On Wednesday I started writing a post about how online revenue for newspaper publishers is growing, but that the news industry is also missing some major opportunities. I haven’t published my article online yet and it’s turning out to be more of an essay than a blog post, so I’m going to table it for the moment. However, one observation in my essay is that most newspapers have started blogs on their websites, usually with their own writers; and that these are often less successful and less interesting than other niche blogs that exist. My main case and point is that TechCrunch is one of the leading technology blogs, and I’m surprised that a company like Dow Jones, News Corp or Gannett hasn’t made a strong effort to acquire it. It’s hugely popular, profitable, and the content would complement their other online properties. AOL clearly saw this opportunity when they bought Weblogs Inc . I think AOL may be more comfortable with decentralized content properties, whereas news publishers for the most part prefer to fold sites under their main brand. I tend to think that the better long term approach is to grow a diverse set of succesful niche properties, and use the content to supplement the main brand. For example, wouldn’t it be powerful for the WSJ or USA Today to supplement the business & technology sections with news & analysis from TechCrunch (while maintaining TechCrunch as a an independant property)?