Tag: Blogs

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My Problem With Affiliate Links

While most of the people who take the time and effort want to write a valuable review choose to do so in order to assist other users in making their buying decisions, the fact of the matter is that just like in the streets of the real world the Internet is filled with people looking to make a buck off of your trusting them. This is where the abuse of affiliate links comes into play.

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Does The TechCrunch Acquisition Mark The End of An Era?

Now that it’s a done deal and Aol has acquired TechCrunch (along with two other companies today), I began to wonder whether this marks the end of an era.  While I guess deep down, I knew a day like this would come – it just had to eventually, I never fully considered the implications it would have down the road for other blogs and what it means for smaller (but growing) sites such as BestTechie.

Aol’s acquisition of TechCrunch marks the end of an era.  The era of major independent blogs, news sites, etc is coming to an end.  Mainstream media and content providers will start to acquire more of these “new media” sites and what is currently new will be old, and what is old will be new.  Independent sites will have a much more difficult time competing due to lack of resources, capital, and ability to easily scale.

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The Future Of News

In my last article, I talked about what the newspaper industry is doing to stay afloat. Their biggest worry now is monetizing their content, which is understandably hard on a medium designed specifically to facilitate the easy transfer of information. Currently, their strategy revolves around pay-walls, but pay-walls heavily favor primary sources over smaller news providers, not to mention slow the flow of information and irritate the average user to no end.

The most obvious alternative to pay-walls would be micro-payments, but that system is currently underdeveloped. (I think the fact that newspaper companies can’t get on board with a system developed years ago for other media, showcases just how infrastructurally encumbered they are.) The problem is micro-payments still require the user to sign up and log in. The log-in part could be easily circumvented by associating accounts with IP addresses. The advantage to this is networks like those on college campuses can easily get general access to newspaper articles, and of course only have to pay according to what their students actually read. In addition to this, they could have networks of newspapers, where you can sign up all at once for several news sources, cutting out a lot of the hassle. I could easily see News Corp. enabling general purpose accounts for all of its newspapers.

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