Sunday, May 07, 2006

The New Economy

This is how you make money in the new economy;

Event Capitalization

You capitalize on an event by drawing attention to it and providing a unique conduit for interested and sympathetic observers. Television started it, but now it has proliferated down to internet users. People are creating web sites dedicated to one current event and profiting from the traffic flow. I’ll give two examples; Stephen Colbert and a Bald Eagle.

First Colbert; he’s the comic that ‘roasted’ George Bush at the press dinner. He’s become a fridge magnet for the disaffected. His name is the number one and three hit on Technorati. When I searched some of the blogs I found this.

That's why I and over 45,000 other people (so far) have left messages at Thank You Stephen Colbert. This was a historic occasion, one that the peasants will celebrate for a long time. We want to pay homage to the man brave enough to speak on our behalf to the terrible tyrant child emperor and his genuflecting sycophants.

And then I saw that I was used. It turns out that all this outpouring of sincere thanks and appreciation is a shill. Some hucksters are using our feel-good humanity to get a few bucks from us when we visit to leave our thanks. Not only that, but they waited to put out their collection plate until thousands of us had already left our message of thanks, giving the impression that we tacitly support whatever cause they're selling.

How dare the sponsors of do that to us! Not only was that a shabby thing to do, it's patently offensive. It has turned a wonderful and generous monument to a man's historic courage into a huckster's shameless scam to score a few bucks for their pet political cause. There's no way I would have left a thank you note had I known they would do this.

Someone was thinking outside the box and that's an early message, they've smoked over fifty thousand people as of today. Whoever set up the site probably doesn’t care about Stephen Colbert as much as he cares about accounts receivable. I think it must be a pro fundraiser. The site’s a repository of names and email addresses of folks with the exact same point of view, which can be sold and offers Visa and MC conveniences to those who visit and wish to support various causes. I think he's missed out on the Blog Adds angle though. Sell the banner fool! You get paid by the number of unique hits the site gets.

If you think that example is cool, then you’ll think this is a mile high glacier. A seventy one year old guy in Victoria, British Columbia set up a web cam in an eagle’s nest and his web site is getting 3.3 MILLION HITS A DAY as people wait for the eggs to hatch. It’s been up for two weeks. The guy can retire !!! Oh yeah he already did.

Given the potential payback, it would be a good idea to buy a small camera and wireless transmitter and just leave them in the trunk of the car.

Can you imagine the traffic if you had a camera on Stephen Colbert sitting on an eagles nest? The mind boggles.

Update: The Victoria eagles aren't hatching.


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