Friday, February 11, 2005

About.com Up For Sale... Again?

From techdirt.com:

It appears that Primedia is looking to sell About.com. Primedia, of course, seriously overpaid for About.com a few years back and then did very little with it, other than to make it less and less useful, on the theory that if they put more and more ads on it, it would somehow pay for itself, rather than driving users away. Especially in an age of blogs, the whole reason for About.com seems to make less and less sense. However, apparently some people think it's actually worth between $350 and $500 million -- which is almost scary. The article says that Google, Yahoo, AskJeeves, the New York Times (who, it appears, broke the story) and AOL are all bidding for the site. Of course, Google already supplies ads to the site (they bought About's advertising service a while back) so it may be a protective move. Still, isn't it interesting that search engines and media plays are bidding on the same property? It certainly suggests the business model convergence that's happening between media and search these days. Either way, if they were smart, they'd save their money. The various attempts at blogging "media empires" are probably much cheaper, and a better long term deal.