Israeli discovery platform Bloggersbase, launched at Le Web 2008, uses a real-life online audience to help move undiscovered talent into the limelight, awarding prize money to the best bloggers.
For the first time in media history, citizen journalists can report on events with authority, and sometimes more impact than mainstream newspapers. Blogging software, such as WordPress, which is free and almost as easy to use as email, has enabled anyone, anywhere, to tell a story as it unfolds.
Setting up and writing a blog post is one thing, however. But those who have tried blogging know: you can blog until you are blue in the face – unless there is a network to tap into, most of the blog posts you write will be read by only a few.
To increase readership, bloggers rely on a number of tactics to help get noticed. Blog aggregators are one way, as is exchanging links with other bloggers. But there might be a faster way to reach stardom or acclaim in your desired field, through a new Israeli-built blog platform Bloggersbase.
The young Israeli start-up, founded this year and launched recently at Le Web conference in Paris, promises to be the stomping ground for bloggers of every stripe. The company currently offers 10 different channels – from world news to technology, inviting bloggers to submit posts, their RSS feeds, and to vote in the best content.
Discover the best bloggers
With all the thousands of sites and aggregators where one can submit posts, or RSS feeds, what makes Bloggersbase different? “We are a discovery platform,” says Dan Barak, the co-founder and CEO of Bloggersbase. “It’s a big word, but for an analogy, you can think of American Idol.”
Bloggersbase employs no editors – just a team of six in Herzliya, Israel – and relies on readers to propel the best bloggers into the limelight, much like viewer call-in voting awards the top slot on American Idol. Top bloggers can even earn prize money.
Publish a blog, contribute as a photographer, or publish your videos, advertises the Bloggersbase website. “On the other hand,” Barak tells ISRAEL21c, “if you are an avid reader, you can make your opinion known and influence the content of our magazine, effectively becoming an editor.”
Quality over quantity
Bloggersbase has built its platform so that each topic is a blog, multi-authored by an elite group of bloggers. “We believe that content is more important than the person who actually authored it,” says Barak: “We believe that for our readers, they come in and want to see quality content.”
Bloggersbase, he believes, can fill that need by providing content, as an example, from a talented writing pool as a syndicate service to professional blogs; but it’s also a magazine where readers come and visit and get blog stories delivered to them, depending on their tastes.
“We are a target site meant for bloggers who want to earn money and who want to be exposed,” says Barak who aims to deal with information overload. “Everyone agrees there is a problem with user-generated content.”
The investors in his company should give bloggers a vote of confidence: Jeff Pulver and Yossi Vardi, who are among the world’s most celebrated high-tech entrepreneurs, have invested in Bloggersbase. “We are happy with the investors. I feel that we got much more than money. It’s smart money,” Barak concludes.