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Suck.com was one of the Internet’s earliest ad-supported content sites. It featured daily editorial takes on a wide variety of topics, including politics and pop culture.
Suck.com was founded in 1995 by writer Joey Anuff and editor Carl Steadman. The site’s name was purposely irreverent; its tagline was “A fish, a barrel, and a smoking gun.” Among its contributors were Ana Marie Cox (who wrote as “Ann O’Tate”), Jake Tapper (“James Bong”), and Owen Thomas, who served as a copy editor.
In 1997, Suck.com published a compilation of its most popular essays in Suck: Worst-Case Scenarios in Media, Culture, Advertising and the Internet.
In July 2000, as the Internet bubble burst, Suck.com merged with Feed Magazine in an attempt to streamline the outlets’ operations. But despite a faithful following — the outlets had a combined reader base of over 1 million — the resulting company, Automatic Media, folded in June of 2001. On June 8, 2001, Suck.com published a “Gone Fishin'” post informing readers the site and its staff would be going on vacation. Though the post signed off with “see you soon,” it would be the site’s last.
Demand Media, founded in 2006, is an online media company that quickly grew to prominence by algorithmically assigning and publishing stories based on user-demand signals, such as search and social media trends. It typically pays authors a low sum of money for these posts, often about $15 per contribution, and assigns posts only when it believes…