For the program, WashingtonPost.com has placed a "sponsored blogroll" box on its home page; the box contains links to certain blogs. The Post also is running ads on those blogs.
Jeff Burkett, head of Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive's sales development team, described the program as an experiment, designed to tout lesser-known bloggers. "Some bloggers are open to putting advertising on their site, so why not strike deals with them and help them do that," he wrote last week on his own blog, "Media Landscaping." "The revenue gets shared (in the bloggers favor of course) and we throw in one additional component...A link to their blog on the homepage of washingtonpost.com."
Burkett added that the idea stemmed from a February New York magazine article about the difficulties so-called "B- and C-list" bloggers face in raising their profiles.
At launch, WashingtonPost.com has signed three blog networks as partners--Creative Weblogging, BootsNAll, and AllBusiness.
Currently, the sponsored blogroll has a discrete placement on the WashingtonPost.com front page, in the lower-right corner, but Burkett wrote that if the program is popular, the feature could gain a more prominent spot. "If the blogosphere embraces this and we see a lot of interest from quality blogs we will grow the size of the index and give it better positioning on the page."
Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive did not return calls for comment.