Ev Williams, co-founder of Twitter, talks about Twitter and content sites.
He makes an interesting comment:
“If you look at feedback loops like likes and retweets, they’ve been very carefully crafted to maximise certain types of behaviours. But if we reward people based on a measurement system where there’s literally no difference between a one-second page view or reading something that brought them value or changed their mind, it’s like – your job is feeding people, but all you’re measuring is maximising calorie delivery. So what you’d learn is that junk food is more efficient than healthy, nourishing food.”
To put this in plain words, content is measured by clicks. Not quality, authority, etc. It’s clicks.
Whether you click on an article in Granta or the idiotic HuffingtonPost, it’s the same: one click, which is the only thing that the publishers and advertisers want.
So “content producers” (i.e., junk writers) churn out whatever gets clicks and advertisers will place ads on it. Twitter, Medium, Gawker, HuffingtonPost, BusinessInsider, and hundreds of others, plus the “content farms”, are junk content.
Which means some may survive, but they certainly aren’t worth their sky-high valuations.
It’s April 2016, which means winter is coming. Yes, soon it’ll be the year 2000 AD again. Many of you don’t remember that year, and many of you weren’t here for it. When the dotcom bubble popped, Silicon Valley was smoking ruins. Today, just like then, despite yet more money coming in, VCs are either not funding or they’re doing down rounds. Down-rounds are great fun for VCs; they can force their startups to give up more for less. Yes, they funded and nurtured their startups and now it’s time to rape them. How can they force a down round? The lead VC quietly mentions to other co-investors that he’s not confident about the startup. Potential investors check with the lead VC and also hear that he’s considering the startup’s future. Whoops. No more money. But to survive, the startup needs another $100m, so… guess who’s on top? The VCs can extort massive concessions from the founders.