Internet fire sale

Yes, we write long. We admit as much. But we write as long as necessary. The oversold Chervokas/Watson team at seem to think they’re writing a column that has to be 750 words long each week.

En tout cas, we dug through the rubble and figured out that the duo is advising large companies to buy smaller “failed” Internet “properties.” It worked for, kind of, and it might work for Ironminds (op. cit.).

Bymaking asset acquisitions, buyers can avoid taking on the operating deficits of Internet media companies. This shift in acquisitions would reflect the reality that many of these so called “companies” are really single products. Startups with a million users acquired on someone else’s dime will be most attractive, particularly where the audience, assets or revenues of the target properties are additive to the acquiring company.

Blogger, anyone?

One of the Cluetrain kids sez something similar, actually:

From an Internet perspective, Web micromarkets are not markets at all, but rather nascent communities of interest. They tend to gravitate around articulate, knowledgeable and entertaining voices-individuals or small groups driven by a passion to communicate their views. A good example is the Motley Fool, which began as a microscopic dot in the petri dish of AOL’s greenhouse incubator. Today, these “fools” touch millions of personal investors. Micromarkets needn’t remain micro.

Because entry costs require high returns on investment, broadcast media rarely offer such emergent voices a hearing. However, the Internet reverses this trend, providing many low-cost vectors for small scale publishing – Usenet newsgroups, E-mail lists and Web pages. Think of these as “micromedia” instead of mass media.

...Cisco just implemented Blogger enterprise-wide. [Confirmation from a Cisco blog and from Blogger. – NUblog] Imagine the avalanche of intellectual capital such a move could precipitate. The Internet has always demanded that business read between the lines. Weblogs raise the bar.

And while we’re on the topic of Blogger – do we ever shut up about that service, which we don’t even use ourselves? – you can now pay US$195 a year for the privilege of Blogger without having to credit the service on your site. But what’s this bit in the fine print?

Note: If, within 90 days from the date of your purchase, Blogger ceases to exist in its current, or a compatible, form; or if you elect to stop using Blogger for the site selected; or for any other reason, you can, at your request, get a full, pro-rated refund for the time remaining on your subscription.

(Emphasis added.) Ominous, or mere precaution?

Posted on 2000-11-07