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  • Claudia

    It’s interesting to watch this crvenosation occur in public. It closely follows the pattern of dozens of crvenosations I’ve heard, overheard, or been part of both inside and outside Wired, except for the fact that it involves all the factions at once: writers and editors both print and online, as well as enthusiastic readers, disappointed readers, ex-readers, and even non-readers. Perhaps this will yield a new idea. One thing that strikes me as obvious is that neither print nor online editorial sites have yet found a way to remain tied into the true social value of the material they publish. As a writer, I measure my own success by the quantity, quality, and longevity of the discussion it inspires. All of this discussion occurs on other web sites. I participate in this as much as seems respectable, tracking it in the normal fashion with a news reader. Many writers do this. It is basic human nature/egotism/curiosity. But though this discussion is my personal metric of success, it is not measurable by conventional business metrics in either the online or print magazine world. Nor does Wired attempt to make money from it. There are a few simple techniques that could be used to try to maintain this crvenosation at a high level. For instance, as a story gets praised and criticized new questions emerge that can foster another round of crvenosation. But here’s the rub, from both a commercial and an intellectual perspective. There is a steep curve of diminishing returns to the contributions one person can make. The value of the web hinges on this. Once a writers’ work appears online it gets quoted, chopped up, mixed with comments, and slowly dissolved into the larger work of the web. The standard solution is to blog intensively within a defined range of subjects: internet security, or productivity hacks, or news and gossip about the executives of tech companies. Leverage the interest in each post to build audience (links, page rank, social media lubrication) for the next post, pay the writer per page view, revise payment per thousand every quarter to track a defined editorial budget, and let the business model more or less take care of itself. Still, it is interesting to wonder if there aren’t more possibilities than this. Wired has done very little so far with the temporary communities that form around topics of interest.