This whole New Media thing

Evidently we’re doing it wrong. Robert Stacy McCain asked how it could be possible for a Web site (BuzzFeed) to be valued at $200 million, and how an actual TV channel (Current TV) with fewer viewers than several Web sites you could name could sell for $500 million.

I pointed out in comments that Al-Jazeera, new owners of Current, and BuzzFeed had one thing in common: neither of them benefited from the tender ministrations of Tina Brown, who is basically the Ted McGinley of new media. Which gave McCain an idea:

What we need to do is start marketing ourselves as innovative visionary entrepreneurs, throwing around catch-phrases — optimization! networking! interactivity! — and hustle up $40 million in venture capital with promises to re-invent the digital wheel. Then we outsource this grimy content-provider work to Indonesia.

After all, it’s only content. This is the stuff that really matters:

What counts is the SEO and stuff like that. Also, venture capital — lots and lots of venture capital. And then we throw a couple of lavish parties for our friends at the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, etc., and they’ll write up a lot of breathless feature stories about how we’ve captured the online Zeitgeist and have “expected revenues” of some ginormous number that we just pull out of thin air.

I have long suspected that all “expected revenues” figures were actually the product of rectal extraction, but the source apparently matters less than the dissemination.



  1. Jeffro »

    5 January 2013 · 10:51 pm

    And the smell of lots of cash being wasted masks the smell of BS…..

  2. Roger Green »

    6 January 2013 · 6:19 am

    and many cable companies that were carrying Current are now dropping it, after the sale, defeating the primary purpose of the purchase

  3. CGHill »

    6 January 2013 · 11:14 am

    I had heard that Time Warner didn’t want anything to do with it.

  4. Charles Pergiel »

    6 January 2013 · 8:34 pm

    I suspect a bunch of spreadsheet/powerpoint dweebs have been scurrying around babbling about market penetration and points and how half a point of this equates to umpteen million of that, and somebody half listened to all this crap, and then went with his gut and said “100 million on black” and we shall see how it plays out.

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