertising.

One of the biggest obstacles to blog creation at B2Bs and other media forms is the political nature of web development and maintenance. Specialty blogs, created and maintained on Blogger and WordPress are rarely allowed by publishers intent on handing out web duties as some sort of reward for corporate obedience. Worse, websites created on overly complicated, inflexible content management systems prevent publishers and editors from experimenting with the form, or creating new web properties on the fly.

The same approach can work for newspapers, as well. It always amazes me that local papers feel that having one URL is a good thing. Separate URLs for blogs that cover local sports, local government, and the like should be, by now, a normal practice for publications that claim to be committed to electronic media.

For these reasons alone, along with a million other reasons I won't bore you with (today) I applaud Charles McCurdy, the CEO of Apprise Media, Canon's parent company. And if this wasn't McCurdy's idea then whoever made this deal happen deserves a raise!