The screwing of the Long Tail

Why does Jon Udell dislike the term "user generated content?" For the same reason I did. When I spoke at Google's Zeitgeist conference last fall I heard all the CEOs and important people speaking of how they were going to make gigantic new profits: user generated content. What is User Generated Content? Well, when you blog. Or add photos to a photo sharing site. Or when you tag some info or Digg it. Or when you leave a comment on a forum. Or, post an ad to Craig's List.

You see, lots of people out there think that you're gonna do all the hard work and donate it to companies so they can put advertising next to it. Only you don't get to keep the money from that advertising, no no no. You don't understand your place in this world, do you?

No, they are gonna take all your content AND take all the money that the advertising generates.

Even when you build your own thing on your own domain and spend time building your own audience they'll only give you 20%. Don't believe me? Come to any bloggercon and compare notes and see just what percentage of the revenues folks are being offered. I've done that and it isn't pretty.

I think this whole system is vile. Why? It's not sustainable.

Huh?

Easy. I've learned that "users" (I hate that term too) are smarter than me. Richer than me. More powerful than me. More connected than me. Cooler than me. Funnier than me. And are right more often than me.

They will figure out they are getting screwed and they'll move elsewhere as soon as there is a choice.

Stockholders will know this too so won't reward companies with high valuations because they know it could disappear as soon as someone else offers them 30% instead of only 20%. Google, on the other hand, has a high valuation because they aren't making most of their profits off of UGC, but instead put ads next to their search engine results which are far more profitable than UGC.

But, Scoble, aren't you joining a company that's hoping to make a living off of user-generated content?"

Maybe. (Right now PodTech makes most of its money off of corporate sponsorship of professionally-produced content, but I'd be lying if I said we weren't considering a UGC-based business).

Like I said, I'm studying this problem from both angles. As someone who develops content as well as someone who is — starting July 5 — going to be paid to make money with content, ala podcasts, blogs, vlogs, and Second Life experiences.

So, why is the Long Tail easily screwed?

Numbers.

Or, lack thereof.

Here, let's compare numbers. I'm supposedly an "A list blogger" and last week I had more than my fair share of good PR (way more, actually). I only saw about 200,000 new people last week and my average daily numbers are settling down again to about 20,000 daily readers, plus 29,000 RSS subscribers.

Sounds impressive, right?

They aren't if you want to sell advertising (something I haven't done on my blog).

American Idol, America's most popular TV show, had something like 60 million (I seem to remember they said that when I watched, but I'll have to look up the exact numbers and get back to you) and that show is part of a network of shows that has huge audiences, even their worst show has many times more audience than my blog does.

And, remember, I'm supposedly on the top tier, right?

So, if you start a blog, or a podcast, or a vlog, you probably will have much smaller numbers than I have. The tiny get tinier. Tiny things don't have power to argue about price with bigger companies.

The point of these small numbers means that we — as a group — don't have much negotiating power with advertisers.

Why? Advertisers don't want to deal with us individually. They aren't setup to do that. They need only a few places to get all their advertising, which is why the network model is so interesting as a business and why the VC's are spending so much money trying to get something going (ala PodTech).

How do the small content developers get a bigger percentage? Band together into an audience group in order to get advertising business. We know those groups as Yahoo, Google, MSN, and a few others. But, that means the group gets rich because it added the value while the individual starves for resources

These networks know we have no power. So, they are quite willing to give us pennies on the dollar to distribute their advertising (and, some aren't even willing to discuss just the percentage of the dollar that they are handing down the chain).

The Long Tail is getting screwed and there's nothing we can do about it.

Or, is there?

I'm wondering if there's a way for you to keep 100% of the advertising dollars, minus maybe a small transaction fee, that you generate. You bring your audience, you keep the moola.

But, let's say you join an audience and advertising aggregation network. Let's say that network sends you 50,000 people and you natively have 20,000 readers. Now, you keep 100% of the ads shown to your 20,000, but to the new 50,000 that you didn't have before, well, then you share revenue there of something like 80% going to the network.

Why does that work? Well, the network only gets paid if they add value above and beyond what you're capable of. Also, everyone gets the added power of volume. Obviously this would require a network that gets popular fast and has a good advertising distribution network, right?

Could such a network succeed? Or, are we going to continue to see the screwing of the Long Tail?

Or, is there something we could do to add enough value so that advertisers would deal directly with us instead of the big companies like Google, Yahoo, or MSN?

What would make you interested in joining an audience-and-advertising-sharing network?

Published by

Robert Scoble

As Startup Liaison for Rackspace, the Open Cloud Computing Company, Scoble travels the world looking for what's happening on the bleeding edge of technology for Rackspace's startup program. He's interviewed thousands of executives and technology innovators and reports what he learns in books ("The Age of Context," a book coauthored with Forbes author Shel Israel, has been released at http://amzn.to/AgeOfContext ), YouTube, and many social media sites where he's followed by millions of people. Best place to watch me is on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/RobertScoble

Comments

  1. Well, you know, you could consider that not everything and everyone is interesting in this infernal ‘monetizing’ of everything.

    I have a well-trained adblock and I block EVERYTHING that even remotely resembles an ad. I teach this skill to everyone whose PC I touch, and I touch a lot of PCs. We WILL eradicate this foul ad business.

    My little blog only sees personal traffic but even if it became a hit (very unlikely since my updates are spotty and the content is personal) I would not be interested in adding advertisements.

  2. Well, you know, you could consider that not everything and everyone is interesting in this infernal ‘monetizing’ of everything.

    I have a well-trained adblock and I block EVERYTHING that even remotely resembles an ad. I teach this skill to everyone whose PC I touch, and I touch a lot of PCs. We WILL eradicate this foul ad business.

    My little blog only sees personal traffic but even if it became a hit (very unlikely since my updates are spotty and the content is personal) I would not be interested in adding advertisements.

  3. Well, we at Syntagma deal direct with advertisers — we’ve just negotiated a new deal. So maybe the assumption you make is not always true. The good, the best, and the useful tend to get bigger whatever the theory might say.

  4. Well, we at Syntagma deal direct with advertisers — we’ve just negotiated a new deal. So maybe the assumption you make is not always true. The good, the best, and the useful tend to get bigger whatever the theory might say.

  5. Great idea Robert. I agree with you totally and I really wish that soon we can have such a network which will let us keep 100% of our own earning and take 80% of the users they provide. I wish that you could start something like that.

  6. Great idea Robert. I agree with you totally and I really wish that soon we can have such a network which will let us keep 100% of our own earning and take 80% of the users they provide. I wish that you could start something like that.

  7. Sounds like you are talking about something like adify.com Robert (on the advertising side). Advertisers deal directly with you and Adify skims 20% for transaction and handling fees.

    There is an expense with merchant accounts and billing so what you refer to above as “small transaction fee” isn’t usually reality in the bigger picture.

  8. Sounds like you are talking about something like adify.com Robert (on the advertising side). Advertisers deal directly with you and Adify skims 20% for transaction and handling fees.

    There is an expense with merchant accounts and billing so what you refer to above as “small transaction fee” isn’t usually reality in the bigger picture.

  9. Gosh, I am stunned, a post that makes sense. Whatever they are putting in your water, keep it up, leaving Microsoft must cleared your head.

    Web 2.0 is total let-the-user-do the work, own their content…make money offa them, don’t-give-anything back; works for awhile, until the real GOOD content creators nary bother, and you are left with the Cult of the Amateur and whatever YouTubby copyright rip-offs they can get away with.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/12/youtube_owns_derivative_works/

  10. Gosh, I am stunned, a post that makes sense. Whatever they are putting in your water, keep it up, leaving Microsoft must cleared your head.

    Web 2.0 is total let-the-user-do the work, own their content…make money offa them, don’t-give-anything back; works for awhile, until the real GOOD content creators nary bother, and you are left with the Cult of the Amateur and whatever YouTubby copyright rip-offs they can get away with.

    http://www.theregister.co.uk/2006/06/12/youtube_owns_derivative_works/

  11. WordPress tells me I have just over 109 readers yesterday (and 36 rss subscribers) and that’s about average (my really big day of over 300 just fell off the left side of the graph). So, advertising on the gwhiz blog is really a waste of my TIME (which is way more valuable). If I was interested in making money off my blog I’d try and get into the affiliate game… Scales better and gives me WAY more CONTROL over pairing relevant content with money generating complementary content (I know, adsense and their ilk give me infinitely more variety… bleh! I’ll take handcrafted, homegrown results any day… far more sustainable).

  12. WordPress tells me I have just over 109 readers yesterday (and 36 rss subscribers) and that’s about average (my really big day of over 300 just fell off the left side of the graph). So, advertising on the gwhiz blog is really a waste of my TIME (which is way more valuable). If I was interested in making money off my blog I’d try and get into the affiliate game… Scales better and gives me WAY more CONTROL over pairing relevant content with money generating complementary content (I know, adsense and their ilk give me infinitely more variety… bleh! I’ll take handcrafted, homegrown results any day… far more sustainable).

  13. Geez, Robert, you seem to be finally getting it. For example, The real world doesn’t read blogs. Only 30% of INTERNET users read blogs…again that’s 30% of Internet users, which is a smaller population of a small population of the larger population. So obviously either blogs are not solving a problem for people or people want something other than blogs. How do you appeal to those beyond the echo chamber. What will make podcasting appealing to say, soccer Mom’s, SAHM’s, the generation that has money to buy products (those aren’t gen-x’ ers yet)

    I’m aslo surprised that you now seem to see that numbers DO matter. But, for your new venture they will HAVE TO, or you won’t be around very long.

  14. Geez, Robert, you seem to be finally getting it. For example, The real world doesn’t read blogs. Only 30% of INTERNET users read blogs…again that’s 30% of Internet users, which is a smaller population of a small population of the larger population. So obviously either blogs are not solving a problem for people or people want something other than blogs. How do you appeal to those beyond the echo chamber. What will make podcasting appealing to say, soccer Mom’s, SAHM’s, the generation that has money to buy products (those aren’t gen-x’ ers yet)

    I’m aslo surprised that you now seem to see that numbers DO matter. But, for your new venture they will HAVE TO, or you won’t be around very long.

  15. Hmmm, “getting screwed” is a matter of how much, realistically, you think you should be paid for your thoughts via a blog. If you want to quit your day job and think you deserve to, well, maybe then you’re getting screwed. But for me (and most “non-A-list bloggers), it takes a few minutes to post some links and write a few paragraphs a day. I’m not in it for the money. With that perspective, every bit I get through ad revenue is a bonus.

  16. Hmmm, “getting screwed” is a matter of how much, realistically, you think you should be paid for your thoughts via a blog. If you want to quit your day job and think you deserve to, well, maybe then you’re getting screwed. But for me (and most “non-A-list bloggers), it takes a few minutes to post some links and write a few paragraphs a day. I’m not in it for the money. With that perspective, every bit I get through ad revenue is a bonus.

  17. Mr. K: I doubt many bloggers will be able to quit their day jobs. You might not be in it for the money, but if that’s true, why do you put ads on your blog? And, let’s say you are getting $20 a month from your ads, wouldn’t you switch if someone offered you $30?

  18. Mr. K: I doubt many bloggers will be able to quit their day jobs. You might not be in it for the money, but if that’s true, why do you put ads on your blog? And, let’s say you are getting $20 a month from your ads, wouldn’t you switch if someone offered you $30?

  19. But you have to remember that the 20,000 daily readers and the 29,000 RSS subscribers are a different type of audience than the millions of TV viewers. The advertising agencies have to come to a realization that the bloggers and content generators have become a filter point and “evangelists” for the readers and they hang by their every word. It is a highly targeted demographic.

  20. But you have to remember that the 20,000 daily readers and the 29,000 RSS subscribers are a different type of audience than the millions of TV viewers. The advertising agencies have to come to a realization that the bloggers and content generators have become a filter point and “evangelists” for the readers and they hang by their every word. It is a highly targeted demographic.

  21. The screwing of the Long Tail

    Scoble says: “You see, lots of people out there think that you’re gonna do all the hard work and donate it to companies so they can put advertising next to it. Only you don’t get to keep the money from that advertising, no no no. You don’t understa…

  22. RS’s point about $20 vs $30 is right on target – and where the post itself misses the mark. The issue isn’t getting the maximum possible *share* of the revenue, or minimizing the piece taken by the network/broker/whatever, but rather maximizing the *absolute amount* that goes to the owner. So to the extent that a network/broker/whatever can create value that is otherwise denied to the author, a piece of that value going to the n/b/w is fair, and will persist until that value becomes commoditized through direct and indirect competition.

  23. RS’s point about $20 vs $30 is right on target – and where the post itself misses the mark. The issue isn’t getting the maximum possible *share* of the revenue, or minimizing the piece taken by the network/broker/whatever, but rather maximizing the *absolute amount* that goes to the owner. So to the extent that a network/broker/whatever can create value that is otherwise denied to the author, a piece of that value going to the n/b/w is fair, and will persist until that value becomes commoditized through direct and indirect competition.

  24. Robert- you /are/ on a roll — especially enjoying your posts these days.
    Readers might be interested in an experiment of mine. It is an online service where bloggers (or anybody with a website) could barter eyeballs: I send you 20 eyeballs, you send me 20 eyeballs. It’s really just a controlled way to trade links. If the eyeballs stop showing up, then the ads stop displaying until the eyeball flow balances out again.
    The idea was to allow bloggers to advertise online and build readership by dealing directly w/ other bloggers. And the eyeball currency keeps dollars in your pocket.
    BTW, it’s not for SEO — my robots.txt blocks ‘em.
    LinkLike: http://linklike.com
    Cheers- Sid

  25. Robert- you /are/ on a roll — especially enjoying your posts these days.
    Readers might be interested in an experiment of mine. It is an online service where bloggers (or anybody with a website) could barter eyeballs: I send you 20 eyeballs, you send me 20 eyeballs. It’s really just a controlled way to trade links. If the eyeballs stop showing up, then the ads stop displaying until the eyeball flow balances out again.
    The idea was to allow bloggers to advertise online and build readership by dealing directly w/ other bloggers. And the eyeball currency keeps dollars in your pocket.
    BTW, it’s not for SEO — my robots.txt blocks ‘em.
    LinkLike: http://linklike.com
    Cheers- Sid

  26. An interesting idea indeed. Now, I realize that Mr. Scoble wouldn’t have any knowledge of this, but it sounds a lot like the referrer setup that porn sites have been using for years (at least the theory. Implementation varies considerably due to rampant fraud).

    Here’s how it works: Someone creates original content, they charge for access to same. Someone else creates aggregation pages that list content by type with links to the pay sites and links to other aggregators.

    When a user joins a pay site after following a link from an aggregator, the owner of the content pays a fee to the aggregator. But because of the linked nature of the web, a user may have been referred from another aggregator before joining the pay site. If that’s the case, then the original site gets a cut of the payout and/or traffic from the aggregator that was credited for the sale.

    I’m not sure about the economics of the system… who gets how much and all that. Perhaps someone else could offer some specifics.

  27. An interesting idea indeed. Now, I realize that Mr. Scoble wouldn’t have any knowledge of this, but it sounds a lot like the referrer setup that porn sites have been using for years (at least the theory. Implementation varies considerably due to rampant fraud).

    Here’s how it works: Someone creates original content, they charge for access to same. Someone else creates aggregation pages that list content by type with links to the pay sites and links to other aggregators.

    When a user joins a pay site after following a link from an aggregator, the owner of the content pays a fee to the aggregator. But because of the linked nature of the web, a user may have been referred from another aggregator before joining the pay site. If that’s the case, then the original site gets a cut of the payout and/or traffic from the aggregator that was credited for the sale.

    I’m not sure about the economics of the system… who gets how much and all that. Perhaps someone else could offer some specifics.

  28. Hey Scoble, to answer your question, I put ads on my blog so that it will at least pay my hosting bills. And yes, you are correct, there is potential that I would switch for a little more money. But my point is that the money is secondary. I’d still write my blog in the absence of ads or any monetary benefit. I don’t think it has to be an all or nothing situation.

    Also, to answer your last question, I’d be interested in joining a network where the blogs provided similar content, or point-counter-point type things. Maybe the blogs could share articles they’re commenting on. Or how about shared resources between sites, like a forum. There’s a lot of potential; my 2 cents is that you remember the content is the primary reason why people happen across certain blogs.

  29. Hey Scoble, to answer your question, I put ads on my blog so that it will at least pay my hosting bills. And yes, you are correct, there is potential that I would switch for a little more money. But my point is that the money is secondary. I’d still write my blog in the absence of ads or any monetary benefit. I don’t think it has to be an all or nothing situation.

    Also, to answer your last question, I’d be interested in joining a network where the blogs provided similar content, or point-counter-point type things. Maybe the blogs could share articles they’re commenting on. Or how about shared resources between sites, like a forum. There’s a lot of potential; my 2 cents is that you remember the content is the primary reason why people happen across certain blogs.

  30. Hey,

    I once went to a sales training seminar for an IT firm where rule 1: of the experts opinion was never to call or think of people as “users”. It has such a negative ring to it and not one person I know in IT likes their “users”.

    The “user” will take and argue, and the “user” is generally not computer savvy or able to communicate in our language.

    But the “customer”, “client”, “staff” are the people who you need to communicate better with, who you need to support, and heck theres an old saying “the customer is always right”.

    So I totally agree with you that user is an outdated word for the people we support, that has dragged on too long in the industry with such a negative connotation and I think theres going to be a culture shift – because we’re no longer the guys in the backroom who don’t have to talk to anyone.

  31. Hey,

    I once went to a sales training seminar for an IT firm where rule 1: of the experts opinion was never to call or think of people as “users”. It has such a negative ring to it and not one person I know in IT likes their “users”.

    The “user” will take and argue, and the “user” is generally not computer savvy or able to communicate in our language.

    But the “customer”, “client”, “staff” are the people who you need to communicate better with, who you need to support, and heck theres an old saying “the customer is always right”.

    So I totally agree with you that user is an outdated word for the people we support, that has dragged on too long in the industry with such a negative connotation and I think theres going to be a culture shift – because we’re no longer the guys in the backroom who don’t have to talk to anyone.

  32. That is why when our community sends in images/videos we pay them 50% of the ad revenue generated off their content. It’s only fair, right?

    Media outlets use our content to enhance their local coverage, its a win win for everyone.

    Mobile crunch says we are “disrupting mainstream media”.

    The future is looking bright.

    Parker
    Founder Cell Journalist
    http://www.celljournalist.com

  33. That is why when our community sends in images/videos we pay them 50% of the ad revenue generated off their content. It’s only fair, right?

    Media outlets use our content to enhance their local coverage, its a win win for everyone.

    Mobile crunch says we are “disrupting mainstream media”.

    The future is looking bright.

    Parker
    Founder Cell Journalist
    http://www.celljournalist.com

  34. […] Scoble posted a very interesting entry, The Screwing of the Long Tail, in which (besides conjuring geometrically difficult if not painful mental imagery) he says that advertisers are ripping off bloggers by getting them to provide all the content for only a fraction of the revenue that the content lures to their ads. He suggests that some alternatives might be coming in the future, when the collective light bulb illuminates over our heads and we figure out how to bargain as a bloc. Could Robert be throwing out a line to see if anyone bites? […]

  35. The future of printing is not in the ink – all those fiddly, toxic, expensive cartridges exclusive to one specific printer: It’s in the paper – coated, laser/sound activated and universal. We’re just waiting for the leap. Same thing with advertising. Marketers are increasingly challenged to promote offerings online, and then it’s which dancing monkey banner to place and where. We’re waiting for something more opportunistic and sophisticated that really knows who’s looking and plucks the right local or profiled ad from the central pool (big and little fish welcome) and charges only when a successful opportunity arose. And, of course, you let the user choose his flavour of poison.
    Should the blogster get the revenue? Is it why he blogs? Print editorial is commissioned – UGC is more like the Letters column.
    Seems like it’s the same challenge in the transient world of blog and pod. Madly busy and short-lived, we worry about what to spend our precious time on (other than loafing in front of prime time tv). There’s an imperative to leave our mark before we’re dust, and parenthood isn’t what it used to be – it certainly doesn’t appease the peacock within. And then there are the lost souls who want to be heard beyond their social circle (because everyone in it’s too busy to listen). Alas, this same attention deficit means few will invest time in mastering art or writing the great novel. So one quick salve is to self-publish on blog or pod. But as these proliferate, it becomes a lottery for the user, as the chance of ROIT (return on invested time) bringing you the quality blog/pod entry gets ever slimmer. Word of mouth (or email as we now call it) becomes the only recommendation you trust. Worse still, once the novelty of self-publishing wears off and users grasp the transience of their offering (this week’s podcast is next week’s free disk space) and see their own diminishing ROIT, money certainly might be more of an issue. But maybe a more sophisticated, opportunistic and peacock-friendly solution will be needed. ‘My Body of Work’ button below ‘My Documents’on the desktop, generating a site from all my UGC, for example. (That was a joke, before you get the pencils out.) So get those pointy little thinking caps on, you clever developer folk, and move us to the next level. Daddy, are we there yet?

  36. The future of printing is not in the ink – all those fiddly, toxic, expensive cartridges exclusive to one specific printer: It’s in the paper – coated, laser/sound activated and universal. We’re just waiting for the leap. Same thing with advertising. Marketers are increasingly challenged to promote offerings online, and then it’s which dancing monkey banner to place and where. We’re waiting for something more opportunistic and sophisticated that really knows who’s looking and plucks the right local or profiled ad from the central pool (big and little fish welcome) and charges only when a successful opportunity arose. And, of course, you let the user choose his flavour of poison.
    Should the blogster get the revenue? Is it why he blogs? Print editorial is commissioned – UGC is more like the Letters column.
    Seems like it’s the same challenge in the transient world of blog and pod. Madly busy and short-lived, we worry about what to spend our precious time on (other than loafing in front of prime time tv). There’s an imperative to leave our mark before we’re dust, and parenthood isn’t what it used to be – it certainly doesn’t appease the peacock within. And then there are the lost souls who want to be heard beyond their social circle (because everyone in it’s too busy to listen). Alas, this same attention deficit means few will invest time in mastering art or writing the great novel. So one quick salve is to self-publish on blog or pod. But as these proliferate, it becomes a lottery for the user, as the chance of ROIT (return on invested time) bringing you the quality blog/pod entry gets ever slimmer. Word of mouth (or email as we now call it) becomes the only recommendation you trust. Worse still, once the novelty of self-publishing wears off and users grasp the transience of their offering (this week’s podcast is next week’s free disk space) and see their own diminishing ROIT, money certainly might be more of an issue. But maybe a more sophisticated, opportunistic and peacock-friendly solution will be needed. ‘My Body of Work’ button below ‘My Documents’on the desktop, generating a site from all my UGC, for example. (That was a joke, before you get the pencils out.) So get those pointy little thinking caps on, you clever developer folk, and move us to the next level. Daddy, are we there yet?

  37. You can make money by posting about relevant topics and putting in an affiliate link. It takes some research. I don’t think blog readers mind if you somehow show you’re not biased. We have a wacky web 2.0 advertising site and probably one of the only sites like this which pays people who refer us business. Tell me our site is stupid, crazy, or fantastic, but do it with your affiliate link.

  38. You can make money by posting about relevant topics and putting in an affiliate link. It takes some research. I don’t think blog readers mind if you somehow show you’re not biased. We have a wacky web 2.0 advertising site and probably one of the only sites like this which pays people who refer us business. Tell me our site is stupid, crazy, or fantastic, but do it with your affiliate link.

  39. I turned a blog post about content networks into my battle cry and evolving business plan. In fact, I’m fairly obsessed with them.

    I’m thrilled you’re talking about this, excited for your new venture (I met JF at Podcast Academy 2 Boston and I think he’s got a great model), and I hope the conversation keeps rolling, because I’m banking that content networks and new media networks sharing their reader/viewer/listener-ships will be the power of this new engine, not clicky ads.

  40. I turned a blog post about content networks into my battle cry and evolving business plan. In fact, I’m fairly obsessed with them.

    I’m thrilled you’re talking about this, excited for your new venture (I met JF at Podcast Academy 2 Boston and I think he’s got a great model), and I hope the conversation keeps rolling, because I’m banking that content networks and new media networks sharing their reader/viewer/listener-ships will be the power of this new engine, not clicky ads.

  41. I think you underestimate one key area: RSS feeds are constantly reaggregated and republished all over the place, and in doing so, you may not see your direct feed stats increase (one server could cache your feed and redistribute it a million times, but you’ll only see one subscriber directly).

    I’d say – what’s your site traffic to RSS subscriber ratio? If it’s way out of proportion – like 100:1 – then I’d say your feed is being republished far beyond the direct reach you estimate – meaning you could be a lot more appealing to advertisers as a nexus from which content is generated.

    Christopher S. Penn
    Daily financial aid internet radio on demand
    http://www.FinancialAidPodcast.com
    Got iTunes? http://www.FinancialAidPodcast.com/subscribe/
    Got loans? http://www.FinancialAidPodcast.com/consolidate/

  42. I think you underestimate one key area: RSS feeds are constantly reaggregated and republished all over the place, and in doing so, you may not see your direct feed stats increase (one server could cache your feed and redistribute it a million times, but you’ll only see one subscriber directly).

    I’d say – what’s your site traffic to RSS subscriber ratio? If it’s way out of proportion – like 100:1 – then I’d say your feed is being republished far beyond the direct reach you estimate – meaning you could be a lot more appealing to advertisers as a nexus from which content is generated.

    Christopher S. Penn
    Daily financial aid internet radio on demand
    http://www.FinancialAidPodcast.com
    Got iTunes? http://www.FinancialAidPodcast.com/subscribe/
    Got loans? http://www.FinancialAidPodcast.com/consolidate/

  43. The key is to have a value proposition that benefits both “user” or content generator and content source. This *can* involve money but I think that’s often not the best solution.

    Audience, attention, community, review materials, mentorship: these are all things that can be more attractive to a group of highly-motivated content generators who are looking to become known in a crowded digital space.

  44. The key is to have a value proposition that benefits both “user” or content generator and content source. This *can* involve money but I think that’s often not the best solution.

    Audience, attention, community, review materials, mentorship: these are all things that can be more attractive to a group of highly-motivated content generators who are looking to become known in a crowded digital space.

  45. What about techcrunch and what mike arrington is doing. He is making a business. Although he doesn’t post anymore he is hiring a team to do that so I don’t subscribe anymore.

  46. What about techcrunch and what mike arrington is doing. He is making a business. Although he doesn’t post anymore he is hiring a team to do that so I don’t subscribe anymore.

  47. I totally agree that the source of the content should be able to earn from the use of the content. We built reBlogger (http://www.reblogger.com) to be a DIGG-style website-based aggregator. My biggest concern while creating a professional tool that aggregates other people’s content – is to find a way for the author, the creator of the content, to earn from their hard work… even when reBlogger re-purposes and republishes it.

    So I wrote some blog posts about it – but it’s not getting any traction. I think that’s sad, because we’re not looking at the long term implications. Here is a post that points to other posts on this topic.
    http://reblogger.wordpress.com/2006/06/13/drm-in-rss-2-opml-2-and-atom-1/

  48. I totally agree that the source of the content should be able to earn from the use of the content. We built reBlogger (http://www.reblogger.com) to be a DIGG-style website-based aggregator. My biggest concern while creating a professional tool that aggregates other people’s content – is to find a way for the author, the creator of the content, to earn from their hard work… even when reBlogger re-purposes and republishes it.

    So I wrote some blog posts about it – but it’s not getting any traction. I think that’s sad, because we’re not looking at the long term implications. Here is a post that points to other posts on this topic.
    http://reblogger.wordpress.com/2006/06/13/drm-in-rss-2-opml-2-and-atom-1/

  49. DRM in RSS 2, OPML 2 and ATOM 1

    DRM, Digital Rights Management
    DRM handles the description, layering, analysis, valuation, trading, monitoring and enforcement of the usage restrictions that accompany a specific instance of a digital work.
    Any blog post is a "digital work" a…

  50. The Revolution Will Be Televised

    Last week I read a post by Robert Scoble called Screwing the Long Tail. The gist of the post (though you should read it) is that ‘user generated content’ screws the user. That these companies are making money off all…

  51. Long Tail Error: Book Publishing Royalties…

    I picked up a copy of Chris Anderson’s The Long Tail and am about a third of the way through it. I’ll post a full review when I’m finished, but I wanted to point out a glaring error he makes…

  52. hmm very very interesting … kind of been out in “Real Lifer” land for almost three months without helping anyone create technology.

    While I’ve been out here in RL land, I’ve been getting really mad about this exact thing!

    Just one example: I recently found several sites trying to share my data. I generated a “travel log” at one site and now several other sites claim I’ve written there, also. One problem, too bad for them, I got sucked into some whirlwind moments in RL and wow … I totally forgot about this log i started … and gee I never published it … and guess what. It’s never going to get published.

    I’ve got a new term for us users … Real Lifers. Although “client” is a label I don’t mind. Customer is based on consumer … and sounds so much less interactive and personal that “client” … you know … imho [ever so].

    have fun,
    pam

  53. hmm very very interesting … kind of been out in “Real Lifer” land for almost three months without helping anyone create technology.

    While I’ve been out here in RL land, I’ve been getting really mad about this exact thing!

    Just one example: I recently found several sites trying to share my data. I generated a “travel log” at one site and now several other sites claim I’ve written there, also. One problem, too bad for them, I got sucked into some whirlwind moments in RL and wow … I totally forgot about this log i started … and gee I never published it … and guess what. It’s never going to get published.

    I’ve got a new term for us users … Real Lifers. Although “client” is a label I don’t mind. Customer is based on consumer … and sounds so much less interactive and personal that “client” … you know … imho [ever so].

    have fun,
    pam

  54. “User” is a four-letter word

    The other day when I posted about Zonbu, I added a few sentences expressing that I’d rather call people who own and use a device as “owners” instead of “users”, if appropriate:
    …ownership implies that the possession …

  55. Banding together is clearly the way to go– look at the truly big blogs. they are almost all group publications (which the exception of a couple celebrity blogs.) Moreover, any groups will wildly outperform the most famous individual: alexa zeldman and alistapart, for example.

    Once you have numbers, monetization becomes simpler.

    The current tools like wordpress, MT, typepad are ill-suited for group efforts, but go take a look at PublicSquarehq.com.

    Why blog alone?

  56. Banding together is clearly the way to go– look at the truly big blogs. they are almost all group publications (which the exception of a couple celebrity blogs.) Moreover, any groups will wildly outperform the most famous individual: alexa zeldman and alistapart, for example.

    Once you have numbers, monetization becomes simpler.

    The current tools like wordpress, MT, typepad are ill-suited for group efforts, but go take a look at PublicSquarehq.com.

    Why blog alone?