The most extraordinary thing about Nick Denton’s nanopublishing model is how ordinary it is. Step 1: Come up with an idea for a weblog. Step 2: Find a designer to create the template. Step 3: Pay an editor a couple thousand bucks a month to write it. Step 4: Pocket a small profit from affiliate sales and banner ads. Step 5: Repeat Steps 1 through 4 a few dozen times.
His model makes sense because it keeps costs ridiculously low compared with similar Web operations. For less than $40,000, Denton can afford to put up a site that may not pan out. “It’s a lot like funding indie movies,” he says. “Out of five, two might close down, two might be moderate successes, and you’ll have one breakout.”