Monday, August 2, 2010

About.com to enter the B2B space, sort of

This quote from Maya Avrasin, B2B editor at About.com says it all: "We evaluated the landscape and found that it was really underserved online."

I could argue with her about About.com's chances of succeeding in B2B based on the thinness of the site's editorial content -- but then again how much thinner could it be compared to many B2B websites? (Well, believe it or, a lot thinner -- check out this architecture subdomain.) But it is hard to argue with the premise: B2B publishers are definitely underserving their readers online (and not at all via mobile or tablet).
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The whole idea may generate a few chuckles among B2B media veterans, but it appears that About.com and their editor are confusing B2B with franchising.

Everything on the B2B sites appears to be for those who are considering starting a new business, not for actual industry people. For instance, the two lead stories on the restaurant site are "How to Open a Restaurant on a Budget" and "All About Customer Service". I'm sure Thomas Keller is attentively reading.

No offense to the people at About.com, but if the Times, who own the brand, want to get serious about B2B they could hire an editor or two who has actual B2B publishing experience -- there are, after all,  lots and lots of them available -- then this might get interesting.

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