Pope Benedict, Jason Calacanis, Eyeballs, and Audiences.

Filed as News on April 20, 2006 10:20 am

I am not Catholic. In fact, I’m far from it.

But there’s something about the church mystique that has always attracted me. Ceremony, pomp, strongly held beliefs, and sometimes a strong sense of identity.

Pope Benedict, who came into office last year after the death of the beloved Pope John Paul II, is widely considered to be a man of very strong beliefs – and was known for being the ideological force behind John Paul II’s papacy.

Something that he said came to mind this morning while I was skimming a discussion over at Chartreuse again.

In a setting not long after coming to office last year, Benedict spoke about how the church may shrink in the days ahead:

We will have to accept that many who call themselves Catholic will leave the Church when the whole faith is preached including subjects eagerly avoided by too many Western clerics: no contraception, no sex outside of marriage, no gay civil unions or “marriages,” no ordained women. In that sense, the Church, especially in the affluent West, will become even smaller, less wealthy, less imposing in terms of assets and institutional affiliations. But, at the same time, the Church is then freed to preach the whole truth, to be challenging, to be heroic: to be herself.

In a time and place where we seem to measure everything, Benedict was willing to accept a smaller church in order to have a church that is more aligned with its own interests. To be true to thine’s self

At this point, you’re reading and wondering, what does this have to do with blogging?

Simple.

On Char’s blog last night, Weblogs, Inc. CEO Jason Calacanis left this comment in a post from last month:

>> Audience is the new cash.

How old are you 25?

We did this back in 94/95… audience was called eyeballs back then. Folks who counted eyeballs crashed and burned. Folks who focused on earnings won.

For real…

Amen, brother. Amen.

For all of the preaching about what Web 2.0 is… or what blogging is.. or how some blogs are losing traffic.. or other blogs are gaining traffic.. or what Alexa says.. or what a critic has to say.. or one more person talking about eyeballs and audience instead of th metrics that really count.. which are revenue & profitibility.

I’m willing to accept less traffic in order to get at the audience I really want..and in doing so increase our earnings.

But hey, I’m a business guy, what do I know.

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  1. By chartreuse posted on April 20, 2006 at 12:38 pm
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    I find it funny that Jason (and you) managed to take one line out of a post and conclude that I give no thought to revenue and profitability.

    In fact, in the comments of that post (all the real action is in the comments) I got into an argument with Brian Clark with him saying the same thing Jason said in his above quoted post (made months later).

    So what I did was explain how web 2.0 was different than 1.0. In fact it was posted on the same day as that original post, (which I still stand behind,btw)

    Here’s a .

    So yeah, f*ck sustainable business models. :)

  2. By Brian Clark posted on April 20, 2006 at 5:18 pm
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    Char understands revenues fairly well Matt. But he didn’t play this game in the 90s like some of us did, so his language gets a bit optimistic at times.

    I like that. It helps with creativity. Cuz I’m as bottom line as they get. :)

  3. By Intellectual Pariah posted on April 21, 2006 at 8:22 am
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    That first quote of yours isn’t Ratzinger, it’s Oswald Sobrino interpreting Ratzinger. I think it reflects R’s views pretty well, put it lacks his grace and style.

  4. By Intellectual Pariah posted on April 21, 2006 at 8:32 am
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    On another topic, I’m reading Renata Adler’s account of the fall of the New Yorker. She says the magazine started losing money as soon as the professionals from Conde Nast brought in market research, searching for an “imaginary, pre-existing demographic” that they could steer towards (quote from memory). Her point is that a successful cultural institution like the old New Yorker creates its own demographic.

  5. By Intellectual Pariah posted on April 21, 2006 at 8:49 am
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    ignore pls