SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — What started out as a personal blog that combined former Forbes and Business 2.0 reporter Om Malik’s mutual interests in technology and opinionated blogging has become a full-fledged business. Despite running an editorial staff of twelve and working as a “jack of all trades” for the site’s business and technology sides, Malik still personally writes on GigaOm nearly every day.
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What’s kept GigaOm as one of the most successful technology blogs is its emphasis on reporting trends before they happen, and covering what it considers smart ideas that are still far on the horizon. “I think we’ve been very, very seriously ahead of the curve on most of the stories which are becoming mainstream now.” says Malik. “The whole emphasis of our company is to be kind of predictive in our coverage.” This has led the site to be one of the first to seriously cover cloud computing and cleantech, and it’s why GigaOm’s currently covering topics like quantum computing and bio-info sciences, despite these technologies being possibly years away from practical applications.
The desire to stay ahead of the curve has also greatly shaped the site’s business model. “I’ve always believed in two things,” says Malik. “One is that the advertising-based business models are not going to scale. Doesn’t matter how big you become, you’re always fighting and it’s like trying to push a rock up a hill…. The second thing is that I believe you cannot quantify a community by advertisements.” GigaOm is still an ad-supported site, but much of its revenue comes from other ventures such as video events and live conferences. These roughly bi-monthly events have helped the site as a business while simultaneously helping to foster a robust community of readers.
“What we write on the site and feature at the events, it’s all hand-in-glove,” says Malik. “We started an online video site and we started an online video event because we saw that in order to move the conversation forward you have to push it.” The site also earns money through a subscription-based market research and analysis service that covers the same industries as GigaOm from a purely business standpoint.
Tech blogs are largely predictive in nature, and GigaOm’s analytics-heavy approach to covering the field has repeatedly paid dividends—not just financially, but also by attracting a loyal readership. GigaOm was also an early adopter of both live events and video coverage as new opportunities within the field. While the exact methodology GigaOm uses to cover its industry will likely continue to change, its forward-thinking approach to technology will undoubtedly remain constant.
City: San Francisco, Calif.
Principal Staff: Om Malik, founder and senior writer; Paul Walborsky, CEO.
Affiliations: In the past has used IDG for ad networks, and now occasionally uses FM, but nothing permanently. Content sharing partnerships with Reuters, Bloomberg Business Week/i>, The New York Times, The Street, CNN Money, and Fortune.