In case you were wondering why Ron Lieber left the managing editorship of IAC-WSJ joint venture FiLife to become a columnist at the NYT, now you know. FiLife has launched, and it’s a disaster. It looks like a parody of Web 2.0, full of cute colorful curvy orange and green animated matchstick men. It has no original content, beyond a rather crappy blog which has managed five whole posts so far this month. And, worst of all, its ethics are highly suspect.
A large part of FiLife’s business model seems to be the idea that it will be paid for driving traffic to financial-services companies selling their wares to the coveted younger consumer. It does this by means of big "Get Deal" buttons and little orange and blue pyramids. Here’s a "deal" with an orange pyramid: can you find the tiny little notification, near the bottom of the page on the right hand side, that the orange color means that the deal is "sponsored"? With this kind of obliteration of the line between editorial and advertising, I’m not surprised that Lieber jumped ship. As for what on earth Dave Kansas is doing there, I have no idea.