Wow! A lot of buzz around the creation of sub-networks of blogs to appeal to advertisers.
Two thoughts strike me :
One is that there's nothing in John Battelle's address, good though it is, that should surprise anyone who's read one of the classic, early thinkers on web-publishing.
The other, is that aggregation is a common answer to the micropayment problem, and that it's still an important strategy for smart-disorganized individuals. The trick is how to aggregate without building some kind of hierarchical structure.
An affinity network of like-minded blogs may be one such strategy. It creates a scene and builds momentum. It makes the participants visible. But at the same time they don't help each other much. If you've come to my blog and clicked on the ads here, you won't necessarily be so likely to click on the same ads on a similarly themed blog in my blogroll.
The alternate strategy, of a stable of different blogs, doesn't suffer that problem. But risks the alternative, that there's no real benefit from membership, unless you're trying to appeal to very generic brands.
Is there a middle way? A strategy whereby different people can link complimentary blogs profitably?