Unlike Digg, Fark embraces power users

No media love

We also asked why Fark hasn't had the Web 2.0 media love that the likes of Digg, Twitter and Facebook are currently getting. After all, if Web 2.0 is about embracing user contributions, then Fark was Web 2.0 before the term was coined.

Curtis says it's because there's not a lot of money associated with Fark: "We're not doing the Silicon Valley thing that everybody else is doing. There's not a lot of money, there's not a lot of flash... because that's what the media is concentrating on. They say 'look at these kids, they're getting rich – how awesome is that?' and that's not what's happening in my case."

But Fark has been profitable for some time – something that many younger, higher profile web companies can't boast.

"That's not exciting, though," laughs Curtis. "The reason we don't put on free SXSW parties is it's too expensive – we're actually making money, we can't spend it on this shit!"

Fark's revenue comes from advertising and paid subscriptions - where site members pay $5 a month to become a 'TotalFarker'. That subscription cash alone could keep the site going, says Curtis. "If all the ads went away we could still operate on an emergency level indefinitely at that rate. We have five employees and I'd have to fire three of them..."

Curtis says he's surprised that people do pay for subscriptions.

"I can't believe anybody signs up for it, to tell you the truth. You don't get anything. The idea that you would be able to read all the links... I only know of a couple of people that actually have it for that – but other than that I don't know why the hell people sign up for it."

Simply to support a site they like, perhaps. Curtis agrees: "Yeah, basically I get this little [TotalFark] button and I like this site, and five bucks is nothing, and if you have enough people do that then eventually you've got an OK amount of money coming in. I'm not driving a Tesla around town or anything like that, but it keeps the lights on."