AOL: You've got blog
Internet portal launches new site featuring blogs about popular stocks such as Google, Apple and Wal-Mart.
NEW YORK (CNNMoney.com) – The blogosphere just keeps getting bigger and bigger.
On Thursday, AOL launched a new Web site that features items from bloggers about high-profile stocks such as Google and Microsoft.
Weblogs or blogs, so named because they list postings in a chronological order like an old-fashioned log, have become an increasingly popular way for mainstream media companies, as well as the average Joe or Jane with an opinion, to share information about topics ranging from celebrity gossip to politics.
Marty Moe, the vice president of AOL Money & Finance, said that the new site will feature content from multiple bloggers, including industry analysts, venture capitalists and journalists.
The site will begin with coverage of just eight stocks. In addition to Google and Microsoft (Research), there will be blogs about Yahoo! (Research), eBay, Apple, General Electric, Wal-Mart and Time Warner.
Moe said that AOL decided to highlight some of the most prominent stocks, as opposed to smaller companies that may appeal more to day traders and speculative investors.
"We wanted to focus like a laser on stocks generating passionate discussion. By focusing on a small number of widely held, most-talked-about stocks, we felt we could speak to a very large portion of the overall investing audience," Moe said.
But AOL is joining a crowded field. Its new stock site is the latest example of large media companies trying to tap into online readers' growing demand for blogs about business.
For example, when Google (Research) unveiled a beta of its ballyhooed finance Web site in March, one of the key features Google touted is a section on individual company ticker pages that provides links to blogs which discuss those companies.
The New York Times has a blog on its Web site called DealBook that focuses on mergers and acquisitions scuttlebutt and news. The Wall Street Journal, published by Dow Jones (Research), has blogs featuring news from its legal and political writers. And BusinessWeek magazine, owned by McGraw-Hill (Research), has a feature called BlogSpotting that highlights posts from blogs about business and media.
Blogs clearly have grown in prominence but it remains uncertain just how much money media companies will be able to make from advertising on these sites. Some media experts argue that there are simply too many out there and that only a handful will actually be able to generate a large enough audience to matter to mainstream marketers.
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