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c3o
08:18
To find out what terms users are searching for, [Demand Media's algorithm] parses bulk data purchased from search engines, ISPs, and Internet marketing firms. Then the algorithm crunches keyword rates to calculate how much advertisers will pay to appear on pages that include those terms. Third, the formula checks to see how many Web pages already include those terms. Finally, the algorithm, like a drunken prophet, starts spitting out phrase after phrase: “butterfly cake,” “shin splints,” “Harley-Davidson belt buckles.” ... At the end of the process, the company has a topic and a dollar amount — the term’s “lifetime value,” — that Demand expects to generate from any resulting content.

[The value] of every story [is] very, very small. Most media companies are trying hard to increase those numbers, to boost the value of their online content until it matches the amount of money it costs to produce. But [Demand Media] thinks they have it exactly backward. Instead of trying to raise the market value of online content to match the cost of producing it — perhaps an impossible proposition — the secret is to cut costs until they match the market value.

"You can take something that is thought of as a creative process and turn it into a manufacturing process."
The Answer Factory: Demand Media and the Fast, Disposable, and Profitable as Hell Media Model (Wired)
That's totally fascinating and a little unsettling.
Reposted byjaphyBrnLng

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