Yahoo! has bought Associated Content (ADOTAS says for a $90 million, which is information it pulled from Tech Crunch), giving it 350,000 freelance writers that gin-up stories from "neighborhoods" across the country, according to the story in the Wall Street Journal. The move is clearly aimed at AOL's content-assembly-line initiative which plans to roll-out stories based on search algorithms.
Polite Internet society would have us regard the content mill phenomenon as democratic: thousands of freelance journalists with keyboards at the ready to do the informational bidding of the masses. Except that if democracy has proven anything over the years it's that people aren't that naive. Content milling is about the advertising. People be damned.
The Internet already spill-eth over with the authentic voice of the people. It doesn't need the help or contempt of a bunch of media industrialists. Nor does advertising which must - must - in order to bear fruit, be planted in authentic conditions.
Authenticity is food to advertising, and advertising's roots are starved already by the factory farming and overcrowding of traditional media.
We've moved on. It's not about content factories any more. It's about small gardens in the yard. Home grown. No fillers.
Read the box.