Web Soap Operas

Blogger’s baby was a hoax — chicagotribune.com

By Sunday night, when “April’s Mom” claimed to have given birth to her “miracle baby” — blogging that April Rose had survived a home birth only to die hours later — her Web site had nearly a million hits.

Maybe this is the next big money-making operation on the web. A million hits even at minimal ad rates is about 20 grand. Figure the total take was several times that, and you’ve got way better revenues than a typical first novel. Somebody could hire a stable of good writers, get a few stock photos, pitch different web operas to different demographics, and bam! Not incredible revenue for any given site or opera company, but a pretty comfortable living all round. At first people would probably be pissed off at getting taken in, but pretty soon you’d have an audience that enjoyed the staging and the faux conflict, like the people who watch reality shows or professional wrestling. And then you’d see people in the know gently explaining matters to their friends who thought the sick babies/wives/grandmothers or the piledriver head-slams were real…

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