Monthly archive

October 2005 - page 2

"Walled gardens":Semi-permeable is the way to go

Fred Wilson illustrates the flaws in the NYT’s TimesSelect scheme, but I disagree with his assertion that all news content should be free.

The story itself should be free, Googlable and linkable.

But a service within that pushes you only the content and advertising that you find relevant? That’s priceless. And worth paying for.


Catching up on my blog-reading, and in following links to registration sites, it occurs to me that BugMeNot has already been rendered completely useless. It was a nice six-month run before publishers took the simple steps necessary to thwart it.

We have met the enemy and he is us

Agree with him or not, Vin Crosbie always cuts to the quick of the matter. On the eve of an online journalism confab:

Unfortunately, the major obstacle for online journalism is the people who practice it…

I, by the way, agree with him. He continues:

Journalists, whether they work in mass or new media, still tend to
believe that traditional journalism and its packaging are as correct in
a new medium as those once were in the mass medium. It is as an article
of faith within their secular trade.

Yet, traditional journalism and its packaging have demonstrably failed in the mass medium, and there’s abundant evidence that that those are failing the new medium, too…

So, why is most online journalism shovelware from traditional print, traditional video, and traditional radio?

The answer, I think, is because the online is still an ancillary to the flagging, but profitable print behemoth. As long as that’s the case, Vin’s assessment stands.

That’s why we think an upstart without the double-edged crutch of print is the answer.

Fellow travelers

This week I’ve encountered a few more local new media types to be aware of:

The grail

Great article from the current issue of The Economist, suggesting that we’re on the right track in enabling precise, pay-per-sale advertising:

But even the pay-per-call model may turn out to be only an intermediate
step towards the ultimate in advertising efficiency, which would be a
pay-per-sale approach. This is what Bill Gross has recently started
offering at SNAP, a search engine that he founded. United Airlines, for
instance, places text links on SNAP’s search pages, but it pays (about
$10) not when somebody clicks or calls, but only when somebody actually
buys a ticket. Eventually, argues Mr Gross, 100% of advertising will
follow such a pay-per-sale approach
— although he won’t guess how
soon– because this is “the holy grail of advertising.”

We’re on the quest…


This John Branston column from the Memphis Flyer is either the wittiest piece of satire I’ve ever read or part of a strange new syndrome I’m detecting– old media guys in alternative press starting to act as apologists for the Old Ways. (Schutze seemed to be guilty of it this week, but I suspect his tongue was planted firmly in cheek.)

If John’s site accepted comments, or even had an easily-findable place to email him, I’d let him know that I actually did read his column on my phone. No lie.

"Contemporary Media, Inc.," indeed.

UPDATE: Wonderful illustration of the old-school concept gone awry by Wilson Miner.

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