Baseball Toaster The Juice Blog
Societal Critic at Large: Scott Long
Frozen Toast
Google Search
The Juice

02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09  08  07 
06  05  04  03  02  01 

12  11  10  09 

Personally On the Juice
Scott Takes On Society
Comedy 101
Kick Out the Jams (Music Pieces)
Even Baseball Stories Here
Link to Scott's NSFW Sports Site
2008-08-17 17:44
by Will Carroll

No, no, no, no and no.

I understand what Matthew (who's great) is saying here, but I disagree. The last thing I need is more networks, more incoming noise, and less control over it. The firehose is already turned on to high. It was easy to control when there were a few blogs to read, but now there are hundreds in my Google Reader. Some are must/everyday reads, some are 'when it gets my attention', and some I should purge. I have Twitter/ I have Facebook. I have ...

Heck, I published in about ten places this week. BP, of course. Here. Sports Illustrated. Football Outsiders. Fantasy College Blitz. Rotowire. A Q&A at Outs Per Swing. Ballbug thinks Unfiltered is another source, so there. XM. Radio gigs. TV some weeks (including an upcoming national one.) Then you add in comments I've made or as Ken puts it here, "conversations."

Ideally, FriendFeed or the new Facebook would give me a place to collect all of this. I don't need a "walled garden" especially since when those build up to a supercritical mass, they tend to break down. "It's so crowded there nobody goes," as Yogi said. Do you need to see all my stuff though and how is it monetized? Comment systems like Disqus and Seesmic or even Digg disintermediate comments.

Ideally, everything goes in, then you take what you want out. Some don't care about my football stuff. Some could care less about cigars. Some of my readers feel like they know me because I write about things I do and some HATE it. Do I need a place for my friends (real friends, not virtual) and another for the haters? (With things like Loopt and geotagged photos, that's actually a major issue.)

Or do we need it at all. NONE of these models, save for a few, have any sort of monetization. I'd wager that many of you have read other blogs here and gained knowledge, but guys like Alex, Jon, and Josh all work day jobs. There are full-time bloggers, but not many. Newspapers aren't buying up baseball blogs, they're pushing their writers to a new format. Some are good, some aren't, but guys like my Toastermates might be widely read, but not widely paid.

There's an internal tension between much of the new content streams and the old pocketbook. Between rights fees, press passes, and bloggers who think that the outsider perspective has any sort of validity, it's not changing soon. Which means we're in for a lot of change, and soon.

2008-08-17 21:27:17
1.   Schteeve
When you demonstrate the willingness to do shit for free, why would a market decide to pay you?

I've stated that I'd gladly pay $20 a month to be a member of the Toaster, so I could read Alex and Cliff's writing, and kibitz with the other banterers. But that's just me, and I'm sure there are a lot of other regular readers who would not be willing to pay.

2008-08-17 21:58:31
2.   Chyll Will
1 Not me. Hell, I'll pay 21 dollars! >;)
2008-08-18 06:57:01
3.   jgpyke
Switching from a free model to a subscriber pay model is hard. Ask the NYT. By and large, publishing has always been ad supported, and subscription fees only helped defray the cost. Most people don't realize it takes more than 50 cents to produce that newspaper you're holding.

This isn't to say that the pay model doesn't work. It does. It's just that fewer sites are successful at it.

Politico is an interesting case. Maybe the publishing model for the near future.

2008-08-18 09:43:58
4.   Will Carroll
Publishing yes, but I still don't see the addons as adding value. I also don't see any sort of movement towards an "exit strategy" - newspapers are building their own blogs with their own writers for the most part rather than co-opting the best already writing. I think that's a mistake, but I don't think the newspapers see it that way.

Pyke -- explain more on why you think Politico has a model? I don't see it as any different than anyone else.

2008-08-18 12:00:44
5.   jgpyke
It is a company that is web first, print second. Most newspapers use their website as a content dump of the print version. Politico does it the other way around.

I suppose there are others that do it that way, too, but few can claim the success that Politico has. 25M page views per month after only 18 mos in business. (The constant links from Drudge help, I'm sure.)

2008-08-18 12:06:21
6.   jgpyke
Here's one of your fellow traveler's take on the model:

2008-08-18 12:08:04
7.   jgpyke
Oops--I meant to paste Andrew Golis's take (of TPM):

He speaks with the optimism and enthusiasm that we often hear out of you.

2008-08-18 14:17:12
8.   Will Carroll
I looked up Politico's circulation numbers and they're a joke. 25000 freely distributed "newspapers" (I couldn't find the size or sheet count) really don't amount to more than a token effort. Assuming the Washington Post's ad rate of about 200 bucks per column inch and a daily circulation of about 700k, you're looking at a small fraction. Granted, it's probably a bigger fraction since it's very targeted and has all the players in a small geographic area. The print serves as a loss leader, I'd guess.

Now, try to translate that over to baseball. You could do it to some extent with BA, but I'm willing to bet ... well, let's just say they're not rolling in money over there. They do a great job, but no one's getting rich off it.

2008-08-18 17:06:35
9.   jgpyke
And yet with that small circulation, "Print advertising provides about 60 percent of its revenue." The key is that it is delivered to all congress and their staff. Therefore, they charge $10K for a full page ad. Sure, that's much less than, say, the NYT, but not bad for a paper that has the circulation smaller than the Bloomington Herald Times.

Comment status: comments have been closed. Baseball Toaster is now out of business.