The Value of Content SeekingAlpha Has Received For Free

is somewhere between $2.8 million and $55.5 million.  I’ll get to the math in a minute.

I originally allowed SeekingAlpha to repost my content because I didn’t see any harm in it.  Countless headaches later (SA changing the title of my posts, introducing errors into the posts, getting branded as a SA author rather than World Beta) made me grow weary of the relationship. The fact the relationship is totally one-sided (the author receives no compensation for his IP) is a major problem.

However the worst feature of the site was that it has become a noise machine.  185,000 articles have been published on SeekingAlpha from over 3,000 writers (this includes an astonishing 5,500 articles in the past 30 days).  Long time readers know this is the direct opposite model I believe in for investing success.  Exactly how many of these 200 articles a day are useful for investors?  Obviously it makes sense for SA as they get to crank out as much content as possible that then gets reblasted everywhere like Yahoo Finance.  After all, if you remember my old post The #1 Key to Investment Blogging is quantity not quality if your goal is traffic.

Anyways, SeekingAlpha gets all their content for free.  I think this is a severely broken business model ala Digg (stay tuned here for developments).  I asked SeekingAlpha to quit reposting my articles this past December to which they complied.  I then asked them to take down my old articles to which they refused.  I have a friendly relationship with the founders, and while we had a heated and charged discussion it was always respectful.  Their only offer was to make my stream anonymous which of course makes no sense.

I wanted to do the math to ballpark exactly the value of the articles they have reposted.  Here is a nice article on Demand Media and the basement fees they pay their authors – $15 per article.  On the other end of the spectrum established authors receive around $300 per piece and up (we have a standing offer that would pay North of this).

185,000 x $15 = $2.8mm

185,000 x $300 = $55.5mm

That means they receive somewhere between $80,000 and $1.7 million in free content per month.

The value of the 238 odd posts they republished of mine is likewise valued at somewhere around $72,000 at current market rates.  I brought this up and said fellas the least you could do, after getting all of this content for free, is respect the wishes of the author.

Hopefully the world moves away from the bubble-vision, noise-machine, churning, high fees, Google Ads world to something much more useful.

Maybe sooner than you think.