The Daily reported today that Amazon is looking into launching several blogs this year.
Their sources have told them that Amazon plans to launch a gadget review blog, media blog, and a photo app blog. The review blog was likened to Engadget or Gizmodo, and it would link back to products sold on Amazon. the media blog would cover "film, comics, TV and other geek-related activities" while the photo app blog would cover photo apps.
While this story may sound outlandish, one of the sources also told The Daily about Amazon's lockers before it launched. There's a good chance this rumor is as accurate.
I don't think the blogosphere needs to worry; there's no sign that Amazon is doing more than just dabbling in blogs.
Update: Baldur points out in the comments that Amazon owns dpreview.com, which he describes as a leading photography blog. I didn't know that.
Amazon already has a number of blogs, besides Daily Kindle Post, which is used for official announcements and Kindle promo stuff. There's a book blog (Omnivoracious), car blog (Car Lust), film blog (Armchair Commentary), foodie blog (Al Dente), music blog (ChordStrike), and a general gadget blog called End User.
But they're not really all that active, not when you compare them to any blog that's being run as a business (instead of supporting a business). Amazon's current blogs are closer to being corporate blogs (used to keep your name out there) rather than pro blog (run like it's a business). If Amazon really wants to build a blog-based business they will have to stop dabbling, hire staff, and get a few big names to run it.
And they could do just that; it's what they did once they got serious about getting into publishing, after all.
But they're also going to have to develop a new business model.
While some blogs do well on advertising, others have taken the less obvious approach: they throw a conference once or twice a year. If done right they can be very profitable, I'm told. But what kind of conference could Amazon do? I only know the one niche, but I could see myself going to an event where Amazon's vendors are showing off their wares. That could be fun, depending on the items on display.
Of course, Amazon could probably at least break even by pitching things they sell, which would explain the gadget review blog. If the gadgetry is cool enough then most people won't mind and some will buy.
But as I think about it, I'm not so sure how seriously we should take this rumor. I have the feeling that Amazon will run the new blogs much like they do the current ones. I don't think they're really planning to launch a serious competitor to Engadget, Gizmodo, or SlashGear. It doesn't fit their current style and it would represent a major change to their business model.
I'm thinking that Amazon's new blogs are going to be about as noteworthy as their current ones. But if they hire a well known blogger away from one of the major blogs, I'll change my tune.