Hollywood: Raping Instead of Creating
Every time I go to see a movie, I leave hating theaters just a little bit more. Yesterday, the movie showtime was 7:30 but the opening credits didn’t roll until 8:00 on the dot–and the movie started as scheduled. That’s because, in addition to the 10-12 minutes of previews, Disney decided to run a 17 minutes animated short with Goofy and an inexplicably stupid storyline about setting up a home theater system. It wasn’t even an advertisement and I’m still trying to wrap my head around what the fuck it was for. And naturally, this was preceded by the “20” minutes of commercials that the theater runs before the show that they half-heartedly attempt to disguise as content.
All of it is a weak attempt to milk a little more money out of a dying system. Using the contrast of the internet we can see how utterly laughable and self-defeating such measures are. Like slowly mining the movie experience of anything positive isn’t eventually going to have some repercussions. What if Rudius did this? Imagine if Tucker, to break my site, forced all the users who went to TuckerMax.com to check out out my blog for 30 seconds. It would build me an user block almost instantly, but at what cost? It’s just moving food around the plate–it’s not creating any new value. When you rob one hand to fill the other enough times, eventually one comes up empty. And that’s the experience of going to a movie–there is nothing left to take. I can’t think of one thing they could do to make it worse without going out of their way to hurt people.
The Rudius pages of have had an abysmal record of staying online recently. Sometimes they’re down for as much as half of the day. Not everyone agrees with me, but I think that this is absolutely the worst possible thing the company can allow to happen. Fixing it should be priority number 1. To raise the barrier of entry in the edgeconomy in any way is to slowly slit your own throat. People will just go elsewhere. The next site isn’t 15 miles away like another theater, it’s a click away. I know Rudius isn’t just an internet company but how can it claim to be different and then ignore the fundamental new paradigm of our age: Unfettered access, all the time.
I have a post coming on why it is that Hollywood, to date, has only one significant victory on the web: TMZ. The leader in almost every other category is someone who came up outside the system. But basically, I think it comes down how they look value. Hollywood is a genius at extracting it–they scorch the earth getting it out. “We’ve got these people sitting in the theaters waiting, how can we use that time to OUR benefit?” instead of “How can we make those people happy?” And the web isn’t about that at all. That’s why Knol will fail, because Google designed it to answer this question: “How can we get people to make pages FOR US?” You won’t find that in the philosophy of Wikipedia. The web is about creating value together, not taking it from someone else. The Entrenched Player Dilemma tells us that you really can’t transition from extracting value to collaborating to make it because extracting was where you made all your money.
Theaters are allowed (by the market) to be shitty because there are costs involved in alternatives. I’d have to wait for it to come out on DVD, or risk pirating it, or drive an hour to one of Cuban’s Landmark Theatres. There is also some cultural inertia involved–I remember that it used to be pleasant. That’s a relic though and it won’t save anyone’s ass online. Whatever early mover’s advantage Rudius has can be lost pretty easily if the servers keep making it a shitty experience.
Hollywood’s blissful ignorance of what anyone thinks or feels or has to say has been shattered. The idea that you can rape value without ever having to create it, thankfully, is going away. It’s only a matter of time before it’s totally gone.
Haha why on earth were you watching National Treasure Part II anyways? I hope you were dragged there.
Knoll will actually succeed. It’s not going to fail, Google will come out with guns blazing. Google has too many built in advantages.
But–I thought it was the beginning of the end for Google. Self justifying and deciding and perscribing in lieu of democratizing the web. Controling things, making them worse and not better.
On the contrary, I dragged someone there.
I agree that the worst thing that can happen is for the sites to be down.
I think the second worst thing that can happen is a lack of new content. When a blogger doesn’t post for months at a time, his/her fan base slowly erodes away. I think this is part of the reason your site is doing so well (evidenced by your Alexa rating) – frequent updates. Gives the user a reason to come back.
Having your site down is almost worse than not updating. I thought maybe it was just my shitty internet connection.
It takes balls to criticize your own company, man. Very respectable.
People will forgive an outage if they know there is going to be new content waiting for them when the hiccup ends. (Assuming they don’t become too frequent.)
The problem is, you, the guy who is writing ABOUT Rudius, are one of the most prolific and dependable writers on the site. I say it as a fan — that is the biggest problem Rudius has. Authors come and go with little comment, updating 2 or 3 times a week then going months without a word. I assume some of them are working on other projects, but it’s maddeningly inconsistent and if the content wasn’t of such a high quality, I’d have bailed by now. Below this page, there are links to 26 different sites. That’s almost 4 pages for every day of the week. Even with half of them being inactive, there’s no excuse for there not to be one new substantial post every day of the week from *someone.*
Ehh, it’s not really my place to criticize though, so I understand if you don’t post this. I’m just saying it because I want to see you guys succeed at what you’re trying to do.
I work for a company that, among other things, provides monitoring to data centers. The statistics on the cost of data center down time are absolutely staggering. Something like 90% of companies that experience data center outages go out of business within 18 months. So, I agree.
I agree with what Sean’s said. When I first came to Rudius a couple of months ago, I was astounded at all of the content that was already up. It took me a while to read the archives of the sites that interested me, but after I did… There wasn’t much else to do.
Tucker is hilarious, and I know he’s got side-projects going on, but the lack of updates kinda leaves me hanging, along with PhilaLawyer, and Rob Green. It was a breath of fresh air when Rob Dobrenski came along with Shrinktalk, and I’m extremely thankful he usually posts twice a week; however, when only about five sites are updating frequently, it sucks.
One thing I really enjoy about your site is that I don’t know when to expect an update–they’re spontaneous and inspired. We’re not limited by as much as two posts a week, or two posts a month, but we constantly get new content, and for that I’m grateful. Keep up the good work.
I totally understand all that but most of those guy’s aren’t bloggers–they’re writers on a blogging platform. Robert’s not posting because he has two books in the works, what would you rather he be working on? Bill Dawes spent like 2 months in Iraq.
Dr. Rob is doing an absolutely killer job though and his traffic reflects it.
You are young, and enthusiastic, but you really can’t see the forest thru the trees. Rudius is failing as a business–the company really isn’t offering anything new or noteworthy to either its readers or potential writers. Why would a writer/blogger want to go with Rudius? None of the sites make real money. Your top draws are Robert Green & Tucker Max–one of whom was well established prior to joining Rudius, and TM has really generated nothing of interest since releasing his one non-self published book. 99% of your traffic is via Tucker’s webpage–and most of those people just go for banter on the message board.
What is Rudius’ business model? Is it to make $$ via Blogads, and share a large % of the revenue with the sites? Horrible model–you don’t seem to be able to attract unique advertisers to each site, so once a visitor has seen one site, they’ve seen them all (from an advertising standpoint). Your writers, particularly TM, have a horrible track record of being able to generate quality content on demand, and have made repeated promises in regards to new content (hoo-ah is a prime example) that have never come true. True, it doesn’t cost any of us anything to visit the sites, but that is true of almost every website out there.
You haven’t been able to generate any real revenue/returns for any of your writers (as evidenced by their Alexa rankings), and the anti-TM website is filled with laughter at some of the reported checks that have come the writers way.
If a business can’t generate sustainable revenue, have a set business model with attainable income and/or growth benchmarks, than it is little more than a hobby. To myself, a successful businessman, Rudius seems like little more than a vanity site. I certainly don’t see where the value of the company lies, nor why any want-to-be writer/blogger would give up 50% of their potential income just for the chance to be associated, however remotely, with TM/RG. It certainly hasn’t paid off for any of the other writers on Rudius.
Please explain where I’m wrong?
This is funny. The Rudius business model has very, very little to do with the internet. But of course, as a successful businessman, you would know what it is much better than I. What is it that you do all day? Read anti-Rudius sites? Approximate our traffic statistics? Post long comments about sites that are apparently destined for failure? All so you can piece together a diatribe about how no smart author would work with the company and how you understand the model better than us? Who has the vanity problem again?
Tucker has been slowly putting some of the stuff forward and the smart people have put it together. If you haven’t, keep trying.
Are there actual anti-Rudius sites? Is anyone outside a ever decreasing circle of TM followers who cares enough to establish such a thing?
Which smart people would these be that have put it together? Kung Fu Mike had to move back home with his mother, broke & beaten. Bunny is publicly complaining that she is flat broke. Aside from PhilaLawyer, your best writer left in ’07 & reportedly only earned Are there actual anti-Rudius sites? Is anyone outside a ever decreasing circle of TM followers who cares enough to establish such a thing?
Which smart people would these be that have put it together? Kung Fu Mike had to move back home with his mother, broke & beaten. Bunny is publicly complaining that she is flat broke. Aside from PhilaLawyer, your best writer left in ’07 & reportedly only earned <$100 for his site. Your most successful author & owner couldn't even leverage a best seller into a TV show. Who is getting paid? Certainly not the authors of the blogs. A few independent book deals do not pay the bills. Please explain to me who is making money at Rudius, or what the prospects are. Promises of media revolution don't pay bills or build companies.
Aww, SoCalMike. Your bitterness is funny. I mentioned you to Bunny and she just laughed and laughed and laughed. This clearly isn’t going anywhere, so why don’t you go back to sending long emails to Tucker? Or is it more fun here because people will see?
No writer has left Rudius. They’ve only been fired. And even he, apparently, is so noteworthy that you keep track of him.
Anyways, it’s alright. I know the pressure you must feel living a few miles outside of LA, trying to make yourself feel relevant. Keep ranting, maybe if you huff and puff long enough the whole thing will come crashing down.
Nice try at deflection but you still haven’t, or can’t address the basic issues I’ve raised as to the legitimacy of Rudius’ business model.
As for the personal attacks back on me (why is it anyone who disagrees with anyone within the Rudius circle is bitter & ranting?)–how would you like to address relevancy? By whom actually has a real business that generates branded consumer products and revenue, has real employees, etc? By net worth? By personal satisfaction/happiness (impossible to measure)? Thats not what my questions are about, and I’m not trying to make this about me vs you or me vs Rudius/TM. If you wish to play that game great, happy to oblige, however you control this medium.
You are young, you are obviously very bright, and I like your, and some of the other Rudius writer’s musings. I just don’t see how the business model can work, as it appears to be laid out, given the volume of free entertainment that already exists on the net.
I’ve simply posed some very basic questions and observations as to the validity of the business model, none of which you care or are able to address. Why is that?