collusioni.st

The Grand Expirement

Tuesday, February 08 2005

I started something different today. I launched Asbestos News. Like I said, something different.

The subject matter, while weighty and all that, is of little importance to me. It’s not that I don’t have opinions on asbestos and asbestos reform, because I do. The whole point of the site is to experiment with an idea. I built a tool that helps me aggregate topical news with the help of Google’s Alert system. So far it works wonderfully.

But there’s a second motive as well. Right now asbestos reform and asbestos related litigation is on fire. Lawyers are paying anywhere from $15-100 per click through on Google ads. The second part of this big experiment is to see if I can capture some of that click through revenue while still providing a somewhat valid service to people who might arrive by search results.

I say somewhat valid, because despite the fact that I read every article and summarize the article in every blog entry, the speed at which it all happens seems too good to be true. Quite literally, the current 20 or so articles on the site took me about an hour of cumulative time to produce. Granted, I’m making it easier on my self by allowing Google to tell me where the news is, but that’s the point of their service right? Also, I’m not expert. But over the course of just 20 blog entries, I might know more than the average Joe about asbestos.

I suspect that if Asbestos News does well, I’ll probably try to find another hotbed topic to blog on, and will continue to spawn what I’ll call, with trepidation, “topical news aggregator blogs” until the concept stops working.

I already take a much more personal approach with digitalslr.org and as far as advertising revenue goes it does fairly well compared to my original expectations. If I can emulate its success while doing less to get there, that’s what I call a good thing.