Matt Haughey's post on medium has picked up a lot of coverage and it's hard not to feel sympathy with his dilemma - that changes in Google's black box approach to search and ad funding is putting his 15 years old Meta filter site in peril.
In order to cut costs further, I announced our first ever lay-offs. At the end of May 2014, I’m cutting half our moderation staff to make up for revenue shortfalls. Starting June 1st, we’ll continue operating as normal, but with less staff with more of my time will be devoted to day to day moderation on the site.
Whilst the consensus of the coverage is, 'Another example of how evil Google has too much power', my reflection is different. I think this is a good example of how ad funded business models of this sort are being consigned to history. People are finally starting to wise up to the old adage of - "if you are not sure what the site is selling, it's probably selling you", and the world is moving on. Business models need to move with it.
Having never visited the site, I took a quick look. The first link on the page pertained to porn and the design does look like a spam link farm from the 90's. I fear more radical surgery than down sizing the moderators will be required to save the site.