Conde Naste Buys Tech Blog Ars Technica for $25M

Conde Naste Buys Tech Blog Ars Technica for $25M

May 17, 2008

Ars Technica,
one of the web’s earliest technology blogs, has been bought by Conde
Naste for a reported $25,000,000. This represents a handsome payday for
the two Ars founders Ken Fisher and Jon Stokes, both with Harvard
Divinity School backgrounds. Stokes actually holds two master’s degrees
in early Christian history from Harvard Divinity School and is
currently a Ph.D. student at the University of Chicago. Ironically I
can find no mention at all of the deal at the Ars Technica website,
presumably because the deal won’t be announced until Monday.

This deal is not on the scale of last week’s acquistion of CNET by
CBS for $1.8 billion but it is another indication that mainstream media
outlets are working to buy their way into blogging rather than grow
their own new media brands. Will this approach work? I’m inclined to
think it will not unless they can avoid the problems faced by
traditional corporate blogs which suffer from “commercial correctness”
and thus lose one of the most appealing aspects of blogging which is
sharp critical analysis, irreverent swipes at other products and
people, and news at the speed of the internet. None of this fits well
with the tightly controlled corporate media model.

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