How the Web’s Economy of Scale is Changing Publishing

by Dan Blank on April 11, 2007

Read/Write Web proclaims that Google is the ultimate money making machine on the internet. They focus on some classic supply & demand examples, and explain why so many niche companies and markets are trying to emulate Google in some way. Instead of being a destination, websites are trying to become more of an essential service, like Google.

For publishers operating in a tradional model, they can only create so much original content in a day, and only have a limited demand for the specific nature of their content. In order to reap the rewards of the economy of scale on the web, you are seeing more publishers focus on:

  • Aggregation: getting more content more efficiently.
  • Search: be it vertical search, or some other take, there are many trying to be “the Google” of their sector.
  • Social networking: This provides not only a lot of free content, but becomes an essential service for its users. It can expand greatly with little or no effort on the side of the website.

There are many more items to add to this list, and not all of them speak to the phenomenal success of Google’s core driver: search. However, it gives an understanding to how the economy of scale has shifted from a traditional publishing model, to the web.

The conclusion of the Read/Write Web article:

“We are not talking about a better search engine; we are looking instead for a better, less costly and more efficient business model. At the moment, it is difficult to imagine what could possibly beat billions of links meeting millions of eyeballs daily.”

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