Young entrepreneurship blogging networks are an interesting concept to me. Over the past several years of blogging I’ve developed a lot of great relationships with other young, passionate business owners. When I sit back and think about it, I’ve met the majority of them through one of the blogging networks I’ve participated in, primarily either the (now semi-defunct) Mind Petals, or the Brazen Careerist. They syndicate my posts and pass me new readers, I provide them with relevant content, and they give me new exposure to young professionals I’ve never met.
I’ve met several of these people in person and each meetup has been better than I could have imagined. It’s so hard to find young people with true passion for entrepreneurship, that when you come across one, you feed off each other in an incredible way. I will always be grateful to Dave from Mind Petals and the Ryan’s from Brazen for enabling these relationships. They are truly priceless.
However, from what I’ve seen, these networks seem to have a really really hard time making money. Aside from there not being an obvious revenue model, you have this really interesting dichotomy that you have to deal with: for success you need these young entrepreneurs doing amazing things and interacting with your community, but for the entrepreneur to actually do something amazing they likely don’t have the time to be an active member in your community. Unless the network is helping the entrepreneur directly with sales, there are probably more useful immediate relationships that the young business owner can be developing to ensure their business doesn’t flop (and if the YE is using the network for selling their product/services, you probably don’t want them there).
It’s hard enough to make a living running your own business. Blogging is nice because you can set the rules – what you want to cover, how you want to cover it, and how frequently you want to post. Throw in the obligatory Web 2.0 social networks that everyone is on – LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc – and these young entrepreneurs that you’re trying to build a business around just don’t have the time to do all of the things that you want them to do. No matter how cool the site, no matter how slick the features, there are just so many hours in the day. And personally, after a long hard day, a lot of times I just want to do something that isn’t work related. These sites definitely are facing an uphill battle.
Don’t get me wrong – I’m rooting for them to succeed, but I just don’t think I can give a lot of my time to help them do so. I fear that other participants are in the same boat.
With all of this said, I’m interested to see how well the new and improved Brazen Careerist is received. I was given access to the new site to test for a week prior to today’s launch. The complete overhaul is aimed to become a “living resume” for each of it’s members, a showcase for their blog posts, comments, and interactions within the site, in addition to posting their actual resume.
The biggest change is their new Fan Feed. When you log in, you’re presented with a Facebook-like feed page instead of the old home page:
Otherwise, for the most part, the site feels like and operates like an improved version of the existing BC. The old “featured posts” that were on the home page are now on the sidebar.
I definitely like the move. It’s an improved product. I hope that Brazen Careerist finds a way to thrive – not only by connecting YEs and helping young professionals develop their careers, but also by finding the right mix of sponsors/advertisers/premium offerings to flourish financially. If anyone can do it, they can.