Die, Demand Media, Die

“…that stupid “content farm” label, which we got tagged with. I don’t know who ever invented it, and who tagged us with it, but that’s not us…We keep getting tagged with ‘content farm’.  It’s just insulting to our writers. We don’t want our writers to feel like they’re part of a ‘content farm’.”

– Demand CEO Richard Rosenblatt

Memo to delusional Demand Media CEO Richard Rosenblatt: You are worse than a ‘Content Farm’.  You are, in fact, a Content Plantation.

You are the very definition of spam.  Nobody needs reverse-engineered “articles” written by destitute hacks with the subject matter being dictated solely by the popularity of certain search terms.  There is zero value being created whatsoever for the reader of this dreck and the overall effect on search and the web in general is actually deleterious.  Demand is not the only agent of this kind of web pollution, you are simply the largest and most ostentatious.

And the writers themselves, while paid something, are being taken advantage of at a time when legitimate writing and journalism work is hard to come by.  In my opinion, it’s exploitation on an industrial level.

But as long as Demand gets that 19 cent click-thru on our wasted time, who cares, right?

Demand Media is to web content companies what Guy Fieri is to celebrity chefs – the very douchiest iteration that exemplifies every flaw of the medium and ultimately makes us detest the entire thing.  Yes, If Demand were a TV chef, it would be wearing wristbands and have frosted-tip spiked hair.  It would have a would have a billiards table next to the kitchen set.

Spam Central (ticker symbol $DMD) managed to pull off an IPO this week, one with a big fat opening day pop to boot.  A journalist writing for MSN asked me what I thought of the valuation and I had to honestly admit that I refused to even look at the company’s fundamentals as their business was so repulsive to real writers and web users.

There are three things I want you to know about this company and then I’m done with it:

1.  No f***ing way should it be worth more than the New York Times ($1.8 billion vs $1.5 billion market cap)

2.  According to Ben Popper at the New York Observer, Rosenblatt may have been lying to investors about the company’s profitability.

3.  Google ($GOOG) has the power to flick a switch and disconnect this company’s oxygen tube in 3 seconds.  It’s intimating already that it just might in an effort to clean up search for its users.

You want to invest in this thing?  Be my guest.  But if you do, you’re part of the problem.

Sources:

Demand Media Says It’s Getting Along Just Fine with Google (All Things D)

Two Big Tech IPOs, Two Big Profit Lies Revealed (Observer)

No Way is Demand Media Really Worth More than the New York Times (paidcontent)

Google Search and Search Engine Spam (Official Google Blog)

The Return of the Internet IPO (MSN Money)

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