Adam Westbrook // ideas on digital storytelling and publishing

The online news site that IS making money

Posted in Journalism by Adam Westbrook on January 14, 2009

Non-retail/business sites on the internet find it difficult to make any money.

And news never makes any money. So combined, websites offering news content are usually loss makers.

Except for one:

the worlds news forecaster

Hubdub: the world's news forecaster

Well…OK it’s not a news website. Instead it asks its users to gamble play money on how actual news events will pan out.

And never mind play money, Hubdub is making some real money too. According to @jemimakiss at The Guardian:

“Hubdub has raised £810,000 in funding from a mix of angel investors, software venture firm Pentech and the Scottish Co-Investment Fund.

“This new round of funding will support more partnerships; at the moment those sites have a page on Hubdub, but the startup wants to extend that to other news sites to make a lightweight ‘powered by Hubdub’ feature available on external sites.”

Great news for startups. But what can journalists learn from this? Well if anything it’s that with sites like this community is king. It’s the ability to interact with other users which sees a quarter of a million people log on a month, not news.

And also the importance of having a good fundraiser on your team. I bet £800k from a mix of investors took a lot of slog on the ground.

Oh, and out of curiosity, I’m giving it a go – bet against me, I’m called NewsJedi.


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