Twilight of the Blogs


Big props to Dan Gross at Slate for his shout out in his latest column:

"As a cultural phenomenon, blogs are in their gangly adolescence. Every day,
thousands of people around the world launch their blogs on LiveJournal or the Iranian
equivalent. But as businesses, blogs may have peaked. There are troubling
signs—akin to the 1999 warnings about the Internet bubble—that suggest blogs
have just hit their top.

The Magazine Cover Indicator: That’s a term coined by Barry
Ritholtz, a blogger
and hedge-fund manager. Being plastered on the front of a national magazine is
fatal for an investment trend. Remember Time‘s infamous anointing of Jeffrey Bezos as the "Man of the Year" for 1999? More recently,
Time‘s crack trend-sniffing squad was working overtime to
prepare this week’s cover package on Google just as the stock began to melt down. New York isn’t quite a
national magazine, but its recent blog
cover story
will no doubt be quickly copied by the newsweeklies.
(In the article, Clive Thompson concludes that the blog industry has
already tri-furcated into an "A-list of a few extremely lucky, well-trafficked
blogs—then hordes of people stuck on the B-list or C-list, also-rans who can’t
figure out why their audiences stay so comparatively puny no matter how hard
they work." In other words, a few people will make money—journalist money, not
Wall Street money—and the hordes of late joiners will make nothing.)"

Way Cool! Thanks for the props . . .


UPDATE February 17, 2006 5:45am
For the record, I did not create this indicator — its been known for a long while in various forms, and with differing track records for accuracy. I emailed that to Dan last evening, and he wrote back that since I put it into context and re-popularlized it (repeatedly), he was acknowledging my contribution for the phrase. (If you can find prior use of the phrase "Magazine Cover Indicator" prior to January 2001, please email me). 

Here’s the real power of blogs:  Anyone doing research on this subject ends up coming here. On Google, The Big Picture is the first two hits on the phrase "magazine cover indicator," and the first two hits on the phrase "contrary indicator" (with article Dan referenced as the next two hits).   

So I got that goin for me, which is nice.*


Twilight of the Blogs
Are they over as a business?
Daniel Gross
Slate, Thursday, Feb. 16, 2006, at 5:14 PM ET

Contrary Indicators Tip Off Discerning Investors in Year 2000
Barry Ritholtz,1:52 PM ET 1/5/01

*  So I jump ship in Hong Kong and make my way over to Tibet, and I get on as a looper at a course over in the Himalayas. A looper, you know, a caddy, a looper, a jock. So, I tell them I’m a pro jock, and who do you think they give me? The Dalai Lama, himself. Twelfth son of the Lama. The flowing robes, the grace, bald… striking. So, I’m on the first tee with him. I give him the driver. He hauls off and whacks one – big hitter, the Lama – long, into a ten-thousand foot crevasse, right at the base of this glacier. Do you know what the Lama says? Gunga galunga… gunga, gunga-galunga. So we finish the eighteenth and he’s gonna stiff me. And I say, "Hey, Lama, hey, how about a little something, you know, for the effort, you know." And he says, "Oh, uh, there won’t be any money . . . but when you die, on your deathbed, you will receive total consciousness." So I got that goin’ for me, which is nice.   -Carl Spackler

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