still number one….
Like many people, I post my blog on WordPress.com.
WordPress posts a list of its most popular blogs. The top of the list is always icanhascheezburger.com.
Pictures of cats.
Icanhascheezburger now accounts for roughly a third of the traffic on wordpress, some 500,000 hits a day.
That is interesting.
What is more interesting is that founder Eric Nakagawa has been able to monetize the site by selling ads. $5600 a month and climbing, according to Business Week.
Tim Appnel sent me the following link to a very interesting piece in Business Week, which clearly shows that Nakagawa is not alone.
Small websites are starting to become very profitable, based on ad revenue.
This is, I think, an inevitable consequence of the ‘democratization’ of publishing and distribution that the internet brings about. Once, to get a newspaper into people’s homes you had to be William Randolph Hearst or a Sulzberger. That is because starting a newspaper cost money. Presses, ink, paper, trucks, buildings.
‘Freedom of the press’, HL Mencken wrote, ‘is limited to those who own a press’.
Today, anyone can own a press, and if you read the Bizweek article, you will see that pretty much anyone with a good idea can start to make that press pretty profitable.
So far, we are still dealing in the world of text and print. But video cannot be too far behind.
Youtube has already conclusively proven that you can deliver video into some 2 billion homes on a regular and reliable basis.
As Steve Sabato’s numbers quoted yesterday clearly demonstrate, some 100 million people will become video content creators in the next decade.
The idea that once they create the content, the then have to sell it to CNN, NBC, ABC or CBS is clearly not the way this is going to shake down. Why sell or even license your video to iCapture when you can just post it yourself? (And incidentally, I think that most of these sites don’t pay anything at all).
This will take time, but it is clearly a classic case of ‘creative destruction’ that Schumpter would have appreciated. In a world of web delivery, what does CNN or ABC have that you don’t have? The answer is, not too much.
There was a time when the networks had the only means of delivering a signal into 100 million homes.
That gave places like ABC or NBC an enormous monopoly over the delivery part of the process. Take away that monopoly, and what do they have? Brand? Honestly, that is about it.
Clearly, this is going to take time, but just as clearly this is going to happen.
We are just in day one of the fractionalization of the market.
How long will it take?
Before Gutenberg, there was only one ‘producer’ of books – that was the Catholic Church. For a thousand years, people had lived in an environment where almost all of their ‘information’ came from one ‘very reliable source’ with a fantastic brand and impeccable credentials.
Forty years after Gutenberg, there were more than 15 million new titles in circulation.
For those who were living then, the shift must have seemed absolutely unthinkable. Yet there it was – driven entirely by a new technology.
The same thing is going to happen here.