Alley Insider competition to PaidContent? Jury still out. / by Nate Westheimer

Picture 6-1 I've oft publicly compared my friends at Alley Insider to PaidContent, but privately I recently argued to PC Editor Rafat Ali that they're really not competition.

Now, as SAI seems to be lock-step with PC in terms of traffic, we'll get to find out if there really is some competition.

Over the next few months, watch this graph (click on the graph above to see an updated version) and well see if PC's traffic dips at all as SAI's goes up -- or visa versa.

For now, my guess is that Ali and Company should rest easy. The two publications have two very different styles (PC more "objective" and SAI more "editorial") and thrive because of their distinctions (I don't read SAI as much for "the news" as for the news the way Blodget and Company write it). If SAI shoots up in traffic it will be for the same reason it has come this far: style, analysis, and pissing off Michael Arrington.

What more, I think cutting-edge online business media is "a rising tide" type thing (we'll find out, at PC's Future of Business Media Conference next week in NYC (which I'd go to if it didn't cost an arm and a leg)). More and more, old business media will go out of business and/because their readers will find folks like Rafat and Henry better editors, writers, and "social" media titans.

So, the jury is still out on the Alley Insider vs. Paid Content question. Clearly there's a comparison. But does comparison mean competition? Not yet.