While individual stocks are not really our bag here at Abnormal Returns we do realize that it is a very popular segment of the financial blogosphere. That is why it is surprising it took this long for someone to create a network of dedicated stock blogs.
AOL/Weblogs has launched eight blogs at blogginstocks.com to cover some of the biggest and most popular stocks. Their goals are lofty, "Our mission is to cover the stocks in our universe with depth, analysis and obsession unmatched anywhere on the web." You can read their welcome note here. The Wall Street Journal also picked up on the news.
Paul R. La Moncia at CNNMoney.com, an AOL company, notes the fact that this launch is one of many by the mainstream media to focus on business and stocks. The question is whether these blogs, or any in this field, will amass enough eyeballs to make enough off of advertising.
Heather Green at BusinessWeek.com focuses in on the question of conflicts of interest. "Old media" has pretty strict rules on writers covering companies in which they may have a position. Whereas this new site and most other sites in the blogosphere have a more flexible policy.
The field of investment blogs has to date been pretty fragmented. There are some large networks, like Seeking Alpha, that are covering a wide swath of the investment world. There are also blog aggregators that provide readers with a jumping off point to find other blogs. Google's new finance section also links to relevant blog posts.
For those interested in in-depth coverage of individual stocks it seem that some sort of hybrid model may be the best path. Some editorial content along side some aggregation of outside blogs could provide some value added to readers. The blogosphere is changing before our very eyes, and we wouldn't want it any other way.