Wait what, Forbes is a Content Farm!?

Forbes-branded Spam?Just this morning Brian Clark of Copyblogger tweeted, “People who freely contribute to content farms like Forbes deserve what they get – nothing.”

This pulled me into googling the phrase “Forbes Content Farm” and found among the results these two slightly-differently-angled articles on the issue:
• Poynter: “What the Forbes model of contributed content means for journalism”
• eMedia Vitals: “Forbes’ well-manicured content farm”

There are obviously many more angles on this issue and it’s not simply a dualism between “content farm good” and “content farm bad”. I mean with all the cries and laments about how traditional newspaper businesses are dying I would think it unwise not to explore as much as possible how a journalism business would work best in the Internet age.

The “Content Farm” Bogeyman
A “content farm” has a negative connotation to it, in that its business model is (quote unquote): “pump out huge volumes of content, optimize it all for search, and monetize the page views.”

On the other hand Forbes frames their approach as “incentive-based, entrepreneurial journalism.”: “Each contributor flies solo with his own blog. He is responsible for conceiving and creating the content, ensuring its accuracy and building an engaged, loyal readership. Forbes provides the technology and compensates some of the contributors, but otherwise, like all entrepreneurs, contributors are left to sink or swim on their own.”

I’m still on the fence about all of this this but today I’ve learned at least one thing: that at least a significant number of articles and content published at Forbes.com are designed more primarily to generate pageviews, rather than particularly for generating actual business news reporting….


This post expanded & reformatted from its original form as a posting at my personal Google+ profile.

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Author: Ferdi Zebua

For more info visit my WordPress.com blog, my Google+, or my Ello.

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