Here’s a revenue model for you: Indulge your incorrigible crankiness, run an obsessive a meticulous site documenting every fart and boner of the only newspaper still publishing in 2021 in Jewelle Gomez’s dystopic lesbian-vampyr epic The Gilda Stories, and then get bought out by Lord Tubby of Black.

What are they saying over on “Silicon Alley,” a locale we never really believed existed and that surely cannot now claim to exist what with the smouldering ruins down by Wall St.?

This week we learned that the city may be getting a new daily newspaper, the New York Sun... Conrad Black [et al.] have raised $16 million to help launch the new venture early next year.

Or perhaps I should write $16 million to help extend the venture. That’s because the New York Sun – as the paper may be called – is actually a spinoff of, a Web site known for its neoconservative critiques of the Times. Smartertimes is the brainchild of Ira Stoll, the former managing editor for the Jewish weekly The Forward. [...]

But what none of these accounts has mentioned is the way in which Stoll has leveraged a one-man Web-only publication into a print daily. After all, we’ve been told... that the key to success for any new content play (in fact, any enterprise) is to start small and stay focused on the niche audience. [...]

Whatever one thinks of Stoll’s politics, or the dogged nature of his regular screeds on the Times, he’s done a remarkable job of building a framework to launch a larger publication.

Actually, no. Stoll has done a remarkable job of building a Web site so rabidly conservative that it stands out like a snarling Rottweiler (or a pair of them guarding a worthless collection of vulgarian hotdog carts) amid the twee leftist poodles of typical indie sites.

If this revenue model actually worked, NUblog would already be sponsored by the Poynter Institute, and independent sites wouldn’t be forced to tear down content to pay for hosting.

We do not exactly see David Schneiderman headhunting from amongst the endless slurry of Pinkoblogs™ extruded daily by the Web. It’s not as though Schneiderman’s former boss Leonard Stern hadn’t already snapped up every alternaweekly in sight.

It seems the only way to get yourself bought out in a post-bubble post-11th mediascape is to grind a specific kind of axe. If we’re not mistaken, this used to be called an exit strategy.

Posted on 2001-12-02