Content creation and the implied contract

Allen Stern puts food on the table via blogging. It’s not a noble pursuit, but it is a sign of the times. His website, Center Networks, is a forum for discussion on “social networking, Web 2.0, and social media.” Mr. Stern is concerned his readers use Adblock, and/or don’t “interact” (i.e. click) on his ads. While he claims to target “mainstream” internet users, his sophisticated consumers are otherwise too “ad aware.”

I intend no malfeasance, but I do say get used to it Mr. Stern. Or better yet, use your knowledge of “blogging, video blogging, social networking and Web 2.0 issues” to find additional business models. You and your colleagues created this world, and now you must live in it.

The internet is all about free. When a consumer navigates to a site (usually after finding it via search) and reads your content, there is an implied contract in place. That contract infers that the content is available without charge. If someone re-uses (or otherwise adds to) that content, they must (or at least should) provide attribution. There is at least one exception to the re-use rule – the AP believes bloggers should pay by the word. But nowhere is it implied that the user owes the content creator any compensation for simple consumption.

I’ll add that there are a vast number of blogs hanging their hat on “Web 2.0” and “social media” discussion. In other words, there is enormous competition – and most seem to be ad supported too.

When I combine the above with Mr. Sterns vocal concerns, I come to the conclusion that the field is on the verge of being cut.

UPDATE (a bit snarky): Nobody seems able to make money via ads ON social media, so why should anyone expect to make money via ads while talking ABOUT social media?

UPDATE 2: A second coming (of collapse that is)?

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