A Better Structure for Blog Networks

I’ve been thinking a bit about blog networks, and the way they’re structured of late. A friend and I have been discussing this for months on an “on/off” basis and one thing strikes me every time I look at a network: There is room for much improvement in structure.

Let me start by saying that I do not run a blog network, so my thoughts on this need to be taken as just that, my thoughts.

The Problem

What kind of visible structure do you think of when you think about a blog network? A loose collection of links down the side menu right? Perhaps under category headings?

At best, some networks seem to have a focus on an audience sector, and their blogs, still all linked down a side menu, are at least vaguely related. But even this approach, which to me is far better than the “no relationship other than owneship” approach, seems to be crying out for some kind of better way to organize and (warning, buzz word coming…) leverage the power of the group.

One Solution

So, as I said earlier, I’ve been giving this some thought, and would appreciate your thoughts on what I think would make a more efficient structure for a blog network.

Example: Auto Network

So, to pick something as “light” as i can, so we dont risk anyone thinking im singling out their network heh.. let’s imagine we’re going to set up a network of blogs on the broad topic of Auto. Those blogs would include:

  • Ford Blog
  • Nissan Blog
  • Sports Car Blog
  • Family Car Blog
  • City Car Blog
  • Truck Blog

Note: It’s only an example, it’s not supposed to be complete 🙂

And a nice pretty picture of the car network…

Now, if you’ll excuse my dreadful artwork, and the fact that i only just realized I know nothing about cars! heh. you’ll see what I think could make a good structure for a network.

Here’s how it works

How It Works

  • Each sattellite blog posts exclusively within it’s very tight niche
  • The Hub Blog reads all of the sattellite blogs, and rewrites the story to be a little more general, as opposed to simply copying it
  • The uber blog credits the sattellite/specialist blog, providing readers with a way to connect from the content (which is arguably the best place for a link) to the specialist blog, and subscribe if that’s their passion.

The idea is to create many small, tightly focused blogs within a broader niche, that feed the uber blog – you sit an editor or 2 on each satellite, and have 2-4 people work on the uber blog – the uber blog would also cover more “industry news” type stories that may not relate to any particular model.

So enthusiast readers get specialized blogs, and general interest readers get the best of those stories (not all!) in the uber blog. Making the network much tighter, and more attractive a buy for advertisers.

Make Sense?

Really just a thought i’d been playing around with. Something to help start a discussion on the topic of blog networks and structures, so do let me know what you think. And feel free to pull it to pieces, i won’t mind…