DeveloperShed, Ziff Davis Enterprise’s 12-site tech network of developer communities, has joined Federated Media, a blog aggregator and service provider that brings independent publishers into its network by offering to take on their ad sales.

The five-year-old DeveloperShed will become part of FM’s Technology federation—one of about 10 other verticals that include sports, automotive, media and entertainment, and video gaming. DeveloperShed merged with ZDE in August 2007 as the tech publisher completed its spin-out from Ziff Davis.

Twelve sites strong, one could argue that ZDE already has its own budding “ad network,” and the company is no newcomer to integrated ad sales with a fleet of established products that span print, online and events.

But why would they hook up with Federated?

It’s a move that’s contrary to efforts by publishers that have started up their own vertical blog networks to boost their ad power (, and IDG, among others). It’s also intriguing, as VentureBeat points out, in light of some big-name sites that have dropped out of Federated’s network as they get scooped up by other, traditional publisher-backed companies—Ars Technica, bought by Wired, and Celebrity Baby Blog, bought by Time Inc.’s, for example.

DeveloperShed’s 12 sites aggregate a large, IT-oriented audience—6 million unique visitors and 27 million page views per month—so it’s a significant partnership for Federated, which gets a big audience and a presumably large chunk of real estate to sell.

ZDE, as it turns out, actually does need the sales muscle Federated provides. Plus, ZDE CEO Steve Weitzner tells me DevShed’s user-generated content fits with Federated’s blog network profile. “DevShed is a subsidiary of Ziff Davis Enterprise,” he says. “It has its own sales team and marketing addressing its audience of software developers. Historically, DevShed has maintained a small sales team to call on key accounts and has employed sales reps for mid-size and smaller accounts. The vast majority of DevShed’s content is—and always has been—user generated, we believe it fits well with Federated’s ‘conversational media’ approach so we have signed them up to replace our previous reps. DevShed’s direct sales team will continue to serve the sites’ key customers.”