Friday, April 27, 2007

3 Ideas to Get CNET Moving

As a long-time CNET shareholder, I was more than a little disappointed by the company's most recent lackluster quarterly earnings report. Quarterly revenue rose just 10% year-over-year and CNET broke even on a continuing basis. Not horrendous, but certainly not what one expects from a fast growing Internet company.

It's been quite awhile since CNET displayed real signs of life. Here are three ideas to kickstart the company:
  • Pare down. While CNET has undergone waves of layoffs, it's still not enough. CNET needs to focus on more efficient ways of creating content. The company has to take a hard look at its business lines and ruthlessly cut those that are underperforming. Any division that's not growing revenues by at least 15% year should be axed. Is this easy? Of course not, but trimming the dead weight allows CNET to focus its resources on areas that have the potential for rapid growth.
  • Harness user-generated content. One of CNET's biggest successes in recent years has been TV.com, a site that attracts 19 million users a month and is powered almost entirely by user created content. There is a built-in advertiser base of TV networks and an incredibly low cost to run the site. Why not take this unbelievably efficient model and apply it to complementary areas? CNET has a huge user base (144 million people visit CNET properties each month) that could be leveraged to get community sites going on a variety of topics. How about a user generated music site? A gadgets site? Let users connect in areas that are important to them - that's what web 2.0 is all about. To its credit, it looks like CNET is starting to do this with its new FilmSpot site. But the company should be running 100 miles an hour in this direction, not taking baby steps.
  • Buy or co-opt blogs. How does CNET maintain its user base while cutting back its business lines? Tap into the blogosphere. Blogs are an infinitely more efficient publishing platform than traditional content creation with its layers of editors, designers, copywriters, etc. CNET has two options in this area. It can go buy some of the most prominent (and fast growing) tech blogs. Or, better yet, create a tech blog advertising network. CNET already has the deep ties into technology advertisers. Why not select a handful of the best tech blogs, make them "CNET Approved" and agree to sell advertising for them, splitting revenues 50/50. Even with a 50% revenue share, these small blogs would still be making a lot more money from the higher ad rates CNET could achieve. This gives CNET more ad pages without spending a dime.
CNET has a lot going for it: a strong brand, an enormous tech-savvy audience that advertisers should be lusting after, and a fundamentally sound business model. With the right guidance CNET could a great Internet company. But half-steps won't get you there - bold moves will.

27 comments:

Dan said...

You hit the nail on the head James. CNET has the potential to regain it's greatness, but it will take some tough decisions...

(I had the pleasure of working with James in the good old days. Although he may not see it the same way :-))

--Dan

Anonymous said...

In my mind Cnet is a confused company when it comes to its product focus e.g. it runs cnetchannel.com. Now how does providing ASP and data aggregation services from manufacturer websites fit into its focus. From an ASP perspective is CNet ready to compete with Salesforce.com?. On the data aggregation side companies like etilize.com are kicking their butt and taking away its customers while Cnet has to support 350+ employee overheads in this division for which Cnet paid millions to purchase and operate.

Product strategy mess along with contradictory go to market partnering strategy i.e. competing with the distributors for the same MDF buckets for channel development and using them as distribution partner is beyond my understanding.

The management has a long and hard road ahead of them in my personal opinion to travel.

-- Concerned

ed hardy chothes said...

Don Hardy was a distinguished writer, painter, publisher as well as a tattoo maker known the world over until he was contacted by Christian Audigier wholesale cheap Ed hardy clothes in the year 2004 to start on a new line of clothes. Known as the Ed hardy clothes line, Don Hardy had the talent in wholesale cheap Ed hardy bikini him to bring forth a variety of attire that not only displayed his great skills in making tattoos but also exhibited why he was selected for a task hat most others failed to execute. The Ed hardy clothing line is the result of Ed hardy’s hard work and includes just about everything from clothes for men as well as women besides shoes,wholesale cheap Ed hardy bandbags and caps.
The colors that are normally used in wholesale cheap Ed hardy jeans are luxuriant and bright, wholesale cheap Ed hardy T-shirt the tees are the work of an artist and the swimwear is imprinted with a generous measure of tattoo designs while the sunglasses and caps come along with an onslaught of drawings which could wholesale cheap Ed hardy jackets put even the best of designers a run for their money. In other words, the Ed hardy Clothes Line is a great piece of artistic work which definitely stands out from the rest of the crowd.

Our store provides wholesale cheap ed hardy with high quality,we also discount wholesale cheap ed hardy shirts,wholesale cheap ed hardy bandbags,wholesale cheap ed hardy jackets,wholesale cheap ed hardy bikini,wholesale cheap ed hardy jeans,wholesale cheap ed hardy t-shirt,wholesale cheap ed hardy clothes for sale at http://www.gotoorder.com.

Ed hardy T-shirtEd hardy shirtsEd hardy bandbags
Ed hardy jackets

led said...

chaquetas moncler
chaqueta moncler
moncler chaleco
comprar moncler
moncler jacke
monclair
monclear
moncler piumini
moncler piumino
moncler giubbotti
Giacca Moncler
moncler berriat
moncler abbigliamento
moncler uomo

encyclopedia said...

You idea is not bad I can say

Generic Viagra without Prescription said...

Nice post, I would like to request you to one more post about that Keep it up

Anonymous said...

CNET should be very good. Even a London escort agency would know that.

It does need to improve its product focus, I agree!

Jason Boldin said...

Club reviews and view users night club ratings in Chicago, New York, Boston, Las Vegas, Los Angeles and other US cities. Las Vegas Pictures Clubs | Los Angeles Night clubs Hollywood Clubs | Miami Night Club Ratings Top Miami Clubs Miami Clubs 18+ | Gypsy Bar Boston Nightclub Boston Dance Clubs also please look at Comedy Bars & Clubs in Chicago

Buy Trichozed stop hair loss pills said...

Its good to see that you have done a lot of research on this topic. Good work I must say.

Buy Maxocum said...

thanks for sharing the info

Effective penile enlargement device said...

facts could be more realistic....anyways...very good work...:)

VigRX effective penis enlargement supplement said...

A site that attracts 19 million users a month and is powered almost entirely by user created content....

Phen375 best fat burner supplement said...

Your concept is really great and I got a lot of enjoyment reading this post.

GenFX anti aging medicine review said...

There is a built-in advertiser base of TV networks and an incredibly low cost to run the site.

Vimax penis enlargement pills said...

Your post was very refreshing and as well as useful. I am thankful to you for sharing.

Gynexin natural stop gynecomastia pills said...

With the right guidance CNET could a great Internet company. But half-steps won't get you there.

Male Extra enhancement pills said...

It's been quite awhile since CNET displayed real signs of life.

Sizegenetics penis enlargement device review said...

Any division that's not growing revenues by at least 15% year should be axed.

hcg buy online said...

The management has a long and hard road ahead of them in my personal opinion to travel. HCG Blue Drops, the Faster and Natural way to lose weight...

Best herbal ED treatment said...

Well CNET are indeed a really good company and have a good reputation.

Compare the best weight loss supplements said...

To save money you really have to get handle on how you spend it.

Best tablets for small penis size said...

Pure kick ass . Like it . Thanks .

Resveratrol best anti aging supplement said...

I think this is the best way that the mint links in to your checking, savings, and credit card accounts to track where everything goes.Thanks for sharing this.

Best Grills 2012 said...

Nice article. I think everyone should try at least one of your ideas for moving in life. A really inspiring post.10x

Top Rated Vacuum Cleaners said...

I really like your ideas but i hope that your future articles will be more direct and explicite...

Vigaplus said...

This is described an authentic way.More or less the topic is relevant.

Rinky Arora said...

Royal Goa Escort are your best and safest bet for Escorts in Goa. As you will see from her lovely photos Girls has lovely and golden light brown hair and is just 23 years old. She take a dress size 8 so has a lovely shaped body and is really a very sexy person offering the ultimate in GFE.

Contact us now and try our service. http://www.royalgoaescort.com/