Arquivo de 21 de Janeiro, 2009

21
Jan
09

Links for today | Links para hoje

That myth is essentially that every reader of a publication – not just buyer but alleged reader – is exposed to every ad. So every advertiser is charged for every reader of every ad. Great while it lasted, eh?

But the internet punctured that illusion because on the web, advertisers pay only for the ads a reader sees (and, in many cases, clicks on). So online, a paper or magazine can no longer charge every advertiser for every reader. This has exposed the essential inefficiency of print advertising (like TV advertising that is ignored or skipped). But it shows the inherent efficiency of online advertising.

Newspaper companies need to turn the tide and turn it fast if they want to stay in business at all. It’s time to go on the offensive and renovate their businesses around the changing needs and demands of their customers. The difficulty lies in that much of their future may not involve paper, and the industry is having a hard time changing its name.

If they don’t, they will become what the railroad industry became. The railroads could have survived as major players in the business of transporting people, had they believed they were in the transportation business, not the train business. They would have invested in cars, buses and airplanes. But they didn’t, and while there remains a railroad industry today, it’s much smaller and less significant than it was.

The fully loaded cost of a great reporter doing great work, then, falls somewhere in the $180,000 range:

$130,000 salary and benefits
$4,800 a year in subscriptions and other information sources
$2,500 a month in travel
$1,250 a month in legal and insurance coverage
$179,800 total, and that’s before the cost of IT, telecom and office space


I’m not (that) interested (today) in trying to figure out what revenue, then, will support major metro newspapers online.  When a major city loses its last print edition, it will be because it has already been replaced, in terms of reporting, advertising, commentary, and yes, journalism, by (mostly) smaller organizations.

And by definition, I expect a newspaper.com in a no-print city to look and feel infinitely different than it does now, to be a distributed news service, the sum of dozens of tiny parts, a portal to a wide variety of platforms where bits of news pushed out and pulled in.

(Right, so again, these are all the things I’m not going to talk about today. Right. Sure.)

My question, then, is how to support a small, agile, online-only news organization.

In Roanoke, the journalists grouped the pressure points into three categories: How to use Facebook and MySpace as a reporting tool, how to use the sites as a promotional tool and finally, how to balance your personal and professional images.

As a reporting tool, it’s easy to argue that Facebook, MySpace and Twitter instantly connect journalists to stories that in the past would have taken days or weeks to surface. Last year, the Orlando Sentinel discovered a Facebook group devoted to the lack of water at the University of Central Florida’s brand new football stadium. The group provided immediate access to dozens of sources who’d experienced firsthand the opening game in 95-degree heat.

90% of startups fail.

It’s kind of crazy that entrepreneurs think that their vision and their idea is the “right” one.  What qualifies them to know what will work?  Why don’t digital and tech entrepreneurs test their ideas before they waste money and countless hours building a product that’s not needed?  I call this the “me too” syndrome that is so prevalent on the west coast <cough> Silicon Valley…

TweetNews keeps an eye on Yahoo News and compares its headlines with which news stories are culling links on Twitter updates. A story’s popularity amongst the tweeting masses will push it up farther on TweetNews. There’s no landing page full of links, though, just search functionality. You can see the Twitter updates each result is pulling from in a drop-down box, and the absolutely minimal site loads seriously fast.

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