Consumer InternetContentVenture Capital

Social content – small is beautiful

By April 27, 2007 April 29th, 2007 No Comments

Yesterday I read the following on OnStartUps in The One Thing Wrong With Social Content Sites Like Digg:

I really only have one
major issue with the social content sites out there right now. The content
sucks. Though this may seem like a relatively strong statement to make, I’m
confident that if you visited any of these sites right now and looked
at the top 5-10 stories/links, you’d find that the noise to signal ratio is
really, really high. There’s a reason for this. Most of these sites are not
really designed for you. If you’re like me (and chances are you’re more like me
than you are the average digg user), and you took a critical look at the content
on at any given time, you’d find the relevancy pretty

This rings true for me. I have never found sites like Digg and Reddit that useful – the content is too general and stuff passes through too quickly for me. As I’m writing, the home page of Digg is showing stories on politics, gadgets, sociology and technology. Too much variety and not enough guarantee of quality.

The answer is to set up smaller more focused sites, and the OnStartUps guys have done just that with DailyHub
which features “Social Content for Business Geeks”, which has lots of interesting articles, including the one about traffic to the top 25 consumer internet sites which formed the basis of yesterday’s post.

In another post on the subject Let A Million Diggs and Reddits Bloom the creators of DailyHub liken this to the offline world of specialist trade mags.

The argument is a good one, but that means that these small sites won’t be big businesses. If the generalist play (like Digg) is not the right way to go (and if this is right it isn’t) then the only way to get to enough scale to make a VC play is to have a series of focused sites in a network. That means finding people with enough insight into each focused niche to make it work.

Alternatively you could build a good focused social content site and steer clear of VC altogether.

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