Thursday, November 6, 2008

How much is Androcass worth?

There are no end to articles and blog posts trying to figure out how we can monetize the magical arena of Web 2.0. There are persistent rumors that some of the biggest brand names of our brave new interactive world are not close to turning a profit, that Facebook and MySpace and on and on have found no way to pull in the bucks. Perhaps it's finally occurring to people that, when someone sees several thousand ads a day (and, if you appreciate the insights of semiotics, you know it's at least that many), there's a tendency to zone out and see none of them. And subliminality doesn't translate into lucre.

So here's my idea. We've all heard stories of authors writing comments on Amazon touting their own books to get the star rating up. This is an extension of that: prominent people sell their blog comments. How much would it be worth to get a comment by Paul Krugman on your blog? Matt Yglesias? Androcass? (The last, maybe not so much.)

Think of the prestige factor, as your blog would be seen as one of the central axis that dominates the Web. If anyone believes that, say, Andrew Sullivan reads and comments on your blog, you automatically become an insider, sweeping you into that rarefied air of the big time Internet pundits.

And the best part of it is, the expert doesn't have to lift a finger. If you write a post about liquidity, and you think your traffic would be perked up with a comment from Brad DeLong or Mark Thoma, the Celebrity Comments Bureau will go out, find an existing blog post on the subject, preface it with "Good post" or "Interesting thought," and shoot it right to your site. No muss, no fuss, and a nice stream of income for the bloggers who've given us so much.

But there would be enticements other than money for our celebrities. We could set it up like an auction site, and the bids would determine value. Imagine the ego-stroking possibilities when the price of an Andrew Sullivan comment shoots past that of a Rich Lowry; why, you'd have big-time people checking their rankings several times a day.

I'm pretty pumped about this idea, so, if there's anyone out there who knows enough prominent people to get this going, drop me a line. There are millions in this idea, I tell you, millions.

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