TubarãoEsquilo – First Portuguese Blog Network Launched – Interview With The Owner
The first Portuguese blog network called TubarãoEsquilo that has been on the works since October 2006 was officially launched yesterday (March 27), it comes a bit late when comparing to other countries and their already established networks, but like they say, better late then never.
Currently the network has over 20 blogs live and running, which cover different subjects like Economy, Technology, Literature, specific Internet subjects – SecondLife, Web2.0, Marketing – and much more.
So here you have the questions and answers:
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– How many blogs and bloggers (exact number) are currently working on TubarãoEsquilo?
24 blogs, 20 bloggers. One pivot and tech wizard, me.
- Are there any plans to add more blogs to the network? If so, with which themes in mind?
Yes. Right now we have five blogs in a test and adaptation period. Our blogs go public ONLY when they are ready and the authors feel comfortable with the idea. They have a “breathing period”, as I say. We plan to have 50 to 60 blogs at the end of 2007. If we grow with a commercial partner, this number could increase quickly.
The themes vary a lot. We plan to work in a Long Tail scenario. But I’d like to have as soon as possible editorial contents regarding energy, oil economy, the elderly, robotics – for example.
- When was the first blog launched as part of the network, and which one was it?
A (still) small but beautiful (in my opinion) blog called GranoSalis is our first blog.
The first post is dated 20 September 2006. GranoSalis is a blog about books, literature prizes and self-publishing, a very small niche in Portugal.
- Can you give an idea about traffic numbers? How many page views on total? Which one is the most popular blog?
140.000 page views with AdSense in it served in January, 200.000 in February and (YES!) 310.000 projected for the current month – March. Rapid growth. But we need more. And we will have it.
The most popular blog is Economia & Finanças, a sectorial leader in the Portuguese blogosphere. It is the second blog in the timeline of the TubarãoEsquilo network.
- What system is being used to pay bloggers?
A percentage from the ad revenues and in the near future a percentage of the content syndication we plan to do with the Portuguese media.
- Besides Adsense, which are the other “revenue models” included in the network?
Paid content, in the form of exclusive content for other media (and company intranets) or special reports in different formats. Think zeitgeist clouds, think innovative graphics presentations, only possible with web 2.0 programmers that work with journalistic supervision. Think special report aggregation…
- There seems to be a relatively laid back approach in terms of design in all the blogs, or is it only my impression?
We do not have a distinct design. Our bloggers choose their designs. We only focus on giving them SEO techniques. Maybe we will adopt a template and a more uniform layout in the future.
- How do you think the Portuguese media will react to this innovative project which is a first-seen in Portugal?
I was surprised with the initial reactions. They were warmer than I though they would be. But we are talking now of news. I don’t know how they will interact with the network. I had a few conversations with two media bosses and they were receptive, but maybe it is a little soon for them…
- In one of the past articles about TubarãoEsquilo on a Portuguese newspaper called Público, the journalist confused a Blog Network with Planet Aggregtor, do you think this lack of knowledge on the internet area will affect opinions?
Nope. That lack of knowledge is patent specially, and surprisingly, in the “geek” (note the quotes) part of the portuguese blogging community (and this says much about the Portuguese absence in the web 2.0 innovative world). But the public doesn’t care: a webpage is a webpage. Is the content good enough? Is the brand recognized – or someone I trust gave me the link?
- And last but not least the most important question, why the name TubarãoEsquilo? Translating from Portuguese to English, Tubarão means shark and Esquilo equals squirrel.
That is a secret. Yes it is. We intend to keep as long as we can. In English: SharkSquirrel (SharkSquirrel.com/net/info domains are taken, by the way).
- Anything else you want to add…?
Portugal is a small country with a not-that-good economy, and a bit late concerning Internet adoption in households and offices. We DO have a problem to expand our ideas of a editorial network. But we are confident. My large experience in newspapers and web communities will help us build a good and trustworthy content network.
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