Solong Salon: Last June, when Salon’s Sean Elder predicted the demise of Rolling Stone, I predicted that in a race to the death, Salon, rather than Rolling Stone, would cross the finish line first. It appears I was correct.
In his dreams: Tony Perkins, an expert at losing money in magazine publishing (but then, aren’t we all?), is now claiming that his Always On Network (with the URL www.alwayson-network.com, not the more memorable and obvious one) will help usher in the “ebayization” of media. His innovation? A blog of business articles and some early contributions by folks in his contacts file.
Quote from Perkins:
“The bloggers have shown us the value of truly participatory media sites, so we’re just going to bundle it up and polish it and commercialize it.”
Does that sound familiar, or what? But in 2003? I mean, how can a reporter just sit there and take down such a quote without laughing out loud in 2003?
Perkins proudly claims that the site cost him just $50,000 to build. And that the registration info feeds right into Salesforce.com.
Can someone tell him he paid too much? He’s also about five (20?) years too late to be considered an innovator in this arena. Slashdot is just one of thousands of long-running examples of the “ebayization” of media. What Perkins (and others) will discover is that, unlike eBay, no one will be able to “brand” and “own” networked conversational media. Perkins knows it has been around for several decades but seems intent on convincing somebody that he can “bundle it up” into a business model. I confess, I have been tempted by the same Siren song. But that experience (as well as maintaining this blog since 2001) has convinced me that anyone caught using the term “ebayization of media” does not understand what is going on here…or is being very disingenuous.
And one other thing. I don’t believe his $50,000 figure unless he’s forgetting to include the in-kind contributions of any of the developers or service providers. While no doubt he COULD have created the site with just a few hundred dollars, his amount seems too contrived and promotional to be true. And why does he need ANY employees?