Web 3.0 will be something called Good Editing

July 23, 2006 at 3:08 pm Leave a comment

Hidden away on PR firm Idea Grove’s website is a sharp interview with Fark.com’s founder Drew Curtis. Fark.com is basically a one-man media operation — powered by the freely submitted contributions of its readers — that now delivers more than 1.7 million daily page views and close to 90 million ad impressions per month. In fact it’s so popular that it has become a verb of its own – small websites referenced by Fark headlines are often “farked”, meaning that their servers have received so much traffic that they have stopped responding completely.

In the interview founder Curtis gives lots of insights into running a user-community website. But the interesting part is where he differentiates between pure voting sites and the power of good editing:

The whole concept of Web 2.0 is great if you have a small dedicated group of loyal readers (TotalFarkers). The problem is it doesn’t scale because the vast majority of people are goddamn idiots. In general, voting sites are great ways to generate traffic but they suck at putting out a quality product. I’m a huge huge fan of youtube for example but let’s face it, 99.99% of the stuff on there is utter crap (but the other .01% is really amazingly good).

I don’t care what anyone says, the masses are morons. You can’t count on them to pick good stuff. Just check out Network TV to see what the masses want for entertainment. It all sucks. Don’t even get me started on how they vote for elected officials. There’s certainly a place for that kind of thing but it’s not on Fark. Just watch, Web 3.0 will be something called Good Editing.

This is a significant point. Pure, open voting and user-generated content can lead to a dull media experience. In the future content sites will need to intelligently combine the community spirit with good old-fashioned editing.

Curtis also talks about online advertising, and takes advertisers to task for not respecting their audiences:

The whole advertising industry confuses me sometimes. Advertisers for some reason really, really want to buy ads that annoy the shit out of the consumer. They want to buy ads that block you from seeing content, that shout at you when you hit the page, that stay on the computer desktop when you leave the site. You know why ads on the right sidebar get better clickthrough rates? Because people are trying to scroll down with their mouse and miss the damn bar, accidentally generating a click. Most popup ad clicks are generated by people missing the X to close the thing out.

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Entry filed under: media general.

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