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Wednesday, March 02, 2005

"Slashdot Effect Fizzles"

Links on the tech news site no longer harvest the overwhelming numbers of readers they used to. This "Slashdot effect" has rippled through the tech news industry, where higher traffic numbers tend to translate into greater ad revenues. In the past several years, many editors encouraged reporters to pick story ideas that were likely to make it onto Slashdot. Some writers even submit their own stories to Slashdot in hopes of generating more traffic to their home page and earning kudos from their bosses. The Slashdot effect has begun to fizzle.The number of news sites Slashdot is linking to has skyrocketed. And that has reduced the impact Slashdot can make on each individual site's traffic. The number of tech news sites, run by traditional media companies, reaches 360 today, up 20% from 300 just one year ago, according to Hitwise. These sites have proliferated following a revival in U.S. online ad spending, which is projected to grow by more than 20% in 2005, to more than $11 billion, according to e-commerce consultancy eMarketer.

The end result is a watering down of the Slashdot effect. Readers are still jumping from Slashdot to other sites. Indeed, Slashdot probably has more readers than ever, but they're going out into a far larger Internet news world. While their impact on the Web as a whole is still significant, the effect on individual sites or even particular stories is a lot less than it used to be. Slashdot's growth is still healthy, but it, too, faces a more crowded online news world, with competition from look-alikes such as Geek.com and Gizmodo as well as blogs kept by individuals. But for the major tech news sites, Slashdot is looking more and more like a big fish in a huge and growing pond.

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
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