Dean Starkman cautions that the Dish's new business model "may not be as much of a bellwether as you might think, or hope":
To a certain extent, Sullivan and his crew are, if not sui generis, an anomaly on the Web—one of only a handful of established bloggers able to draw what amounts to a mass audience, month after month, year after year. In The Myth of Digital Democracy, published in 2009, Matthew Hindman assembles the data to show that, for a number of technical and cultural reasons, a small number of bloggers—and Sullivan was one of those singled out—dominate traffic heading to politically oriented sites. A lot of traffic goes to a few sites, while the vast majority gets very little. Hindman calls this the “missing middle.”
I addressed this line of argument in an interview with Techcrunch:
Asked whether this approach can be replicated by other, less well-known bloggers, [Sullivan] said, “Well, we don’t know if it’s even going to work for us yet, so let’s not get ahead of ourselves.” After all, low six-figure revenue isn’t enough to sustain even a year of the Dish. At the same time, he said that smaller blogs that are “just one person blogging out of a room” will have lower costs.
“If you get rid of all the overhead … I think it is scalable with a smaller blog,” he said. “I don’t see why not.”