Case study: BLOGOS (Japan)

Based on the interview made on 25.03.2011 with Takeshi Idezawa

The name of the publication and / or company

livedoor Co., Ltd.

Established

2007/04/02

Web Address

blogos.com

Form of the company

business corporation

Describe your site or business in few words.

BLOGOS is one of Japan’s most accessed websites, a blog run by portal website livedoor. The website covers news and content connected to livedoor. BLOGOS has become a blog specializing in political science, following the motto, “Japan’s first news website shaped by opinions”. The aim is to create a place where people can debate and share their opinions.

About 500 bloggers contribute to the site, including well-known politicians, experts, popular citizen bloggers, and various other people from different professions, making it possible to see a large number of differing opinions in one place.

Launched in October 2009, BLOGOS started producing 3 million page views a month. Now it produces 40 million page views each month. Following the East Japan earthquake in March 2011, the number of page views has gone up again.

It’s main audience are people in their 30s to 40s, businessmen, university graduates, and relatively those who have attended a higher education institution. BLOGOS users can use customizing functions on the site to create things such scrapbooks of their favorite articles and comments, find comments about their own posts and how people have rated them, and create timelines following selected users or bloggers.

The editor checks the blog on a daily basis, looks through requests to join BLOGOS, and personally checks through each stage of a post before it is published. During the East Japan earthquake, staff were working on the site 24 hours a day.

In the days leading up to a major event, such as an election, the editorial staff go out and conduct interviews, reports stories, and upload videos to Ustream, creating a chance for users to discuss and debate on the issue.

A sister website “BLOGOS finance” was launched in December 2010, and specializes in economics. Over the past few years, readers have been moving from portal websites to social networking sites such as Facebook and Twitter for information, emphasizing how important it is to keep working with SNS.

Staff numbers

Who’s creating the content

Livedoor overall…342

News desk…30 – 40

BLOGOS…7 – 8

part-time staff…2 – 3

Designer, programmer…1 – 2

Reporters…3 – 4

Everyone does not specialize in one area, but does a variety of jobs.

How they make money

Revenue models and sustainability

Revenue

Not public

What kind of advertisement you sell

60 to 70% from advertising, 30 to 40% from affiliates.

The BLOGOS website is not capable of advertising itself alone, and it’s content is generally sold as a set package with other content such as livedoor news.

Selling products or services (digital or virtual)

None

What would be the most important thing on your road to sustainability?

The company plans to continue with getting revenue from advertising.  Although BLOGOS is still too small to be able to sell itself, the website continues to attract more viewers, is more recognizable, and has been uploading more videos that we think it will be possible for BLOGOS to able to advertise itself effectively in the future.  Currently BLOGOS does not make money from its stories, but the hope is the website will attract more support from bloggers who see it as a place to discuss opinions that we could collect a service charge.  It is also hoped BLOGOS will be able train bloggers who could be used by the mass media as opinion readers.