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When the little dot-coms blow up, says marketing/PR blogger Steve Rubel, the sites funded by their advertising will go under too. Rubel names social news site Digg as one potential victim. How does it stack up against other Web-2.0-supported sites? Above the fold, we analyze Digg and tech blog GigaOM. Below, GigaOM competitor TechCrunch sets off a red alert.

Digg: Low risk

  • Top banner ad: A boring invention licensing company ad, served up by Google ads. It may be stupid, but it's not under the threat of a little dot-com crash.
  • Side ads: Contextual Google ads related to specific stories. Yawn.
  • Bottom: In-house ad for Digg merch. Safe as houses.

GigaOM: Moderate risk

  • Sponsor #1: oDesk. Motto: "So 2.0 it hurts." Can you say "high risk"? I knew you could.
  • Sponsor #2: A promotion for GigaOM through partner Bix, a Web 2.0 contest-creation site. Oh yeah, this one's doomed. High risk.
  • Inter-entry ad #1: JotSpot, a wiki company that came on the radar this January and just may last through a crash. Risk: Moderate.
  • Banner #1: Google ads. As always, no risk there.
  • Banner #2: sponsored links, mostly for Voice over IP. Minor risk if eBay kills Skype or Vonage finally crashes.
  • Inter-entry ad #2: More damn Google ads.

TechCrunch: High risk

  • Sponsor #1: Text Link Ads, which would survive a Web 2.0 crash with minor damages.
  • Sponsor #2: LogoJeez, a prime service for startups building a brand. Major bubble risk.
  • Sponsor #3: Logoworks. Same thing.
  • Sponsor #4: Flock, a "Web 2.0 browser" and one of the most-mocked startups, though it actually has a business plan. Moderate bubble risk.
  • Sponsor #5: Adobe Flex, a platform for "rich Internet applications." Read: "We want startups as customers." Major bubble risk.
  • Sponsor #6: Edgeio, the distributed classifieds site. Major bubble risk, even if loyalty to Edgeio co-founder and TechCrunch owner Michael Arrington keeps it loyal to the bitter end.
  • Side banner #1: Adobe Flex again. Major risk again.
  • Side banner #2: Google headhunting ad. No risk at all — Google's way outside the, um, bubblesphere.

Valleywag: Doomed

The Web 2.0 Economic Conundrum [Steve Rubel]
Photo by Jeff Kubina [Flickr]