The Race To The Bottom ( Or Oprah, Lesbians, Jason Calacanis And The Future Of Blogs)


Nick Denton is getting rid of under-performing sites and preparing to launch a site about music.

Jason Calacanis is creating Digg clones and Metroblogging clones.

PayPerPost is introducing product placement to the blogsophere.

The Blog Herald is being threatened by the more media intensive Blogging Times.

Here’s the deal.

In case you haven’t noticed the first phase of blogging has ended.

Now comes the race to the bottom.


A look at successful blogs will show you what the mainstream public is into.

Gossip, sex, gadgets and partisan politics.

That’s why I find it hilarious that bloggers are up in arms about payperpost. I’m surprised it took this long.

Because nothing gets monetized until it reaches a low point.

Book clubs is not what made Oprah rich.

Shows about dating lesbians is what made Oprah rich.

When she took that same audience and started treating them smart is what made her an icon. But she had to start at the bottom.

You won’t find any innovation on the McNeal/Lear Report. But you will on Fox.

If blogging and this new media stuff is to be relevent to the masses it has no choice but to wallow in the dirt.

I’m a bottom feeder. I use curse words and pictures to entice you into reading my sometimes wrong opinions about this new media shit.

But all the successful media are bottom feeders.

Nick Denton’s empire is based on it.

So are the successful television and radio networks.


Blogs are not really that important, yet.

The readers of Uber-popular Techcrunch (as Howard Lindzon astutly told me) “is like the crowd at a football game who only stay for 15 seconds.”

The numbers are staggeringly low.

They may look good to those of you who think you are changing media. But the reality is, no one is reading you, or me.

So now what’s happening to blogging is the same thing that has happened to all successful media before it.

Tits, ass, celebrity, music and sex.

A fast race to the bottom.

I suggest you find your boots.

Explore posts in the same categories: ass, blog herald, blog networks, Celebrities, Digg, Howard Lindzon, Jason Calacanis, lesbians, Metroblogging, music, Nick Denton, Oprah, PayPerPost, sex, Sexual/Sensual, techcrunch, The Blogging Times, tits

24 Comments on “The Race To The Bottom ( Or Oprah, Lesbians, Jason Calacanis And The Future Of Blogs)”

  1. David Krug Says:

    I couldn’t agree with you more. And truthfully the only place for snark is in the bootom. It’s hawt and it rocks.

    All the uber elitist tech crowd is lame. Sell blogs to the American Idol crowd. Mainstream America. That’s what Gawker did.

    That’s why a lot of the sites they are shedding didn’t work. He tried to sell to other crowds who could care less.

    Like I care about TechCrunch. It’s lame.

    Give the people what they want which is nipple, sex, booze and sex. And then the money will flow.

    And yeah I can take money for blogging. I have no problem with it.


  2. Cramer has proven and now bill cara and tradermike.net and me that if you can make people money they will come as well.

    That is hard so I agree with your post that sex is better (more importa tly easier)


  3. […] Other perspectives: TechMeme, Steve Rubel, Media Bistro, Chartreuse, Business 2.0, Darren Rowse’s Problogger, The New York Times, GigaOm, & Publishing 2.0. […]

  4. howard Says:

    w.r.t. my last comment. Cramer really did not get mainstream until he started whoring himself and making the markets and trading into a game show mentality so I guess antics and gadgets only work in finance blogs as well.

  5. chartreuse Says:

    Cramer is popular because he isn’t boring. He screams. He’s always pissed. He’s interesting. If you look at finance like normal talk shows he would be Geraldo. No respect among the elite bu the crowds love him.


  6. yes, i hate saying it but the crowds are idiots and as te Knight so eloquesntly summed up life in “CaddyShack”

    The world needs ditchdiggers too

  7. Loren Says:

    This is why bloggers who think they are inventing something new make me laugh. Same with bloggers who give a shit about PayPerPost. Integrity of Blogging? Are they fucking kidding? Transparency? Why? Who cares? Blogging is a joke. A bunch of online diaries, nothing more. Some people are interesting and smart, most are boring fucking idiots. Just like life.

    The whole blog thing is an echo chamber, circle jerk. Message to most bloggers, if you had any talent at all you’d be writing for a Newspaper or Magazine. or finsishing your novel. Period.

  8. TerryC Says:

    At first I thought you had nothing to say about Denton but instead you give us a completely different perspective. That’s why I like this blog.

    I disagree with the idea that in order for blogs to succeed they have to copy other media. The ‘race to the bottom’ is not neccessary. It’s possible to still keep integrety in tact and be successful.


  9. Maybe Denton was just early and successful just for that, much like GeoCities was early as a social network

    Now he sees that early is not enough, is overstretched and not really the man for the job or category.

  10. chartreuse Says:

    I love Nick Denton. He’s a smart dude.
    He’s treating his blogs like MTV VJs. If they don’t connect fast they are gone.

    I like Sploid. But it never really got traction. It could make someone some money.

    This is an age where smart people fail fast. And if it doesn’t work, move on.

    Small investments. Big returns.

    Kiva is the new investment model.

    MTV is the new investment timeline.

  11. chartreuse Says:

    And Terry,

    There are always exceptions. I’m just pointing out that getting the attention of a large audience means you have to start by giving them dirt.

    Going with quality is a long, expensive road with no guarantee for a return.

  12. Brian Says:

    My reaction to this post is:

    It depends.


  13. […] Blogging – Good, but maybe headed to rock bottom on the way to GREATNESS . […]

  14. range Says:

    I think the blogs are becoming more and more important compared to traditional web sites. I find that Payperpost is interesting, but not for everyone. Point of all, some bloggers want to blog as a career. Other want just to express their feelings and opinions, it varies. I find, as long as you blog and write or do something other than buy junk and pay your liabilities, life’s good.


  15. Sorry but this time, you’re WRONG about everything, and I’m pleased to point it out.

    Blogs are about HATE. It is ANGER, all caps, that fuels the Real Blogosphere 4.0 that me and my cohorts are exstablishing faster and harder every day.

    Tits and ass are boring. Only Junior High chump ass half-gays are into nude photos. A real man goes out and gets a girlfriend or wife. Losers drool over photos and beat off to them in silent sorrow.


  16. And PayPerPost is shit.

    Paying dumb ass bloggers to Pretend to be enthusiastic users of crap products. Screw PayPerPost and blog whores.

  17. Mr Angry Says:

    I started at the bottom, why aren’t I rich yet? Ever since the Jack Mark/Russell Crowe story broke I’ve been lobying to be Rusty’s next stooge but no contact from his camp yet. He’d be worth way more than pay per post.

  18. chartreuse Says:

    Vaspers, nice to see you back. You were missed.

    Here’s why I’m not wrong about the bottom.

    Most popular searches on the internet: hot chicks and sex
    Most profitable sites on the internet: porn and dating
    Most buzzworthy sites on the internet: MySpace

    Mainstream comes on the net and wallows on the bottom already. Blog owers are just figuring this out.

    Mr. Angry, PayPerPost is just product placement. No one had a problem when pp was all over Sienfeld. Nor when it’s in every movie you see. Why it’s such a problem for blogs shows how out of touch bloggers are with mainstream audiences.

    If you want to catch me in something wrong, try music or my objectification of women. I got this new media stuff down cold🙂

  19. Maura Welch Says:

    Chartreuse, when you make your point, it’s poetic and devastatingly clear. I agree with you on not romanticizing the wisdom of crowds and the idea that for media to be successful it has to cater to the masses. This is the second time I’ve put one of your posts in my Boston Globe column on Mondays. Maybe not a lot of people are reading blogs, but I find myself reading you all the time and posting in Business Filter about what you say on your blog. Always something insightful and provocative.


  20. Cater to the masses? Is that what Jesus, Buddha, Socrates, Plato, St. Augustine, Nietzche, Hegel, Marx, Freud, George Washington, Gandhi, Krishnamurti, Einstein did?

    Isn’t Tiger Woods a better example? He got damn good at something, screw the racists and etc.

    How do you define success? By mass popularity, which is fickle? By money? So Donald Trump is more successful than Tim Berners-Lee?

    Give me a freaking break here.

    You all need more HATE. … for the right things to hate.

    Now go here to see why our music tastes suck:

    www. chthonicionic.net/bile/default.asp

    Chart, I know you’ll love this Maddox of the Music World.


  21. Again the link to the Music Hate Machine:

    Music Hate Machine

    I typed in Stereolab, and was I insulted. Wow. That felt GRAAAAATE!

  22. j Says:

    well I guess I am at the bottom http://sexinga.blogspot.com and I agree with you

  23. chartreuse Says:

    thanks Maura, appreciate the support.

    vaspers, we’ll talk later.

  24. Nash Says:

    Hot sites, J, but are you pulling in any cash?

  25. Betty Says:

    When you look at successful blogs, I think the opposite is true. The majority of Technorati’s Top 100 (a flawed measurement, but still) (Boing Boing, Seth Godin, most gadget blogs, the Chinese blog with wedding photos, Life Hacker, etc) go nowhere near “tits, ass, celebrity, music and sex,” but have major followings anyway.

    Also, the bottom’s overcrowded as it is. Everyone’s fighting over the same piece of meat–whereas, with the quality route, there’s less competition AND more opportunity to distinguish your blog from the rest.

    BTW, I love your blog–it’s always interesting and fresh.


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