Many people who took advantage of past inefficient markets are thinking that cheap, free, or social content is the next angle. But the idea is already saturated. Even Tim Armstrong, Google's VP of advertising, launched a thin content play. Andy Hagans has a great post about why the lure is much greater than the potenial rewards. There are new angles to the thin content that add context and value, but those are generally not something that can be leveraged across a portfolio of sites. eHow ranks so well because it was well researched around making money, and gained significant link authority back when it was easier to get links. Given the current market paranoia and the unnatural link patterns on the web it would be much harder to create an eHow today.
I think the best way to leverage content would probably be to buy out a unique source that is not monetized to its full potential, like a dying media company.
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