In an article entitled The Return of Monetized Eyeballs, Om Malik values BoingBoing at $34 million - calculated at $38 per unique monthly website visitor (the average purchase price per unique user of acquisitions during the past year). John Battelle, who manages BoingBoing, thinks that figure is off because it'd be hard to make that investment back on a site which has "fierce attitudes about content and the author/audience relationship".
Now Jason Calacanis, who recently pocketed a large sum of money by selling weblogsinc to AOL, has come out and said BoingBoing's value is closer to "between 500k and $3M". Jason wrote:
"Boingboing, like any other web property, is worth 1-10x revenue and 5-30x earnings. So, if BB does 30-50k a month/360-600k a year (which seems possible to me based on the ~5m page views a month) it would be worth between 500k and $3M (based on revenue since with five mouths and server hosting to pay for it doesn't really have earnings--yet!). Those numbers fall into line with my calculation of a really loyal user being worth $1-3."
Personally I like Om's numbers better, because it makes me a multimillionaire on paper. But I suspect Jason's figures tell a few home truths about what it takes to actually do a deal. On the other hand, eyeballs still seems to be the currency of choice in the Web world - bubble or not. How many current Web 2.0 companies are earning decent revenue? Perhaps that only goes to prove Jason's point, that it's all bubble talk.
I'll stop now before I get totally out of my depth - financial analysis not being my forte. But I'm interested in what people have to say about it. Who do you think is closer to the mark - Om (eyeballs, $34M for BB) or Jason (revenue, earnings, 500k-$3M for BB)?