17 April 2012

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Is the Web sustainable? That's a question for quants and investors and policy makers and inventive types. I've mentioned a few times here that advert based webbiness is doomed, in any long term. Since the users are bifurcated twixt those staring at the browser, clicking and the real clients, those paying for the clicks, sites which rely on adverts are susceptible to any vehicle (not even of the Web) which provides more bang for the advert buck. The sites attempt to serve two masters, but it's the advert buyer who gets his way. This ticks off the users, who then install AdblockPlus, or similar. This is why Google runs scared, all the time. MySpace looms over all.

The fickleness of advert buyers can't be underestimated. From the point of view of a quant intent on predicting where the Web is going (either for stock picking reasons or development trends or ...), it's all a wedge of black swans; there aren't any quantitative breadcrumbs to follow, just occasional tsunamis which destroy the Thought Leaders. Today, Seeking Alpha posted a paean to Pandora. This is not to say I'm recommending anyone buy Pandora, only that the true nature of Webbiness is finally getting the attention it deserves.

So long as the Web is based on the same model as newspapers, the Web is just as vulnerable.

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