Good Read: Content Businesses Don’t Scale Anymore

Heads up on a great read over at

Content Businesses Don’t Scale Anymore

Can anyone think of a content business — meaning a company that produces original content — that has scaled dramatically in recent years? I can’t. Look at the businesses that have scaled — Google, MySpace, YouTube — all platforms for content, but not producers of content. Compare those to original content businesses like Weblogs, Inc., Gawker, TechCrunch, Paid Content — they are successful at their scale, but that scale is still tiny compared to the scale of the aggregation businesses. Even portals like AOL and Yahoo are much more aggregators of content than original producers of content.

For those of us content with mom and pop web businesses, there is still promise:

The comparison to the middle class is exactly right — content businesses will have a share of the welath, but they will never scale to be “wealthy” like the aggregators.

So does that mean that content creation will forever be a small business? Likely, yes, unless you can aggregate your way up to scale — this is what Weblogs Inc attempted, realizing that none of its blogs would ever be a big business unto itself — aggregation also enables an internal network effect that gooses the scale. But even Weblogs is still dwarfed by the aggregator businesses, even after it was acquired by one (AOL).

Basically, if you’re looking for a Google-Type-Fortune on the web, look at doing what Google does: Mash up other peoples content in a useful visitor served way or go MySpace/YouTube-Style and explode with user generated content.

But there’s still some smaller pots of gold for the rest of us ;).

CNET Editor & Family Missing

CNET editor James Kim, family missing:

CNET senior editor and Crave blogger James Kim and his family are missing.

The 36-year-old Kim, his wife Kati and daughters Penelope (4 years) and Sabine (7 months) left their home in San Francisco last week on a road trip to the Pacific Northwest. They were last seen on Saturday, November 25, in Seattle, according to the San Francisco Police Department, which has opened a missing persons’ investigation. They were driving a 2005 silver Saab station wagon with the personalized California license plate “DOESF.”

Those with information about the Kim family’s whereabouts are asked to contact San Francisco police immediately at 415-558-5508 during normal business hours and at 415-553-1071 after-hours. Portland police can be reached at 503-823-4000.

Such a beautiful young family, I sure hope everything turns out ok for them. Found via: engadget: CNET’s James Kim and family missing — have you seen them?

Launching A Blog Network With Coconuts

I get really pumped and excited for people that are actually doing something to move themselves forward. It’s especially neat to watch regular guys and gals like ourselves reach high for themselves.

We all have dreams and goals and ambitions. It’s nice to see stuff play out for others, especially when they’re generous enough to share their experience.

Catching up on some blog reading and I see Erik Vossman has launched his own blog network. He’s doing it with a fun promotion: Link To A Coconut Contest.

Winning is easy. Blogtown Press currently has 12 blogs that are participating in the Link to a Coconut Contest. All of these blogs are active and have anywhere from 20 posts to a few hundred posts. All you have to do is link to a post on anyone of those blogs and if you link to the correct post you win a coconut. We currently have 3 coconuts to give away so that means we will randomly choose 3 posts within the network that will be the “winner” posts.

We’re getting more and more immune every day to stunts and link baiting, but I think the coconut twist is a great, fresh idea.

Kudos to Erik and I hope his blog network grows to massive proportions.

Is Blogging Now More Than Simply Writing Blog Posts?

Experiment: Can a ‘pure’ blog be found by the general public? No inside network links, no pushing traffic from inside established sources, no using freebie directories and all that jazz.

Point 1: You can’t get any organic search engine traffic unless you have inbounds links. I’ve tried it. For months. No links in = no traffic. Well maybe 1 or 2 search engine visitors, but that’s it. I quit that experiment and moved on ;).

Point 2: You can’t get any inbound links until people know you exist. If someone is looking for information and finds it on your blog–they may link to it. But…remember–they can’t find it by using a search engine. And your blog is not in their feed reader to catch a post of yours to link to because–again–no one knows you exist.

Possible Opportunity: If Technorati ever speeds up and becomes a viable search option, you *may* have some of your blog posts found by searchers using Technorati. However–how often do you search Technorati? It’s pretty painful aint it. Never mind that it seems 9/10 ping’d posts don’t seem to make it.

So it’s a tricky situation. No one can find your posts unless you have links in, and no one links to you because for them–you don’t exist.

I’m trying an experiment to see if it’s possible for new bloggers to flourish without link resources at their disposal, or blogging buddies at their fingertips. NO SEO link tricks, no traffic pushing from an established source.

Blogging IMO has become even MORE social than ever because of the above. You *have to* get out there, shake your butt, comment on a million blog posts, link to a million blogs, contact a bunch with tips or info, sprinkle some holy water around and hope that eventually a link to two will find your blog so that you can eventually begin to rank for *minimal* search engine traffic that will hopefully mean more inbound links that will send some traffic.

It’s exhausting.

I’m finding that blogging isn’t about just writing posts on your blog. At least if you want more than just you reading it. It’s also about socializing and networking. It’s A LOT OF WORK if you’re operating ‘unconnected’ and most of your time is not spent writing your own content, but shaking your butt off-blog.

Interesting aint it.

Oh How I Envy Amazon

Picture this: You have so many hungry, hungry customers hanging around your website with wallets open and credit cards out–that the site poofs into thin air.

A girl can dream right ;).

Amazon ran a special promotion this week but under-estimated the demand for the product from users with fast connections. At exactly 2pm EST, the offer was open (an Xbox core system at less than half-price). Unfortunately for Amazon, so many people were waiting for the promotion that the entire Amazon website – not just the promotion page – sank without a trace from just before 2pm, to at least 2:12pm. The home page, the product pages, everything, were unavailable.

Source: Broadband Reports: Amazon downed for 10 minutes due to promotion

Thanks to Geeking with Greg for the heads up.

Webware Web 2.0 Wackery – WTH Are People Thinking?

Say no to boxed software? Easy online delivery & access? Surely I can’t be the only person who’s concerned about this free-for-all fling into Web 2.0 depravity?

Say No to boxed software! The future of applications is online delivery and access. Software is passé. Webware is the new way to get things done.

Lots of chatter around the net about how Microsoft and software creators are in “Oh So Much Trouble” because of all the free online apps people can use instead of buying software. And I just don’t get it. W-T-H are people thinking?

We’ve been clients of a “professional” financial planner for about 12 years and around a year or so ago he sent us some info (and attached docs) from his gmail account. I jumped on the phone and asked him if I gave him permission to store our correspondence and files online and firmly in the hands of Google. I was pizzed beyond belief that he so cavalierly disregarded our privacy and did something so *ASININE* as to upload our financial documents online into a third party’s hands. I don’t want Google’s hands on it. He never thought about it. He chose for both of us. Now what.

Say no to boxed software? Here are some harbingers of things to come with all this ‘webware’ stuff:

AOL Employee Arrested For Selling Email List

AOL Releases Search Logs of 657,427 Users

Which Web 2.0 company is going to inadvertantly release all their spreadsheets into the wild? Or employee sell off all the word processing files?

Upload shopping lists? Sure I can go for that. Draw stick figures and share them online? Why not–weeehooo fun stuff. But do people *really* want their financial records, medical records, financial spreadsheets, investment & account tracking, insurance policy records, business transactions and correspondence, estate planning & wills, living wills, employee reviews, payroll data, tax files, yada yada yada, floating around online on third party servers located who knows where and accessed by who knows who?

Whether you’re a business or not, if you want working access to any files–you’ll need apps to open them. Are you really going to ditch boxed software, upload the files and float them online yourself and have them stored who knows where for *years*?

Not likely–not if you’re concerned of personal privacy & security issues.

When a company or “mighty entrepreneur” gets their butt handed to them on a platter with one lawsuit after another because their clients or employee info is compromised in some shape or form because of using these online apps–and it will happen–they’ll deserve every bit of grief they get. Once their clients info “get’s compromised”, there’s no reeling it back in. It’s out for good. And shame on them for treating their clients privacy so shabbily.

My husband and I have a few private financial files sitting in Google’s bowels for potentially years because some “professional” wasn’t thinking.

If you’re involved with business and plan on using these online apps (including any of the free email accounts)–you better make sure your clients or business partners have full knowledge and sign off on the fact that you freely give a third party full and unmetered access to all data, documents and attachments. That the third party may store copies for years and years in their backups. As well as the fact that their current and future employees will have access to it all. And that anything stored on the internet has the potential to be compromised in a multitude of ways. And a sidenote too that if their servers aren’t physically run & located inhouse–add the hosting company and their employees to the mix as well.

I think the folks from CNET that are running are downright irresponsible for encouraging everyone to ditch boxed software and use online apps. For doodles, fluffery and sharing recipes and jokes? Sure, fun option/alternative. Anything else is just setting people up for trouble, worry and heartache.

Put the Online App Kool-Aid Down. It-Aint-Worth-It.