I read somewhere that a good blog should have a consistent set of themes.
So I guess one of mine has become the idea that advertising dollars simply cannot support the entire internet and all of Web 2.0. I feel pretty certain about this, yet every day I read about some great new venture that some famous blogger (which is sort of an oxymoron) who refuses to link to me thinks will one day be bigger than all four Elvises (Presley, Costello, Grbac and Dutton) and whose only meaningful revenue source is from advertising.
First we have all of Web 2.0.
Then AOL tosses in the towel and decides that since nobody wants a closed internet anymore, it will bet on ad revenue to keep its teetering boat upright. The magical $81M in ad revenue notwithstanding, it won’t work long term. There are only four ways to get rich legally: by birth, by gift, by doing something few others can do and by selling a product. AOL was not born rich, will not be given money because it is already public (no greater fool money for you, Mr. AOL), is now entering a mature market dominated by Yahoo and others, and its product no longer sells.
Of course you can say the same thing about most of Web 2.0, and I have. Over and over.
Meanwhile, TIVO, which is still running around like a chicken with its head cut off, has one-upped itself in the bad idea derby by adding ads on demand to last years’ bad idea champion, searchable ads. It’s like the time Raina and I tried in vain to convince the kids that vegetables were actually a treat. It may sound good, but even a three year old knows it’s a head fake.
Last but not least, Jake takes a page from Stowe‘s book (and apparently a hat from his closet) and wants to become a toddling advertisement for $10,000 a month. If he sells a month of ads he will have made more profit than Stowe and all of Web 2.0 combined.
When the advertising house of cards collapses, there is going to be a lot of carnage.