While perusing the latest issue of business2.0, I came across an interesting statistic: only 5% of our national marketing dollars are spent online even though the internet now commands 30% of people’s attention. Now I don’t know if this is accurate, but if it is, then this only reinforces my idea of how niche networks of micro-published content will thrive in the coming years.

Now don’t take this as a call to arms for everyone out there to go and setup a blog on any old topic and take google adsense as your sole revenue source because its easy. I don’t want people bitching and moaning that they aren’t making any money even though the market is soaring, thats not my fault. What I am arguing for is the pursuit of valuable niche markets. Jason Calacanis said in a post on his site recently that sports were an interesting market to pursue (mainly because fans are VERY opinionated). I totally agree here, I’ve been mulling a sports-related micro-publishing network (i am no longer going to refer to it as a blog network, because its not ONLY about the blog) for a while too.

What we need to see emerge in this market are two important things: advertising sales companies (sort of like doubleclick in the past, but more niche focused, and intent on targetted ads), and small niche publishing networks (note, not blog networks, as they won’t be positioned to capitalize on the market here). You need more clarification? Well what I am saying about these publishing networks is not that blogs are dead, far from it, but I think blogs will become more a feature of sites, and not the entire site itself. Blogs will need other products and services attached to them to fully capitalize on their traffic growth and monetization potential.

I will undoubtedly discuss this further in the coming weeks, but for now I am going to turn the conversation over to you all.

p.s. if someone is interested in starting a sports-themed network, let me know, I will bankroll it, design it, and have a domain waiting for it. Just need writers and an editor.