Jupiter’s Alan Meckler Changes Tack, Again

Looks like ClickZ’s former chieftain, Jupitermedia CEO Alan Meckler, may be returning to his roots as a B-to-B publisher.

As boom turned to bust in the early ’00s, Meckler made his mark scooping up the shards littering the sidewalks of the charred new media landscape. He bought many pioneering sites including @NY, InternetNews, EarthWeb and marketing sites including ChannelSeven, TurboAds, and ClickZ. Many he got for a song, including a later acquisition of Jupiter Research.

After investing in the properties and building them into a singular publishing brand (JupiterWeb), he suddenly veered away from Internet publishing and began investing heavily in stock photography. He sold ClickZ and Search Engine Strategies. He sold JupiterResearch. And he acquired over a dozen stock photography businesses, merging them into one brand (JupiterImages) as he’d done with tech-oriented sites a few years earlier. He kept many sites in the JupiterWeb family, but to some, it seemed inevitable he’d sell off the rest of JupiterWeb to focus exclusively on his battle with Getty Images. His money was on clip art. Sealing that impression, longtime publisher Chris Elwell announced recently he’s leaving the company.

Now it seems Meckler’s returned to the online publishing fold. A post on his blog yesterday proclaims his renewed zest for JupiterWeb, heralding among other things new podcasts, and the launch of an as-yet-unnamed new site and conference:

I have analyzed JupiterWeb after staying “away” from growing it for well over two years. The analysis showed me that JupiterWeb is still one of the largest business to business online communities in the world with nearly 15 million unique visitors reading it every month. With very little effort and a rather small investment we can make JupterWeb a more significant property in a very short time….

BtoB communities are out of favor today compared to consumer online communities. We probably have seen the peak on consumer community valuations with the recent acquisition of YouTube. So perhaps our re-energizing JupiterWeb could be ahead of the next cycle?

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