To be honest, what the hell is the point of PoliticsHome? I mean, I've got RSS feeds, and I've willing to bet that most of the other political anoraks that inhabit this 'sphere have got to grips with that technology too.
And, you see, the great thing about my RSS feeds is that I can determine what is important and I can decide what I want to comment on. Admittedly, those things are usually those that irritate the shit out of me but—hey!—everyone has to have a hobby, right?
Perhaps PoliticsHome is supposed to make money? 18 Doughty Street resolutely failed to do so—indeed, it seemed to almost entirely lack any kind of revenue stream whatsoever—and I cannot see PoliticsHome making enough to support—what?—four full-time staff even if it had any advertising. Admittedly, it has only just launched so maybe they are waiting until they get the numbers up but even so there is a problem.
The simple fact is that the UK political blogosphere is pretty damn small, as the recent wrangles have shown. There might be half a million people out there. Maybe.
Last month, I got about 22,000 absolute unique visitors. Let us assume that that is a rough total base of 22,000 people who read this site: so, how much do I make in advertising? Well, since I am "not family friendly" enough, Adsense won't serve to me; when they last did, however, I was making roughly $120 per month with about half my current traffic. So, let's be generous and say that I could now be making $300 per month. Which, at current exchange rates, is about £151.
Anyway, the only ads I carry are MessageSpace: so, how much do I make out of them? Well, since I joined last September, up until this date I have made a grand total of £250. It's welcome enough, to be sure; it allows me to buy a few beers but it's not enough to allow me to write this trash full-time (that'd be nice though, eh?). (Although, again, my penchant for swearing like a trooper probably precludes me getting some of the more lucrative contracts.)
So, at an average of roughly 65,000 page loads, 50,000 unique visits and 20,000 absolute uniques, I could be making roughly £180 per month. Well, whoopee-fucking-doo!
Whilst obviously I wish them all the very, very best, I give PoliticsHome one year or expenditure of £1 million: whichever comes soonest...
UPDATE: Tygerland is similarly unimpressed.
Number One. We need another politics feed aggregator like we need Doughty Street’s acrylic plants back in our lives. Aren’t there enough twatting sites sucking content from other people? I wonder, if Stephan Shakespeare can actually get a return on PolHome (18DS haemorrhaged cash), will he share revenue with the people actually providing the guts to his site, or will it be another parasite feeding off the the RSS-teat of other content providers?
Number Two. Who needs a Bloomberg for politics? Business requires up to the minute information. Minutes lost can translate directly into lost revenues. Politics is an industry of wanky news items about MP’s tawdry sex lives and a never-ending conveyor belt of financial scandals. Politicos like to think they’re champions of the universe with ultra-busy lives, but in truth it wouldn’t matter a jot if most of them just fell off the planet.
And believe me, I wish most of them would...