Some of the buzz around the blogosphere is created by the heavy knocking sound on Gather.com's (is it Gather, which is on the website, or Gather.com?) business model and a lot of questions about its future. They closed a $6 million round from Jim Manzi, former CEO of Lotus Development, and Allen & Co.
The jabs and a few hard rights came from TechCrunch, Steve Rubel, Om Malik, and Mathew Ingram, who also has a good roundup of other players.
A similar startup that wasn't mentioned in the prior links and isn't getting much love is Associated Content, which recently closed a round with Softbank Capital, well-known angel investor Ron Conway, and Tim Armstrong, who heads Google's North American advertising sales and operations. The guys at alarm:clock come to a similar conclusion as the critics of Gather.com, but sum it up in the way they do it best:
"Associated Content Raises $5.4M For No Apparent Reason"
Denver, CO-based Associated Content has raised $5.4M in Series A. We had come across this company a few months ago and could not understand what they are trying to do - we still don't get it. The company is building a library of user-generated content - audio, video, photos and text. It then will share revenues back with contributors.
Great, but as a visitor, we can't find anything that we want, nothing you can't find more easily on Yahoo or Google searches. Can anyone explain why we might ever visit this site again? The site has terrible traffic for a company that can afford to buy it so apparently we are not alone.
UPDATE: Bubblegeneration has more analysis of Gather.com