In the wake of the awfulness that happened in Japan this week, I found the traditional news sources (CNN, MSNBC, etc.) to be: A) pretty scant on detail, B) markedly behind the ‘real-time’ on current events and C) ill-informed on many topics concerning the earthquake and related events.
I have thought a lot recently about blogging and web analytics, and monetization of both in the context of “making money off the ‘long tail’”.
I see blogging as being the long-tail of the news and information pipeline, where outfits that monetize through online advertising serve as the short-tail, that which [hopefully] has enough traffic to sustain itself independently.
I see the long-tail of web analytics being those online publications that are unable to justify the cost of services like Chartbeat or GoSquared because they’d lose money in net, or they simply aren’t interested in monetizing their publications. Nevertheless, they may still wish to peer into the analytics and grow traffic however they can.
So why do I reference the content short-tail (i.e., the aforementioned CNN’s and MSNBC’s)?
Well within the same Web Analytics network (i.e., Chartbeat or GoSquared), I believe the long-tail can help the short-tail drive new traffic, thereby adding net readers/ pageviews and perhaps helping justify Free web analytics functionality for the long-tail.
Web Analytics folks know what’s trending for big publishers. They also have the ability to find experts and influencers from within their long-tail. Imagine if these two folks who are experts [or at least very knowledgeable] in nuclear energy topics and Japanese Disaster Prevention protocol, respectively, could have had their content called up in an instant to fill in gaps where mainstream media channels don’t have access or expertise. This would serve everyone in the content value chain:
- Short-tailers: Serve relevant, timely news and information; Drive new and repeat traffic with this high-quality content
- Long-tailers / Bloggers: Exposure, Grow reader-base; Rev share on traffic this short-tail content generated
- Web Analytics Providers: make paying customers (short-tail) happy with new traffic; make long-tail happy with a free analytics service and new traffic through added distributionà thereby monetizing the long-tail...with short-tail dollars
By using their own tools to pair the right long-tail content for short-tail providers, Web Analytics folks serve to make good money on the additional pageviews they help generate. (And please share a little with the bloggers…)
While the example I give above relates to a singular and rapidly-changing event, I believe the concept is extensible to just about any topic. And while delivery of the content to short-tailers may need to be of a ‘real-time’ nature, the content itself doesn’t require it so (e.g., from above, nuclear theories or Disaster Prevention protocol don’t change overnight).