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8/10/2005
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Donald Trump Launches Blog As Latest Media Venture

Add online blogger to the list of media ventures on the resume of real-estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump.

Add online blogger to the list of media ventures on the resume of real-estate mogul and reality TV star Donald Trump.

Trump's eponymous blog, which is subtitled "ideas and opinions from Donald Trump and his circle of experts," is connected to Trump University, an online education Web site begun in late May.

"It's another channel to get his message out, it gives him another forum to reach his audience," said Michael Sexton, president of Trump University. "It'll be reflective of what's topical in the news, business, and education, [though] he won't tackle popular culture or entertainment. Everybody wants to hear what he's up to next."

Trump's postings promise to get more serious once the blog finds its sea legs following its public launch in a few days time. For now, some of the initial musings appear to be of a piece with the bombast that's made The Donald famous on gossip pages worldwide. Under an August 4 posting entitled "Success with style," Trump wrote: "The glamour and grandeur of my buildings and my life are no mere trappings."

The most recent posting, on the subject of "What's in a Name," tackles the hot e-business topic of branding. "Trump has ultimately become a great brand name due to my rigorous standards of quality," the Wednesday posting noted. "The Trump brand carries a promise that whatever bears the name will be elite."

While that might seem hyperbolic in some spheres, in the blogosphere the Trump stamp of approval shouldn't be taken lightly, one analyst said. "If Donald Trump is blogging, then blogging is about as mainstream as it gets," said Michael Gartenberg, vice president and research director at Jupitermedia. "What would make it really interesting is if Trump were truly embracing the media and posting every day and giving us some insight into what makes him tick."

Gartenberg pointed to the example of Mark Cuban, the billionaire owner of the Dallas Mavericks who's also a persistent media presence. Cuban regularly weighs in on the mass media, the music industry and blogging itself on his Blog Maverick site.

"This shows that technology trends are compressing," Gartenberg added. "You didn't see 'Trump the Web site' right way. But now he's recognizing that here's a medium he can embrace to extend his message. That's a pretty strong statement from a guy who already reaches millions with his TV show. He's not someone who needs more of an audience, so there's probably a message in this for other CEOs."

That concept of technology compression, where a mass consciousness propels all computer users towards the same Web destinations, appears in play here. "Now we just need to see 'Trump the podcast," said Gartenberg.

"If we knock down blogging, podcasting has got to be next," said Sexton.

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