The Web’s ‘Biggest Sinkholes’—And Why They Matter Beyond Online
Publishers that play 'me-too' are in for a rough ride.
Internet Evolution has posted a recent feature that identified Web 2.0’s "biggest sinkholes"-areas in which startups are "gorging on investors" with little to show for it in return. The biggest sinkholes included:
While each of those areas represent a terrific opportunity for an original, committed business plan, they are also rife with "me too" imposters that are trying to piggyback off the success of others without understanding the elements of what made those companies successful in the first place.
The Internet Evolution story is a much more macro take on Web 2.0 than just the publishing industry but it offers some lessons for publishers on the dangers of the "me-too" approach beyond online. Within the last two months, the industry has seen Source Business Media, Nielsen Business Media, F+W and now Time reorganize edit and other departments around market, rather than media. It’s a smart approach and one that works well provided the core edit talent is still the best it can be-new titles and new flow charts won’t make up for a lack of talent. But how many of those companies have undergone real change and how many are just reshuffling the deck?
For years magazine publishers have been accused of turning to online only to try and recreate the same thing they’ve always done in print. As the entire industry attempts to navigate not only a shift in media but one of the most severe economic downturns it’s ever seen, it’s clear that "me-too"-whether online or in corporate strategy-won’t be the way out for any of us.