Brownstoner Philly, the development blog, has closed for business - Technical.ly Philly

Dec. 16, 2010 5:21 pm

Brownstoner Philly, the development blog, has closed for business

Brownstoner Philly, the popular, celebrated, nine-month-old development blog spinoff of a Brooklyn counterpart, has announced it won’t see the light of 2011. “I thought the editorial was going great, but I was bleeding money with no sign of break-even on the horizon,” said Jonathan Butler, who founded Brooklyn-focused Brownstoner in 2004 and has kept it […]

Brownstoner Philly, the popular, celebrated, nine-month-old development blog spinoff of a Brooklyn counterpart, has announced it won’t see the light of 2011.

“I thought the editorial was going great, but I was bleeding money with no sign of break-even on the horizon,” said Jonathan Butler, who founded Brooklyn-focused Brownstoner in 2004 and has kept it relevant and profitable. We spoke to Butler about the blog’s launch here.

Butler said today was the final day of Philly-specific content from Brownstoner. The last post, aside from a goodbye message, was coverage of the Green Lane Townhomes in the northwest.

After launching in April, a post on the blog today announced the close, written by Philly Editor Gabby Warshawer. Last month, Warshawer first gave warning of revenue problems.

When we first began contemplating the expansion, we thought that we were going to be able to piggy-back on the sales team of an existing media company when the time came to start selling ads. That partnership never worked out, though, and we’ve been spinning our wheels for the past couple of months trying to figure out how to sell ads in a town where, frankly, we have very few business connections. The site, in its current form, costs more than $6,000 a month to operate, and we’ve been underwriting that for close to a year now…. Unfortunately, if nothing meaningful surfaces in the next couple of weeks, we are going to be forced to shut the site down before Christmas. MORE

Butler told Technically Philly there were five chief reasons the Philly incarnation failed where the Brooklyn version hasn’t.

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  1. “Fewer people”
  2. “Less evolved blogosphere with much less generous attitude towards linking”
  3. “Fewer new developments with ad dollars to spend”
  4. “Outsider status and lack of in-house sales team made it very hard to even know where to start pursuing advertising.”
  5. “For some reason, commenting never took off on Brownstoner Philly either, which was a disappointment.”

Before it was six months old, Philadelphia magazine called it the region’s best blog [Cached]. (Phillymag blurb here)

Butler says he has no immediate plans to try any other expansion efforts of Brownstoner, but will instead focus on growing it further in Brooklyn. He also will focus on Brooklyn Flea, a popular project of his that has its own expansion news.

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