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Battelle Reveals Plans: New Venture is called FM Publishing

April 13, 2005

A stealth sister-site to John Battelle’s SearchBlog has recently emerged and it outlines plans for his nascent media company. A quick check with our moles suggests that the site, which launched March 31, has gone largely un-noticed in the blogosphere. The new venture will be called FM Publishing.
According to the FM Publishing site:
For now, the company is called “FM Publishing.” The “FM” stands for “Federated Media” – a nod toward the fundamental idea behind the company – that of federation, as opposed to ownership (it’s also sort of a nod to the evolution of a medium – e.g. radio going from AM to FM).
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Battelle, who founded The Industry Standard, also writes that he is in “active discussions with potential angel investors” and is seeking some early job applicants.
The description of the venture, albeit slightly (and intentionally) vague, is consistent with hints Battelle shared with us when we IMterviewed him last October: “One thing I can tell you, it will have as its core driver the thing I think is most valuable in any publishing endeavor: high quality editorial with voice, a point of view, and a strong connection to an endemic community. Beyond that, I’m keeping quiet till I know what I might be getting myself into. We’ll see…”
We believe an angel round should be fairly easy to secure, so the greater challenge (as always) for Battelle will be to figure out exactly how the business works. According to his post: “I plan to partner with site authors, acting as a platform which provides important services to them – revenue (in the form of advertising), back end support, and the like. In essence, FM will act as a publisher to sites which need and want a publisher.”
The idea is not novel (Gawker Media and Weblogs Inc. offer versions of the same concept), but it is timely and addresses a growing need, particularly if you accept the notion that weblogs will evolve into an essential form of media.
Not surprisingly, we heartily accept this notion – particularly as it relates to editorial quality – and look forward to learning more about FM Publishing’s “federated” vision.
Read: FM Publishing site
Read: John Battelle – The a:c IMterview

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