Links for the weekend | Links para o fim de semana

So what if you took away the money question. What questions would we be asking about local newspapers? Perhaps we’d be asking: What are they for? Who do they serve? What should they contain? Why do we produce them in the way we do?

Perhaps its spending time answering these that gets us closer to answering “How do we make money?”.

This struck me whilst watch Jane McGonigal’s Webstock presentation that asks “Why doesn’t the real world work like a game?”.

The slide above particularly grabbed my attention. These are the main elements that make people happy, Jane says.

“1. Who cares?

2. I hope my competitors waste their time arguing about this as long as possible.”

Chris Anderson, the editor in chief of Wired, believes in logic the way Tina Brown believes in buzz. He rarely approves a story idea unless the writer backs up the thesis with data. The basis of his best-selling book “The Long Tail” was a statistical phenomenon called the Pareto distribution; in his coming book, “Free,” he expresses arguments in profit-loss charts. The walls in his San Francisco office are whiteboards, covered with scrawled formulas.

“Everything I do is expressed in equations,” he said, looking at his work.

But Mr. Anderson has yet to solve the equation for Wired. Under his editorship, the magazine is an editorial success, winning three National Magazine Awards last month, which tied it for the most honored magazine. And Mr. Anderson’s own profile is higher than ever, thanks to his books, which roll messy business trends into neat canapés that executives pass around. He gives 50 speeches a year for an estimated $35,000 to $50,000 apiece.


This beta service delivers tweets from thousands of media sources in North America and the UK, organized by topic or region. It is also fully searchable by content and journalist name to quickly identify key influencers and issues. In addition, a “Top Tweeters” link displays tweets from frequent tweeters at media outlets.

When I decided to go into the news business, we took a vow of poverty, or at least acknowledged that we’d never be rich. I chose not to go to law school and instead transferred to j-school and did so in the full awareness that I’d never be well-paid.

Wrong. I ended up being very well-paid because I worked in news in the last gasp of its century-longer monopoly bubble, which ironically came to a climax at the same time as the short-lived tech bubble. Before 2001, metro newspapers still made tens of millions of dollars in each of the classifieds categories, plus retail, plus circulation revenue. Magazines were still blockbuster businesses worth risking tens, even hundreds of millions of dollars to launch. TV will still a star medium where so-called talent was worth big money.

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Maio 2009

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