The debate on monetizing eyeballs

At the end of September I wrote a blog post titled Back to Monetizing Eyeballs, suggesting that business models were returning to the good ol’ “monetizing eyeballs” model, driven by online advertising dollars finally reaching critical mass. At the end of November Om Malik, senior writer for Business 2.0 and also author of the excellent Om Malik on Broadband blog, wrote an interesting article in Business 2.0 titled “The Return of Monetized Eyeballs”. (I’m by no means suggesting Om is cribbing my work or is even likely to have seen my post, it’s just this idea is clearly ripe.) However the story doesn’t end there. Jason Calacanis, who recently sold Weblogs Inc., a blogging company, to AOL for a rumored $25 million, disagreed vehemently, and said so on his blog. Where this gets really interesting is that the New York Times then published an article on this discussion, Eyeballs Are Back, Or Maybe Not, describing the to-and-fro between Om, Jason, and other bloggers on whether or not we are back to a world of “monetizing eyeballs”, and what that implies for the tech economy. News is now generated by bloggers. I have seen numerous mainstream media articles that only quote blogs. In which case, why go to the newspaper, which intermediates the news? You might as well go straight to the source, the blogs of the best commentators, who are themselves generating the debate, interacting and reflecting on the most current issues, and providing rich input for us to make up our own minds.