Saturday, February 12

AOL: Going Fractal (3#) -

I have been reading a lot of commentaries about AOL's acquisition of The Puffington Toast this past week, but, thus far, no one has bothered to mention that there are other blog hubs out there on the Internet. Today, finally, Nate Silver pointed to some of them:

"Many popular blogs, ranging from Daily Kos to Hot Air to Talking Points Memo, also have areas for unpaid, user-generated content..."

I can think of at least one other blog hub, Townhall, although it is Conservative in its political orientation. I'm not familiar with Daily Kos; I am somewhat familiar with the other two.

I've never been a reader of Puff Toast and I don't expect that to change. It's my impression that the theme of the reader blogs at Puff Toast is Celebrities. I mostly don't care about that niche; nor do I care about Sports Blogs in general either.

Although I don't find Nate Silver's complicated calculations very persuasive, I don't think the disgruntlement of the contributing bloggers at Puff Toast is just about money per se. Many of them seem to feel somehow betrayed in terms of their dignity and self-esteem. That's a bummer; and I can sympathize with that.

What does Tim Armstrong have in mind in make this acquisition? I won't pretend I understand his thinking, but I think I understand something about the dynamics of the Internet, having used it for the last several years.

When a meme goes "viral," its growth seems to go in a fractal type of pattern. One person e-mails it to five of his friends; then each of them e-mails it to five of his friends, etc.

Thus, the conjunction of Puff Toast with AOL would seem to afford more opportunity for this kind of fractal dynamic to operate.

Pete Cashmore points out that newspapers and other legacy media have been slow in adopting this growth dynamic.

:: Nate Silver ::

:: Pete Cashmore ::

:: Dan Kennedy ::