Mebane Faber’s recent post, in which he asked rhetorically why it was that TheStreet.com wasn’t coining money, got me thinking. I was probably one of the first 1000 people ever to have read TheStreet, beginning in 1996. I worshiped Jim Cramer and read every post he and Herb and the gang put up. What made it pop and sparkle was that it was mainly written from the standpoint of someone who was actually in the investing business (Cramer, Harrison, Kass et al) or by a journalist with serious reporting chops and strong convictions (as in the case of Greenberg, Task etc).
I wrote an homage to the site, its early days and the amazing roster of talent that’s passed through it in the fall of 2010 and I meant every word of it.
But TheStreet has lost its way. It’s having an identity crisis, a financial crisis and an existential crisis all at once. They’re burning cash, flailing about for social media strategies and fighting to stay relevant now that the rules of the web have changed.
The suits are mostly clueless as to what to do, no matter what they say. The editorial side is aimless; a hodgepodge of uninformed, redundant one page articles chopped up into three pages for CPM purposes, paywalled insights from a handful of great financial writers and a host of filler and fodder that serves no discernible purpose whatsoever. And the ad placement is atrocious, it’s slapped across every open space as if to remind the reader that much of what he’s stumbling across on the site is there mainly for the pageviews anyway.Twitter