I recently heard the term “entrepreneurial journalism,” which is the concept that online writers and reporters get paid based on the number of clicks on their stories. When I was a kid, I remember television and radio shows asking audiences to send in cards and letters for contests and audience feedback. I supposed that if Bozo the Clown got more mail than Chuckles, Bozo got a raise and Chuckles got the boot.
Now has come along a more formalized version of entrepreneurial journalism known as Demand Media. They measure on-line traffic and select keywords that become story ideas that an army of freelance writers and editors transform into articles and then post online. The big idea is that the content is “guaranteed” to appeal to readers because of online research. The total cost for the content from a network of freelance writers and editors is less than $20 per article. That’s an amazing business model compared to the day when someone got about $1/word for an original article. Just a 200 word article using the old model would yield a writer’s fee of $200 or 10 times more than Demand Media’s model. No wonder journalists are dropping like flies.
So once again, Google wins. At 4:35 pm Central on Monday, April 5, these are their most popular news stories:
- A Revealing and Guarded Tiger Woods
- Jesse James Leaves Rehab
- Apple to Reveal iPhone 4.0
Let me run this through Tom Ciesielka’s algorithm to come up with a headline:
Tiger Woods Reveals Through His 4.0 iPhone that Jesse James is Free and Will Be Stalking Sandra Bullock.
There you have it. The top story at 4:35 pm Central on Monday, April 5, 2010, no charge