Why The Web Is Filled With Crap

Jessanne Collins offers an insider explanation:

“We aren’t here to break news, lay out editorial opinion, or investigate the latest controversy,” Demand’s corporate manifesto declares. “Our audience tells us they want incredibly specific information and we deliver exactly that – in a style that the average consumer appreciates and understands.” In a nutshell, what the company does is to take informational demand and create, in virtual-sweatshop fashion, supply. Basically, if you plug it into Google “Seasonal mating habits of poison dart tree frogs,” say it’s got a good chance of eventually finding its way, via a proprietary set of content-churning algorithms, into a list of “topics” to be turned into an article or bullet-point list by Demand’s cadre of stay-at-home moms, independently accredited experts in something or other, magical writing elves, and junior high honors students. Just kidding! These people are professional freelancerswho make $15-30 per piece. Then, the next time you’re researching the seasonal mating habits of poison dart tree frogs, or anyone else on Earth is, since Demand’s properties reach 59 million users a month, said article will top out the Google results.

Next: how to take human beings out of the process altogether.