Consolidation Prize

So it’s official — IAC/ InterActiveCorp. will buy AskJeeves to acquire 42 million monthly users in the continuing competition for search-based advertising. Yahoo also acquired the photo-sharing site Flickr (to match Google’s Picassa picture management software) as the Internet consolidation accelerates.

After I mentioned a report last week lamenting the dominance of large sites over Web-based activity, Andi Silver dropped me this comment on Sunday: “I question whether the internet (or “online”) ever was the “people’s medium” … domination of the Internet passed directly from academic geeks to big media … A “people’s medium” is still in the future.”

Apropos of Andi’s last remark, I got a note yesterday announcing the launch of the grassroots content site Ourmedia. I urge you to visit it. At the moment, however, access is tough. An announcement on Slashdot apparently drove so much traffic to Ourmedia that its servers were overwhelmed this morning. I’ll return when I can. Meanwhile you might look at a few comments that I made about Ourmedia while awaiting its launch.

Returning to the Jeeves news, I wonder where all these high-level combinations leave Mark Fletcher’s Bloglines, whose accomplishments are summarized in a 2005 Wired Rave Award ?

Rafat Ali at Paid Content was justifiably pleased with his observation, made back in February when Jeeves acquired Bloglines, that the deal made Jeeves “a more palatable acquisition target…but who would buy it? IAC?” Yesterday he quipped, “I either need to stop making predictions, or become a soothsayer and charge money for it.”

Though I searched for more about Bloglines, I found nada about its future in the expanded family of IAC. I did learn, however, that the first hint of its sale to Jeeves in February came from a posting by online and grassroots media author Mary Hodder . Perhaps she or some other bloggers will provide some insights into whither goest Bloglines.

Tom Abate
Cause if you ain’t Mass Media, you’re Mini Media