Website Circle of Life

It seems to go like this:

An Individual is motivated to make a website.
Individual builds something simple and useful.
Traffic starts to show up.
Site grows; develops a following.
Individual puts some ads on the site.
Site continues to grow; ads make some money.
Individual puts some more ads on the site to see if it can grow.
It grows a bit more.
Someone makes Individual an offer for the site.
Another offer or two and Individual sells the site to Company.
Company puts a burst of effort into the site.
Site grows some more.
Company looks to extract value from site.
Company adds more ads to site.
Site starts to lose value to visitors.
Company adds more ads to site.
Visitors seriously drop off.

And at this point, the site stagnates. Company isn’t motivated to put any more money into it, because they’re not seeing any return on that investment. The site has peaked, and now their only goal is to extract dollars from it.

In my web surfing these days, I find a lot of sites that are covered in ads to the point of being so annoying to use that I’d rather look elsewhere, and I’m left wondering, does anyone care about these sites?

I get the impression from a lot of sites that I visit that if I’m not willing to sign up, then I’m not welcome.

And what does this mean? An opportunity for the next guy! That circle of life above ends with an opportunity to start over at the top again.