Comments: Google Buys YouTube - the structure of Bubble 2.0

I suspect it's more the case of canny tailors presenting emperors with the latest in new fashions, or con men selling the Eiffel tower to gullible oil magnates.

The peasants aren't losing out here - in the sense that all their work remains theirs to enjoy. The fact that the illusion of its ownership is being flogged to those used to owning public works, simply exploits the blindness of the luddite media magnates.

Where the peasants are really losing out is in the form of loss of interest on their pension funds due to tulipomaniac investments down the line from the fund managers in the latest batch of dot cons.

Posted by Crosbie Fitch at October 10, 2006 11:33 AM

wow. that is an interesting way to look at it. I wonder where this whole thing is going to go? It seems like an interesting purchase at a time when a lot pf people are trying to watch less television...check out this conversation

Posted by Kate at October 10, 2006 01:42 PM

The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Posted by dustnashes at October 10, 2006 04:02 PM

I'm losing my edge, because I care so little about this purchase. But I do like the analogy of all the serfs demanding to be let in to be unpaid servants.

BTW, this is a comment, which means that I therefore have purchased a wee bit of controlling interest in this site.

In other words, you b-listed butt belongs to me.

Posted by Shelley at October 11, 2006 01:33 AM

The public are working for the public.
The public benefit from their own work.

All that's being purchased here is eyeballs, and thus the advertising channel.

It's the advertisers who are the real suckers - harvested for the money they gladly burn.

Posted by Crosbie Fitch at October 11, 2006 05:05 AM

Like I said in the comment section of my blog:

"Seth, anyone who subscribes to such a simplisitic view of Web 2.0 as the one you just described will probably fail in this space.

And while they fail, other people succeed. Life goes on."

Look on the bright side. You're giving people permission to fail. Some will thank you for that.

Posted by Hugh MacLeod at October 13, 2006 10:23 AM

Crosbie: Nobody is giving the peasants millions and billions.

Shelley: Sure. It probably works out to about two cents. If I sell out, I will be sure to return your investment to you at venture-capital rates, making it about a quarter. :-)

Hugh: And as I replied:

It is possible that what you say is both:

1) Completely correct


2) Not a refutation

Indeed, the phrasing tends to rather confirm both points (probably not
what you intended, but still the implication).

As in: "Amway is a multi-level-marketing pyramid scheme where a few top distributors rip off everyone else"
"Anyone who subscribes to such a simplistic view of Amway won't be an
Amway success story, and others will" (true, but actually confirmatory of the original!).

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at October 13, 2006 11:07 AM

Like I said, Seth, some people will thank you.

Posted by Hugh MacLeod at October 13, 2006 12:08 PM

The public already own the work they publish. They instantaneously enjoy the value of their work.

How can the public be paid for what they already have?

Should the public be paid for their own eyeballs?

Two cons going down here:
1) Selling what you don't own - public works
2) Selling unrealisable potential - eyeballs

I'm sure there will be a very bouyant market in selling public works and access to them to advertisers. The former, like a Ponzi scheme, will eventually grind to a halt as people realise it can't actually work. As for the latter, eyeball prices will of course gradually settle as people understand their cannibalising consequences (the more they're used, the less of them you have).

But hey, a fool and their money are easily parted. And there are many successful businessmen who might more politely term them highly advantageous value propositions.

Posted by Crosbie Fitch at October 13, 2006 12:11 PM

Fools & Money! Yay!

Posted by Hugh MacLeod at October 13, 2006 12:46 PM

I think anybody over 5 can't help thinking "OMG, easy money again !" - but while I have doubts about the viability of CGM as a business, I do not have any about their viability as an opinion forming tool.

They existed before anybody tried to make money out of them; they will exist long after people give up on that.

Posted by Gianni at October 13, 2006 06:38 PM

I don't see where the "easy money" idea came from. I've never seen blogs as a particularly easy way to make money... but I suppose the people who make money from it, make it look easy.

An easy trap to fall into, right, Seth?

Posted by Hugh MacLeod at October 14, 2006 09:06 AM

Crosbie: I think your use of the term "the public" there is making things too obscure.

Gianni: There are no new scams, just new ways of doing old ones. but that's not much reassurance.

Hugh, do you really not see where the "easy money" idea comes from? The marketing hypesters strive to give that impression, and then turn around and apply the excuse of the hustler, that you can't cheat an honest man.

Consider the slogan of a lottery - "It could be *you*! [who wins]". Now, did that say you would win? No. Technically, it's a trivial statement - if there's a one in a billion chance, it's theoretically possible, so it *could* happen. But it *sounds* like more than it is, inviting people to read it as much more than it is. And the excuse would be that they never said you would win, even had much of a chance of winning, and really, you should be playing just for the fun of it anyway.

Again, do I really have to go through this?

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at October 14, 2006 09:32 AM

Who is this "they" you refer to? Name some names. Give us some links.

I tell people all the time: it works for me. Does that mean it works for you? Maybe, maybe not. Depends.

Posted by Hugh MacLeod at October 14, 2006 07:53 PM

No. Been burned too many times at a game I call "A-lister wins" (that is, an A-lister is heard to *orders of magnitude* more peple than I am, so even if I'm right, they can just haul out a personal attack and "win" that way - yeah, I know the logical problem there, sometimes it's just not solvable in practice).

Somebody wins the lottery. This doesn't make lotteries a new form of economic advancement. Somebody makes a kiilling on a hot stock tip. This doesn't make day-trading an overall profitable activity. Somebody makes out like a badit on a pyramid scheme. This doesn't mean such schemes are a good idea. The whole problem of Bubble 2.0 is that a large number of people who will never see much return are needed to support the tiny number of people making money from it.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at October 15, 2006 01:54 AM

Hmmm... I find your view of bloggers as "victims" a patronizing one.

Posted by Hugh MacLeod at October 15, 2006 07:47 AM

That's not a refutation of the accuracy of the description. It's an appeal to emotion, denying the proposition simply on the basis that it's very emotionally unpleasant. You wanted names, links - as a very small example, look at what you just did, and how it functions as a marketing pitch and not a meaningful argument.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at October 15, 2006 08:40 AM

You're not interested in meaningful argument, Seth.

Posted by Hugh MacLeod at October 15, 2006 02:53 PM

It is unclear what you would accept as a disproof of that assertion. It true that I'm not interested in the very trivial arguments along the lines of (summarized briefly) that it works for all who believe and are worthy, so if it doesn't work, one must either not be believing hard enough, or not be worthy. I find those deeply tedious.

Posted by Seth Finkelstein at October 15, 2006 03:17 PM

I just have to say that "citizen-lunchmeat" is brilliant.

Posted by Wes Felter at October 16, 2006 07:18 PM