Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Here’s how Yahoo! is justifying its $90-some million acquisition of Associated Content:

Yahoo said the deal for Associated Content will provide “high quality, personally relevant content” for its 600 million online users… “Combining our world-class editorial team with Associated Content’s makes this a game-changer,” said Carol Bartz, Yahoo’s chief executive, in a statement. “Together, we’ll create more content around what we know our users care about.”

Did Bartz, or anyone at Y!, ever bother to read an entry or two out of Associated Content? No amount of editorial oversight can refine that quagmire of a content mill. Far from “high quality”, Yahoo! just bought the online-media equivalent of junk bonds.

Although I do understand the mechanics behind any such deal: The low-grade words on the pages matter less than the visitors that linger over them. AC must have particularly strong traffic metrics, and those eyeballs are what Y! wants, for ad-delivery purposes. It’s that audience-acquisition aspect that brings to mind the long-ago purchase of TV fansite Jump The Shark by TV Guide as a parallel — to wit, that quantity trumps quality when it comes to Web media properties. Especially on-the-cheap user-generated quantity.

Bottom line, look for Yahoo! to eventually absorb and bury Associated Content, after going through the obligatory efforts to monetize the brand. The millions of dollars spent will certainly benefit someone, but it won’t be Yahoo!.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/18/2010 11:07pm
Category: Business, Internet
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Some call it their archive, others call it their morgue file. Frank Chimero calls his collection of Web-found essays his “text playlist”:

…I take this list and revisit and reread it every 4 to 8 weeks. You could almost consider it a playlist of text: it’s very select (I artificially limit it to 10-15 articles), I typically read them all in one sitting, and the order and pacing is very purposeful. Most revolve around what it’s like to be making things in 2010, and a lot of the people that I respect the most have pieces in it. It’s almost a pep talk in text form. I visit it when I’m down, when I’m lazy, when I’m feeling the inertia take over.

This inspirational effect recently extended beyond the original curator, to spawn someone else’s text playlist. Although, in my opinion, Liz is already making wordplay music on an even more mix-and-match level with her collection of Paragraphs To Love.

As a lover of clever wordplay myself, this concept holds some appeal. But I don’t know that it would re-energize my creative juices. As much as I get aesthetic pleasure from admiring a well-crafted piece of prose, I tend to get discouraged by such exercises, because I feel my writing skills can’t measure up. I’d almost rather practice my cunning linguistics in a vacuum, rather than build a file that’ll fuel my creative jealousy.

by Costa Tsiokos, Tue 05/18/2010 10:21pm
Category: Creative, Internet, Wordsmithing
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