Web 2.0 Crowd Just Doesn’t Get It.

Lately i’ve been hearing the web 2.0 world repeat “They just don’t get it” when refering to the rest of the Internet community.   What I find amusing is its clear that the web 2.0 world just doesn’t get it.

Many others are making big money online, here is a Google Adsense Cheque for $132,994.97.   I personally know of 3 other people doing similar amounts/month with Adsense.    I’ve also taught several people/friends ( I spent 1 hour) how to do PPC/Affiliate marketing and one of them is netting close to 100k/month now and the others in the 10’s of thousands a month.  The world has really changed in the last year and many of these people have built up huge nest eggs and will branch out and take over more industries.    I may be the most visible example of a one person site,  but I can tell you there are a lot more people out there doing the same thing.   

What we are seeing today is the beginning of programmers/developers being empowered.   Many of these programmers have spent the last few years mastering the art of making money.   With all that skill and knowledge they have gained they are now going out and trying to take over any market where traction is easy and ad dollars come easy.    We are in for a few years of seeing small compact companies replace companies that have more then a handful of employees. 

Someone is going to come along and do to the jobs industry what I’m doing to the dating industry.  Which is to say they are going to turn a billion dollar industry into a 50 million dollar a year industry.

So what are you waiting for?   Anything mass market will make money online.  How about a gardening site?,  Cooking site?,  Site on knitting ? ,  Maybe a greeting cards site that is even remotely user friendly? There are so many industries out there just waiting to be taken over.  


46 Responses to “Web 2.0 Crowd Just Doesn’t Get It.”

  1. James J. Says:

    I’m curious as to why you associated yourself with Web 2.0 sites in your interview on Online Personals Watch. Your comments there seem to be contradictory to your other comments regarding Web 2.0.

  2. Ty Says:

    I smell the “How to make $100,000/month with AdSense” ebook coming! Just kidding, though it would do very well.

    Web 2.0 should really be broken into two groups: the AJAX app sites and the community sites. The apps people get a spike of traffic on release, as other tech types check of the fancy tricks. The community people have the correct idea but are often too broad and diffuse.

    I can’t agree more with your comments. Find a niche then optimize and simplify. Another fertile area is the international market. Take almost any idea and launch in another country. Isn’t a big part of POF’s success due to its early traction in Canada?

    Keep the thought-provoking posts coming!

  3. mitch Says:

    The problem with the job industry is there already are free job boards and most end up looking like craigslist clones (since craiglist is the closest thing to free). None have come close to the montser/careerbuilder/hotjobs/craigslist level.

  4. Ty Says:

    The question is why? Almost every programmer I know could build Monster.com. Just a matter of doing it.

    The problem is finding time while working. Building stuff after work takes a special dedication that must people don’t have–unless you build slowly. Quitting your job requires moving back home, taking out loans, or relocating to a cheaper country (my choice).

    Hey Markus. How did you start?

  5. Andrew Says:

    Thanks for this post Markus. It sparked an interest in me to build something better in a multi-million market even when there are big competitors. Beat them in usability, and beat them in cost.

    Would you consider doing a consulting service so we could learn some of your advanced tips and tricks?

  6. Brad Says:

    Markus you will like this from Josh Kopelman: http://redeye.firstround.com/2006/04/shrink_a_market.html

    Its about shrinking markets.


  7. Joshwa Says:

    I think the difference between you and the web2.0 people is a philosophical one– web 2.0 is about maximizing utility and experience to the user, whereas your approach is about maximizing page views and ad clicks.

    Creating obstacles (e.g. increasing the number of pageviews needed to perform a task) to increase revenue obviously doesn’t alienate as many users as the web 2.0 people think (witness myspace), but it does increase frustration.

    Maybe web 2.0 is about creating loyalty, or customer evangelism, then monetizing it in ways that users are *willing* to pay for, rather than making profits at the expense (in annoyance) of your users.

    You can definitely make money both ways. It’s just making different choices.

  8. Dave Starr Says:

    I would tend to disagree with Joshwa. As someone who has been on line long before there was a Web …1.0 or 2.0 or whatever (ARPANet any one)? I find that a few decent AJAX implementations aside most of the substance (if there be any) of Web 2.0 is rounded corners on CSS style sheets and Tim O’Rielly at the helm of a paper Titanic trying to copyright it for his own self-aggrandizement (and a few bucks).

    I first heard about Plenty Of Fish in an article that lamented “How can this guy make so much money from such an ugly site”? Well, ugly is as ugly does. I prefer the term functional … and I’d defy the elitist “rounded corner” guys to find a “web 2.0” site that can do anything half as functional with ten times the resources..

  9. Ty Says:

    Yes, POF’s 15,000-20,000 current online visitors seem very annoyed.

    Which Web 2.0 sites are currently charging for features and doing well? Just curious.

  10. Dominic Says:

    Thanks for the interesting post. I am working on a website that would probably be classed as Web 2.0 and it is encouraging to hear what you say.

    However, I don’t think it matters if it is ‘Web 2.0’. What I believe matters is that it provides value for the user as this is what will increase traffic and page views and in turn increase revenues.

    I am a developer and get really excited by what some of the Web 2.0 sites out there can do. One thing that I find though is that the stuff that I think is cool (becuase it uses cool technology) – users could not give a stuff about as long as it works. Which can be quite annoying sometimes!

    It is also important to remember how large a factor marketing plays in the success of a website. How many websites have you seen that are really good yet not monetized and hardly heard of – and heaps better than a well known website that is properly marketed.

    Finaly, I’d be keen to hear your tips on ppc/affilliate marketing. Could I have one of your 1 hour lessons please?🙂

  11. Ade Says:

    The web 2.0 concept can be applied to many more problems and projects than the high-profile community ones like the social bookmarking sites, photo-sharing sites, whatever. There is an enormous market for business programming, solving problems for entrepreneurs and small to medium sized business, that takes advantage of web 2.0 concepts.

    I talk to people all the time who are frustrated with the computer systems they have to deal with at work. They lose productivity because their company is behind the curve. Apply web 2.0 concepts that make their lives easier and you can make a good living.

  12. Web 2.0 vs Web 1.0 Publishing » Conversion Rater Says:

    […] Markus of PlentyOfFish.com writes on his blog that Web 2.0 companies don’t get it when it comes to making money in web publishing. […]

  13. Richard Says:

    Markus for all of your talk about how you are kicking other dating sites’ butts, where would you be if they weren’t buying Google Adwords on your site? I know a lot of people who might say that a site that gets 20 million pageviews a day and only makes a few hundred thousand a month is pretty poorly monetized. I don’t mean to take away anything from your success, but you seem to be just as high on yourself as all of the Web 2.0 folks are on themselves.

  14. Matias Says:

    Ok, i’m going to be, for sure, one of hundreds of people that already asked you this. You said that you had taught friends/people how to do PPC/AM and do it weel. Ok, well here i come, please, ¿can you teach me how to do it, and do it well?, take it as a challenge, is just one hour of your life (that’s what you said it takes you).

    Anyway, it’s ok if you don’t want to, you must be very busy, but hey!!, i had to try.

    Just let you know your blog is an inspiration.

  15. mitch Says:

    Richard, the difference is Markus actually makes money. How many sites that appear on techcrunch can say that (yes I know many web 2.0 sites are new, but you think that will matter in the long run) ??

  16. Joshwa Says:

    Fully agreed that most web2.0 sites are absolute crap and will make no money (I read techcrunch for laugh value, mostly– the headlines are just ridiculous: “foobr gets $15m for taggable pet video sharing”).

    I guess I’m thinking more of the “app”- and sharing-type sites: all of 37signals’ apps, blinksale, reddit/digg/metafilter, flickr, typepad/livejournal, youtube (kind of), etc. craigslist falls into this category, too.

    things that people will actually *pay* money for, or active community/network-effect sites where repeat traffic brings you pageviews.

    ingnoring the fact that the endgame for some of these sites is acquisition, they nonetheless *could* be (and some are) monetized effectively, while still focusing on delivering outstanding customer experience.

    in fact, POF is actualy more web2.0-ish than you might think– its value (to the customer, thus pageviews and loyalty) comes from the strength of the community. You’re not paying gobs of money to bring tons of new people every day and having 80% churn monthly, but repeat visitors are the ones that make you money.


  17. Richard Says:

    Oh I agree that most “web 2.0” sites will fail. Most new businesses fail. However, *part* of the reason that a lot of these sites/apps are getting VC is because their backers believe that there is going to be a paradigm shift (to borrow a phrase) towards AJAX/Web Aps/IPTV/whatever.

    Of course a lot of it is hype. There will be a shakeout. There always is.

    Remember that before adwords, a lot of people were saying the same thing about Google that they are saying about Web2.0 companies now: “Where’s the revenue model?”

  18. Rob Says:

    What about a free auction site like e-bay? Has this been done?

  19. The Falling World · The Power of Distruptive Technologies Says:

    […] Some fellow, with a check for a face, sums up power of disruptive technologies, especially relating to Web 2.0, quite nicely: Someone is going to come along and do to the jobs industry what I’m doing to the dating industry.  Which is to say they are going to turn a billion dollar industry into a 50 million dollar a year industry. These icons link to social bookmarking sites where readers can share and discover new web pages. […]

  20. Michael Nevins Says:

    Nevertheless you do say; ” programmers/developers being empowered”. And that’s one interesting restriction. People with a potentially great idea and no programming skills are pretty much left in the dust. And yeah, you could learn a scripting language yourself but that is one steep learning curve for a novice programming person trying to start something.

    Aside from that; let’s not forget you started yours way back when and in Canada. Quite a different long tail environment to try and start to get the ball rolling nowadays I would say.

    I’m not saying there’s no chance for people without programming skills to create a profitable web venture. Anything is possible and obviously optimism and perseverence are everything. In my opinion, the picture you paint holds true on a somewhat level playing field which is not the reality for everyone with a wonderful (niche) idea. If you disagree with me here, please comment.

    I do like your optimism and can only take inspiration and motivation from your story though, so thanks for posting.

  21. unitstep.net Says:

    The web 2.0 divide

    Web 2.0 – chances are you’ve heard this buzzword before, if not from me, then perhaps from O’Reilly Media. In a general sense, it refers to the “new” direction the web is taking, being more user-content-centered, more social-or…

  22. Max Says:

    Ever thought about running a mentoring program? I would pay to look over your shoulder for a week or so….

  23. Anonymous Says:

    The Web 2.0 Crowd Just Doesn’t Get It

    One person businesses can beat startups with multiple persons. So says Markus from plentyoffish.com.

  24. Jean Paul Says:

    Whatever has happened he made the site and made some money, true or not about the 10k

    I also made a site to get in contact with people, date, find travel companions,… all by myself called Me Tarzan You Jane http://www.MeTarzanYouJane.eu

    And no I’m not a company, and yes I also started this to learn some aspx. I normally programmed asp but wanted to change to a newer more powerfull language.

    The site has it’s share of members in Europe but the rest of the world can also follow now because everything is translated in english.

    So guys and girls if you want some real honest site, no fake entries, blogs on the internet just real stuff then support me and sign yourself and your friends up. All free.

    Not happy, then contact me via the site and let me now what bothers you and most of the time in the past after hearing something I also implemented new wishes or enhanced the site.

  25. Doctor Recommended » The Long Tail for Web 2.0 — Good Bye Venture Capitalists Says:

    […] He runs what is quite possibly the most profitable free online dating service called PlentyOfFish.  He’s the sole employee and rakes in hundreds of thousands of dollars each month by merely displaying AdSense on each page (reportedly averages around $10,000/day). […]

  26. Bob Says:

    Great resource here if you want to be less dependent on Adsense

  27. Jonathan Lewis Says:

    Its not in the web 2.0 that something like this is happening… Its everywhere.

    There are people who are experts at their own field, yet they arent earning as much…

    Yes, because its they dont get it!

    You study to be good at something then you make a business out of it to make some real money!

    No capital? Then get a job for a while to get some money, then work your way to building your business!

    Were living in a capitalist country! Its not your boss’ job to make you rich! Thats you job!

    ALSO! theres nothing wrong being or wanting to be rich…

  28. Journerdism - News and commentary on journalism, multimedia, web 2.0 developments, web and print design and all things nerdy by Will Sullivan Says:

    […] of the dating website business, (sole creator/employee of Plentyoffish.com) rocks out in “Web 2.0 Crowd Just Doesn’t Get It.” Here are some juicy quotes to whet your palette: … What I find amusing is its clear […]

  29. » Comment on Web 2.0 Crowd Just Doesn’t Get It. by Square Foot Gardening Says:

    […] You can read the rest of this blog post by going to the original source, here […]

  30. Jay Says:

    props to the man for making a butt-load of money, but I tried plentyoffish and it was pretty crappy

    facethejury.com used to be a great site for meeting people, now it sucks, personally i think the best site today for meeting people is hotornot.com

    pretty sure i canceled after 1 month, and they offered me a year for $20

    my site sucks and makes 0 money, but I just like being able to say I’m the owner of PervsList.com (i’m a simple man)

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