Gather Them Eyeballs!

16 thoughts on “Gather Them Eyeballs!”

  1. Hi Om

    Couple correction Om,

    1. Jim is not the founder of Lotus. He took over CEO reins from Mitch Kapor (Lotus founder).

    2. Lotus Notes Mail Client and CC:Mail came to Lotus as part of M&A deals. Both products predate Outlook.

  2. Hi Om, I sort of expected a warmer reaction from you to models like Gather, given that you were the first to voice concern over Web 2.0 businesses building their models on the backs of consumers.

    Unlike the vast majority of Web 2.0 companies, Gather seems to be trying to give back to its contributors.

    I’m puzzled by all the negative reaction.

  3. the negative reaction – as you point out – is basically to the whole new media models being built on the wrong premise. i am glad to see them paying their contributors. no problems with that.

    i updated that bit, just to clarify. the damn nyquill is still in effect.

  4. ramana,

    thanks for the corrections. i made the one about his title. however, the mail client etc … the remark stands. they were horrible products that were difficult to use and hence microsoft was able to take care of them in the market place… using some of its dollars of course

  5. Welcome to the new Adsense Honeypot as Batelle points out . . . all the blog networks(eyeballs) in particular Squidoo are nothing more than Honeypot plays: completely useles from a value perspective. Just an egregious Honeypot. Speculating. Cheers.

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  7. You’re moving the goalposts.

    Jason took issue with the notion that big media companies (Fox, Time Warner/AOL) were buying sites based on eyeballs (traffic without monetization) versus revenues (traffic plus monetization). The point was that valuations weren’t based on unique visitors (as you’d suggested), but rather on actual and forecasted revenues.

    Now you’re talking about VC investing in startups, which, by definition, have zero eyeballs and zero revenues.

    I totally agree that it is a sign of froth to see non-media types suddenly developing media guru-ness.

    And of course (some) VCs are always prone to believe in the classic three step model:

    1) get lots of traffic
    2) ????
    3) exit!!!

    But I gotta stick up for Jason — this doesn’t negate his point at all.

    When Tribune Co. buys “Gather” for $20 million before they have any real revenues — then you’ll have something.

    But the takeaway? Yes, it’s getting overheated. For sure.

  8. Om,

    While I think that you bring up a lot of good points, I think that you’re missing out on the angle of community that Gather is trying to construct for people who were not trained as professional authors or have a burning desire to go in that direction. I agree that Rafat’s success is highly compelling and I applaud his efforts regularly, but there’s a middle ground between people like him and total obscurity that’s not well-addressed by plain old weblogging. The Gather model may have its weaknesses, but it offers at least a prototype of what a high-quality community built around professional and amateur content could look like. My suspicion is that others will be in this arena soon – perhaps with more open solutions. More commentary via our regular News Analysis.

    All the best,
    John Blossom
    President
    Shore Communications Inc.

  9. This model is unsustainable for other reasons. To make any reasonable income a person is either going to have to experience a heck of a lot of long-tailed-ness and/or have more than one discernible story. The problem for many is sustaining the effort.

    Looking at Gather’s most popular (and OK it’s only been around a short while) the number of reads per story let alone click throughs wouldn’t sustain my cat in kitty food, let alone any other kind of food.

    I wish them well, I really do. After all, it’s said everyone has at least one story inside them. But will enough people care?

  10. I must admit, I felt jealous of Gather when I saw that Boston Globe story–front page, above the fold in the actual hardcopy sitting in newsstands all over Cambridge. But Steve Rubel, Michael Arrington, and now Om Malik have now showered some heavy rain on their parade.

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