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A scattershot of brands

October 15, 2007 @ 7:15am

When we were working on the Netscape social news site, I figured we might be doing something that would save one of the Internet's most legendary brands. After all, if you're the second or third best portal at a big portal company, what kind of future do you have? A smart company would ultimately put all of its money and promotional efforts into its main portal.

Sadly, the Netscape domain is back to being a portal again, but I was thinking about that "competing portals" dilemma a bunch while I was looking through some pages I'd bookmarked from Styledash over the past few weeks. Sometimes offering multiple products in the same space like detergent is a shrewd corporate strategy designed to maximize your overall sales. Sometimes it just comes from a lack of communication or planning.

Spending some time on Styledash recently I wondered why AOL's similarly-named competing style blog Stylelist -- which launched a few days after StyleDash on the same Blogsmith blogging platform -- gets a link right above Styledash's logo. Surely this must be some kind of traffic-swapping arrangement between the sibling blogs, right? So I followed that prominent link over to Stylelist and looked for the reciprocal StyleDash link. There isn't one. They didn't even bury the Weblogs, Inc. blog alphabetically in an industry blogroll. They do have videos that auto-play, rollover ads and a link to their Cat Stevens music page. Lame.

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