Saturday, March 27, 2010

DEMAND.COM

I'm moaning, eeking, (the sound I make if I see a water bug or a mouse in my kitchen). I just discovered Demand.com. Hopefully, I discovered them, before they discover me.

Actually, they've already got more than 7000 freelance writers, whom they've screened (with resumes, references, writing samples) who are willing and able to work for them.

Demand.com is a super-successful "social networking" Website ( they use the term). It's owned by Richard Rosenblatt, (formerly CEO of My Space, which he sold for $560 million to Rupert Murdoch.) Demand reported earnings of over $200 million last year. They create and run what they call "popular interest" sites.

They use an algorithm. My dictionary says--" a process or set of rules to be followed in calculations or other problem-solving operations, especially by a computer." Fran, my blog coach explained that it's an effective method for solving a problem, using a finite sequence of instructions --it can apply to anything on the internet.

Demand.com computers search the various internet search engines, and learn what people are looking up and searching for online. The algorithm tells Rosenblatt what keywords are the most lucrative, around which to create content.

Then, Demand emails the most "in demand" ideas and commissions its freelancers to create text or video content that's posted on a variety of popular sites, including their own --
trails.com, golflink.com, mania.com, eHow.com and livestrong.com.

One look, wow -- I see that livestrong.com is Lance Armstrong's baby, a place to get advice, help and treatment information for anything and everything, that has to do with your health.
And eHow offers "how-to" advice on anything and everything that has to do with your personal life and career.

You can see immediately, how major and popular these sites are -- eHow has 150,000 "how-to" videos, and ivestrong receives 100 million hits a month.

So Demand.com is getting bigger and richer -- making deals, that keep their computers running, spewing out topics, trends, titles for new domains, that they can build into popular, new, money-making Websites..

The free lancers writers, like mini computers, quickly produce phrases, short sentences, bits of writing that "sell " -- someone puts together a headline, someone else pastes together a short article; it's proof-read, fact-checked, revised, tested, until the system posts an article like a news flash on a few of the Demand sites, generating interest from advertisers who breed, breed more advertisements, and so it grows, and grows ...

Demand.com's sites (together) receive more hits per month than any of the digital properties of Disney, NBC, ESPN or Time Inc.

It's frightening -- scary with a with a capitol S.

I don't want the bright young idea guys, who have made themselves into visionaries, calculating where I fit in and what I need, and what will make me buy it.

Will they get me?

I'm probably already in the system.

This week I ordered vitamins, a teapot and jogging sweat pants. Maybe an algorithmic something will turn it into some new TASTY-SWEAT-OFF-THE-WEIGHT-TEA.

Don't buy it!

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