I received a link to an article with the engaging title “Steal Your Competition’s Content in Your Niche.” I thought that scams like this were getting filtered by major Web indexing services and from social networks. I guess not. The focus on the write up was pirating content from one Web site and using it without permission.
Shortly after looking at this blinking and what I saw as inappropriate blandishment, I received an email about an information service about the country or principality of Monaco. Here’s the story I saw: “New Monaco Centric Vertical Information Service Breaks New Ground.” My knowledge of Monaco is limited. I checked out the new blog, which is described as an “information service” on the Web site’s About page.
I found the information useful and quite upbeat about a country that I visited years ago. My recollection of that visit was that it was in an idyllic and strategic location. I also had a nice hotel room and the business meeting I attended ran smoothly.
My question is, “Can a niche information service like MonacoRocks.eu survive?”
My initial reaction is, “Long shot.” Smaller content generators are particularly vulnerable to third party sites which “suck content” from another site. We learned about a major Web site experiencing this type of attention last week. You can see this type of content appropriation yourself if you navigate to www.theautochannel.com and do a Google search for the title of a current story. You will see that these original stories do not appear in the Google results. The Auto Channel content appears on third party sites no doubt inspired by the “Steal Your Competition’s Content in Your Niche” type scripting. This dismays me as a researcher and consumer of content.
I think that investors who want to create content for the exploding social media market will find vertical niche news services of interest. However, my view is that narrow services make sense in the aggregate.
If the publisher of MonacoRocks.eu or any other niche information service has one property, that will have a difficult job of generating sufficient interest to make advertising or other revenue generation from the content very difficult.
I applaud entrepreneurs who try to find ways to address the deficiencies in the key word search systems which are prevalent today. If you are going to invest in niche content, do your homework. Our resident financial expert Michael Onghai provides this type of advice and counsel. You can get more information about him at LinkedIn’s profile page.
Don Smith, July 13, 2011