AOL Launches BloggingStocks With Eight Blogs
Posted on April 27, 2006AOL has launched BloggingStocks.com, a collection of individual blogs covering several widely-held stocks. The site debuts with eight blogs covering Apple Computer, GE, Microsoft, Wal-Mart Stores, eBay, Google, Time Warner and Yahoo. Heather Green at Blogspotting asks the question everyone is thinking -- will the bloggers own the stocks of the companies they are blogging about? They are also blogging about their own parent company with the Time Warner stock blog.
Even though BloggingStocks.com is listed as part of the AOL Money & Finance it has a Weblogs, Inc. menu bar and looks similar to other Weblogs, Inc. blogs. Weblogs, Inc. founder and ceo Jason Calacanis notes that the site does have a code of conduct. He is also bullish on the financial category itself.Bloggingstocks.com is a unique idea. AOL hired bloggers to write about product announcements, earnings releases, and commentary on 8 stocks initially. On its first day, the network will do live blogging of the Microsoft earnings call, for instance. (Good luck!)
So, what about the $64,000 question? Can the bloggers hold the stocks they are writing about?
Indeed. In fact, AOL encourages them to be stockholders, if not necessarily in the companies they're writing about. The key is that they have to sign a code of ethics, disclose their holdings and not trade on insider information, says Marty Moe of AOL Money & Finance.
The launch follows on the heels of the recent launch of DealBreaker.com, a Wall Street gossip and financial blog started by Elizabeth Spiers, a former editor of Media Bistro and Gawker.com. Other big competition for AOL's BloggingStocks is Seeking Alpha, a network of stock-related blogs. BloggingStocks.com is different because it focuses on individual companies so they may have more competition from other blogs that also follow these companies. For example, BloggingStocks' Google blog will compete, at least on some level, with the numerous blogs that cover Google.This is the most exciting and integrated product we've done to date. Having our bloggers plugged into the AOL traffic and advertising machine is gonna be huge. In fact, my guess is bloggingstocks will become our largest and most profitable blog over the next year (finance is the best advertising category on the web).