I have been reading about “Martha’s Circle,” a new initiative from Martha Stewart to select and aggregate blogs around key topical areas that Martha’s audience appreciates.
I immediately began thinking about what this meant for large publishers like Martha Stewart, and for small bloggers. My mind raced between ideas around building community, disseminating long tail content, and what it meant to be a publisher in today’s world. But when I actually went to the Martha’s Circle page, I was confronted with marketing speak and a LONG listing of “Terms and Conditions” for Martha’s Circle.
From both a reader’s and blogger’s perspective, it became immediately clear that this is just a marketing initiative without a soul. The goal is profit and reach for Martha, not “handpicked” editorial by her team who really understands the value that can be created from an online community. At least they are upfront about it.