Wednesday, December 9, 2015

"This Guy Just Raised $25 Million Because He Knows What You Want to Click"

Facebook wants to convince its users that it is the internet and sometimes I think they're succeeding.
Then five people in a week will tell me they have closed their account and I go back to thinking it's just a very successful distraction for teenagers. Pour moi? Who has the time.

From re/code:
Back in the old days, figuring out how to make Popular Web Content seemed like a tricky and mysterious thing. Now we know better: If you want to get yourself some Popular Web Content, you just find some Popular Web Content on someone else’s Web site, and publish it on your own.
Easy? Well, it’s not hard. But if you want to turn Popular Web Content into a business, you will want to do it at scale, using software.

And that’s what Emerson Spartz says he is doing. The CEO of Dose Media LLC (formerly Spartz Media) says he’s building “the most technologically-advanced digital media company in the world,” which for now means he has figured out how to publish lots of Facebook-friendly content and use it to drive traffic to his and sites.

Here’s the sort of thing Spartz’s sites specialize in: “Garlic May Give You Breath That Could Kill, But It Gives You Body Odor That’s to Die For,” which OMGFacts published yesterday, after apparently finding the same story at Mental Floss, which says it originally found the story at Discover.  But Spartz’s people could have also found it at NewsMax, HuffingtonPost, Forbes or the site for KSFM, a “Rhythmic Contemporary Hits” radio station in Sacramento.

Spartz says he’s attracting 50 million visitors a month*, and while he doesn’t employ a sales team, he says he’s been able to generate real revenue using ad networks. All of that has allowed him to raise $25 million in a round led by Tribune Media on top of $9.5 million in earlier funding; Tribune says it will use Spartz’s tech on its own sites.

There are plenty of other Web publishers who have figured out how to turn Facebook into a traffic hose, but some of them are embarrassed to tell you what they’re up to. Not Spartz: The 28-year-old is confident that his methodical system for finding stuff people want to share with one another, and improving his odds by writing a better headline or seeding it with audiences most likely to appreciate it — and automating as much of the process as possible — is the only logical approach to Web publishing....MORE