I recognize the symptoms. Separation anxiety. Empty nest syndrome. It's a no-brainer.
Now that Barry Diller's IAC/InterActiveCorp
PaidContent.org is reporting that IAC is buying a minority stake in The HealthCentral Network, a collection of consumer health information sites. Beyond HealthCentral.com and dot-com crash and burn victim DrKoop.com, HealthCentral operates dozens of symptom-specific sites like ADHDCentral.com and ProstateCommons.com.
It's easy to see why HealthCentral is open to IAC's investment. Recent IPOs of niche-specific online portfolios like Internet Brands
I really like IAC's opportunistic thinking here. Even if a consortium of health sites seems like an odd fit for a company that caters to Web seekers at Ask.com and scene-sipping hipsters at Citysearch, you have to be naive to think no one has ever punched in "is this infected" into the Ask.com search engine.
High-paying advertisers flock to health sites like Pooh bears to honey jars. Whether it's holistic remedy providers or ambulance-chasing attorneys, no one is hungrier for answers than someone trying to find a cure for an affliction. Sponsors have no problem paying up to be part of the solution.
It was no surprise to see AOL co-founder Steve Case dive into this space with his Revolution Health start-up once he left Time Warner
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz believes that everyone has leaned on cyberspace for near-term medical answers before seeking out real-world help. He is a freelance contributor to IAC's Citysearch, but does not have a financial stake in IAC or in any of the other companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.