Thursday, June 30, 2011

Corporate clever

One thing we can say about this is that, at least, it was his own money. But it also says that the corporates are not good at judging moods and trends - and not for the first time. They just have more money to throw about, and occasionally strike lucky.

It should also remembered, though, that this is the same Murdoch empire which is running the Times paywall experiment ... and probably with the same level of success. Had it been a runaway money-spinner, my guess is that we would never have heard the last of it.

As it is, we hear cautious claims, but get no figures. It cannot have been that successful, otherwise The Failygraph would have leapt in and converted its 31 million audience into a cash cow. But at least one now gets a feel as to how that particular corporate turned a profit. It is concentrating on its web presence, sacrificing quality in the pursuit of volume. This is a tempting model, but as the Murdoch corporation shows, it can also generate huge losses in the longer term.

Lots of money buys a loud voice, though - and there are plenty of people drawn to the snake oil seller with the biggest megaphone. That is often confused with success, especially as the discordance can so easily drown out the quality blogosphere.

Much as the corporates would like to see it disappear, though, there is a corner which seems to be quietly prospering, living off its voluntary donations. One wonders how long the corporates would survive with perhaps the only model around that keeps its creators honest.