Sunday, May 16, 2010

NYT highlights business models for online

Grey Lady talks up some whiz-bang net start-ups: The New York Times magazine profiles the Faster Times. Journalism as we now know it is measured by clicks. Uh-huh.

Feral Beast could have enlightened the reporter on such mundane matters: the top-ever hits on our site are for items tagged "Marilyn Monroe Fellatio" or "Kiddie porn". There's a reason that aggravating aggregators like the HuffPo now favor slideshows that require multiple clicks to get through and often a little "vote your fave-rave" poll. And everyone knows that the proliferation of online videos is due to the discovery that an advertiser can compel a viewer to watch a 10-second spiel before the actual requested video gets played.

The Feral Beast knows that users prefer not to pay for content. (Same thing used to be true of early television, way before cable, when it was free to those who owned a set and commercial sponsors were the angels that funded programming. Even on pay-tv cable these days, advertising creeps in, and mini-commercials sometimes crowd the margins of the screen, like Mad Magazine's marginal cartoons used to do)

Perhaps the middleman should pay for the content it provides its customers. Internet users pay for online connection, through WiFi providers. These businesses are the ones who gain from hit-heavy websites and the free news content...although they could probably make a decent living off the porn alone.
(Hat tip to Sarah S Bangor, savvy blogger of "The Web We Weave" on wordpress for the photo of newspapers on a laptop. Happy to see you have a paid gig now!)

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