FiLife Has A Half-Life, At Least; WSJ-IAC JV Site Launches


imageFiLife, the personal finance site which is a joint venture between IAC (NSDQ: IACI) and now-News-Corp-owned WSJ, has been in birthing stages for the longest time, and went almost dead earlier this year, and then got revived, and now it has half-launched. It has a design, finally, so that the blog looks half-decent. The site is meant to “help consumers who want to improve their financial situation figure out how they stack up against their peers when it comes to income, household debt and savings,” this Reuters story explains. The site will not be a big original content generator, but will be an aggregator of info, advice and links, funded by advertising and lead gen of the sort that Bankrate (NSDQ: RATE) does very well.

Besides the main blog, aimed at younger audiences in college trying to get a handle on their finances, the site has tools that allow a user to compare their personal financial situation (“how do you stack up?”), based on eight parameters, against those of people in their state, city or other factors. That tool hasn’t launched yet as of late night Tuesday, and is in beta. Then there is some user-gen reviews of the deals, similar to what Tripadvisor, also owned by IAC, does in the travel sector.

The site is headed by Dave Kansas, a former editor at WSJ and (NSDQ: TSCM). He told Reuters that the site will take advantage of WSJ’s trove and the site will link to personal finance and other articles from WSJ and Barron’s, but will operate independently.

With all this turmoil even before it launched, you wonder why JV sites between big media companies ever get past the planning stage, Hulu notwithstanding (and even Hulu is too early to judge, in the larger scheme of things). The other IAC JV, the comedy site 23/6 that it launched last year with HuffPo, has yet to make any substantial mark in the online comedy sector. Then the HBO-AOL (NYSE: TWX) JV site ThisJustIn caved in last year, after being a non-starter, also in online comedy.

Anyway, FiLife starts in a bad and worsening economy, so if it gives advice on how to stretch the dollar and dishes out tools that help manage money better, then it probably has a chance, a “halflife”, if you will. (Sorry for the bad puns, Dave…)

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