Young Hands Club

March 16, 2020

AR Review March 9th - March 15th And Plan March 16th - 22nd

Filed under: Aaron Rogier — Aaron Rogier @ 4:13 a.m.

In review I managed to get a very primitive version of the commentable blog discovery crawler working just as the Republic experiment came to an end. For a few days my dumb bullhead wanted to make Qntra work, but the question remains:

diana_coman: BingoBoingo: the more important point to take home re Qntra's current lack of economic activity and market value is that you have to aim specifically and work so that the future qntra DOES have such wonders or you might as well burry it now and save some time; you said you plan to run it as a business - the very meaning of that IS economic activity and market value.

Every idea for bringing Qntra into the economic loop as a business post Republic, seems a more workable fit if I try something smaller than "take over the Bitcoin News space" that's targeted to the world I have better access to. Still bigger is that every case I could make for Qntra smelled too strong of sentimentality. Maybe the thing could be warmed up three years out if the end of the Republic does some sort of ivermectin magic, but... the definition of insanity is...

The idea that's coming together is an English or English/Spanish language online news service for Montevideo/Uruguay in the lean alt-weekly vein, but less retarded. It could grow into a general distributed LATAM expat paper or move hard into Spanish down the line and challenge the incumbents. This is the opportunity to unload all the brainworms that accumulated under the "Most Serene Republic" masthead and work to do it as a business that can stand on its own rather than having a Most Impossible Republic inflating it. The sort of news that ended up appearing on Qntra could still end up in the International, Economy, or Technology sections of the new paper with largely the same editorial tack. I've just now got to grow into becoming an ad sales department.

For potential monetization, I'm initially inclined towards three potential advertising markets:

  • Putas and punters
  • The expat/retiree real estate crowd
  • Hosting some conferences and events that sell tickets

This coming week I'll continue measuring the piers and post holes of the first two lines, but the third's potential is going to be dependent on growing my reputation and name as an authority on Uruguay. This means I can adapt much of the Qntra spreading plan to the more narrowly targeted new publication. With that I'll be refining the plan, getting a seed of a site online to start the filling the future archives, and making sure there's a actually a foundation to grow from as I start building the new thing using the tools that exist. It'll also be mine so I can end it if it ends up not making sense.

I've got a couple market research meetings scheduled for tomorrow, there may or may not be a real estate conference in the neighborhood to check out this weekend. I suspect that's getting canceled over the not quite common cold derp panic.


  1. I must say that I'm not all that optimistic re money from journalism especially if you go the typical route of "journalism paid for by ads", kind of the contradiction in terms there. Anyways, for a few concrete points that pop out to me in your broad description above:

    For potential monetization, I'm initially inclined towards three potential advertising markets:
    Putas and punters
    The expat/retiree real estate crowd
    Hosting some conferences and events that sell tickets

    Do you realise that those might not quite go together all that well and therefore it's not just a matter of listing there any and all items that come to mind/you may find?

    Also, more fundamentally, economic value goes way deeper than "monetization". Basically the point is of course to make money out of it, but the money itself is always a consequence/effect, not a cause of anything (or it's a salary/employment at most that you get there, not a business and especially not your own business).

    an English or English/Spanish language online news service for Montevideo/Uruguay in the lean alt-weekly vein,

    To me this sounds like you are effectively targeting expats in Uruguay and as such it's about what contacts you have there rather than "an authority on Uruguay". So before even thinking of bi-weekly or what, you should at the very least get fully immersed in and explore what "expats in Uruguay" means, what market (and for what) is there and then figure out something, I suppose.

    Then again, there's still this fundamental trouble that I can't quite shake up - who the fuck has money worth a business in Uruguay, exactly?

    Comment by Diana Coman — March 16, 2020 @ 11:33 a.m.

  2. Revisiting this in light of the experiment, I've got a several months where getting out of Uruguay will be very expensive due to the not-quite common cold panic insanity and I've got substantial practice with newswriting.

    With respect to money and Uruguay, most of it historically has passed through November through March, with greatest intensity January through mid-February. This gives me a timeline to meet people, network, and see how much the thing can be grown.

    I'll explore the expat scene, but I'm hesitant to start there as English has some cult popularity among the locals. The crowd that owns cars without needing Uber to pay for them is for the most part literate in English. It offers a sort of elitism filter. With the pretense bubble popping, it's hard to tell what the other side will look like, but for at least the next 5 years there's a good chance Uruguay may get a Macri-like dead cat influx of foreign investor interest.

    I'll stick a Quantcast web bug on it, use AWstats to see where traffic's actually coming from, and see where I and this thing is at next March at the latest. It may be the case there's not enough that can be done on this route specifically, but I will mean I have to talk to a lot of people opening up more doors should I need to look for the next, next thing.

    Comment by Aaron Rogier — March 18, 2020 @ 4:20 p.m.

  3. The point re expats was that they have both some money and English-requirements (more of a handicap than anything in that they'd be the sort of idiots who go to a foreign country so that they recreate there the home bubble they supposedly left).

    If there are indeed locals who want & actually pay for reading own local news in English, the better, sure. Get to know them and make them know you, who knows what comes out of it in the end anyway.

    But do focus on the doing and doubly so on the doing irl, not only the tech-setup & text-editing parts (which are by far the easiest and matter also least at this stage).

    Comment by Diana Coman — March 19, 2020 @ 7:42 a.m.

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