is older than it's ever been and now it's even older


Snowing hard today. Many people get a snow day in times like this, but the accepted work ethic here in Minne-snow-ta is to shrug and keep working. I recall growing up in Oklahoma, any time a Winter Storm Warning was declared, you were sure to get out of school. Here, there seems to be some sort of advisory on a weekly basis. I don't mind the snow; it's the cold that sucks. Below about 5 degrees your windshield wipers freeze as they run, and before you know it it's really hard to see out of your windshield.

I saw this link on Metafilter and immediately knew it was blog bait. The story is about an internet copyright service that, among other things, charges $50 for the right to link to a story. Excuse me? I understand web pages are hard up for cash, especially content-based ones, but this is ridiculous. Such demands for payment are a) unenforceable; b) stupid (most sites want more traffic); c) proof your site is desperate. Thus, my act of civil disobedience: A link from said publication. Bill me.

In fact, the fact that sites are now trying even truly pathetic tricks like this to get money merely illustrates the flawed business models out there in cyberspace. For example, take Salon. It's a fine news site, and very enjoyable. However, it obviously has far too much staff and generates all of its own content. Thus, they are losing money like nobody's business. It's no mystery to me why sites like Salon aren't making money. The content is good, but who pays for it? Banner ads are not making the site much money. There are so many great sites out there that advertisers can pay really low rates. Also, there are some pretty big named columnists there, like Garrison Keillor and Camille Paglia, and I'm sure that costs some money.

Now, compare the site to Romenesko's Media News site. He does get paid for this, but he's the only employee. He probably makes a little less than $100k a year to do it, which is the only budget for the site. None of the content is original, but it's all good. Also, most of the content is from newspapers' web sites, not from standalone web news sites. A larger lesson there, too; for consumer goods as for content, it looks like the winning net companies are going to be the ones that already have "bricks-and-mortar" operations, not straight 'net business. In the coming content shakeup, which is the next chapter in the sifting of the internet, Salon will probably not survive unless they shift to a more public radio/public television funding model (i.e., member supported) while Romenesko will continue to chug away. That's a nice job he's got. Anyone out there want to pay me $75 grand or so to run a weblog, I'll do an awesome job.

I'm not going to make any real judgements about this, but do you think a themed exam room would make your trip to the gynecologist more pleasant? I mean, really?

Here's a fun little blog inside joke: the Kill your blog test. It's supposed to tell you if your blog deserves death. I scored a 56, which means I'm borderline. I'll have to get better. Seeing as it's cold and snowy, maybe more bonus bloggage today.


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