We simply must, must grow audience much more dramatically than we are if we expect to make money, so the fact that there is no clear revenue model with OnBeing doesnâ€™t bother me. Itâ€™s an important experiment in audience growth.
Having talked with Rob about this recently, I think thatâ€™s always been his approach, and itâ€™s now an approach I endorse: Think audience first.
Letâ€™s face it, the smartest, most innovative advertising programs in the world are doomed to fail without audience.
Ironically, at about the same time, Curley was leaving a comment on Melissa Worden’s blog:
As for Patrick’s question as to how we’re going to monetize “onBeing,” I’m going to say something that I’ve never said in my 10 years as an online journalist: I don’t care how it’s monetized.
In my organization, I’m glad there are smart people who are charged with pushing online revenue growth. I will do everything to support them. But these days, I’ve become a bit of a zealot about audience growth. I sincerely believe that newspaper.com sites are not growing fast enough, are too small now, and need to do much, much better if we are going to generate sufficient revenue to support quality journalism. The urgency of the matter is even greater because newspaper companies have spent the past decade or so putting the cart before the horse, worrying more about revenue than audience.