Mikeorren - page 59

Mikeorren has 588 articles published.

Mike Orren is the Chief Product Officer of The Dallas Morning News; President of Belo Business Intelligence; husband to Crystal Orren; and a Mungarian at Munger Place Church in Dallas, TX. All opinions herein are mine alone.

Pitter patterRainy-day bullets

Newspaper wars, ca. 2005

Fun article in this week’s New Yorker about the ongoing spat between the News and the Post. The catalyst was an error in the News’ reader sweepstakes:

A plaintiff’s lawyer, Steven Gildin, addressed the crowd as his
partners handed out business cards. “How can a company that publishes
information make mistakes?” he said. (The
the following morning, misspelled Gildin’s name.) Then City Councilman
Charles Barron called on everyone to boycott the Sunday
News. The crowd began marching and shouting, “Boycott the Daily News!,” which turned to “No pay, no readers!” and, eventually, simply “We want money!”

Paying your readers? A revolutionary concept.

Defining 2.0

There’s a hodgepodge post on Jay Rosen’s blog that contains a nice start on a succinct definition for Journalism 2.0:

In Journalism 2.0 (the way I explain it to myself) the People Formerly
Known as the Audience, safely considered "consumers" during one era,
are more involved in production. Interactivity makes daily journalism
into a better, faster learning machine, which means it can improve its
accuracy many times over. And in the 2.0 era new ways to pay for good
work emerge from a variety of directions– the media industry is only
one, and not the most likely solution.

He touches on an idea that I’m beginning to see flourish amongst those thinking about the future: The "former audience" has to become a part of the conversation, but someone still needs to facilitate that conversation, to provide the salon and all its furnishings.

As Dan Gillmor says:

The people we’ve called the audience play a key role, in several
ways. As consumers (I hate the word) of news they have to make some
choices. I believe they
will pay for quality, to start with.
But young readers have changed media. We in the journalism sphere need
to innovate on new forms and delivery mechanisms as well as the
journalism itself.

We also need, as I’ve said again and again, to involve the audience
in the process. This is crucial. And I want to do it in a way that
gives us all a stake in the outcome.

I don’t know what it’s going to look like in the end. I have some
ideas. But I’m in the process of bringing together some smart people
I’ve met in these travels, from the new and old worlds. They’re
passionate about their communities, the world and journalism. They know
that journalism (real journalism) plays too big a role in our checks
and balances to go quietly into the night.

This will become a combination of the old and new. I know that I (or
anyone) can’t figure it out alone.

The players

Paul Bass sent me a good synopsis of various citizens/hyperlocal projects. The list at The Media Center is also comprehensive, but this one (in the continuation) provides some detail on the varying business and content models for newcomers to the whole concept.

UPDATE: Ken Sands also has an overview and is impatient with the MSM’s adoption rate.

Keep Reading

Down (under) but not out

Last week I mentioned the seeming obsolescence of certain types of vendors that serve the print industry.

Mark Fletcher, who runs a News Agency (think Newsstand company) in Australia is thinking ahead and blogging about such things:

In Australia around 90% of newspapers are sold through newsagencies – a
channel of 4,600 retail and distribution businesses established for
this purpose. Almost all are privately and individually owned. The
future of newsagencies as we know them is inextricably linked to the
future of newspaper and magazine publishing and distribution – yet we
are not part of the conversation about future models for mainstream

With the blogging phenomenon newsagents have an opportunity
independently to claim territory in what is called the blogosphere.
Newsagencies could create BLOG POSTS – an in store kiosk like PC where
people can read or post – giving a bricks and mortar presence and
therefore greater person in the street relevance for blogging. This
fits with the movement citizen journalism where everyone is a journalist.  There are several models emerging including this model from Bluffton South Carolina.

I see BLOG POSTS in newsagency stores as the beginning. They
identify this old world bricks and mortar channel with the new
movement. They provide a relevance for the 18-34 year olds who are
shunning newspapers. They provide a starting point from which new
traffic generators and business opportunities for newsagents can evolve.

Pleased to meet you –Hope you guessed our names

A (hopefully) anticlimactic bit of housekeeping: Our Little Venture has moved beyond the stealth phase, as four of our key leaders are now full-time Pegasi. We’ve actually been "out of the closet" for about a month, but haven’t really been sure how to de-stealthify without making an unduly big deal out of it.

In fact, lacking any other clear reason to name names, we were thinking about trucking along as-is, just not taking any pains to hide our identities. (Mine, for instance, is easily found in a Google search.)

But I was chatting wedia with Dan Gillmor the other day, and he convinced me that it was important that everyone know who we are, even if we’re quite sure that no one knows "who we are." Something to do with that whole open-source and transparency thing we’ve been preaching.

So, here are the folks who are currently full-time engaged in our project. We’ll announce other members of our team as appropriate:

Keep Reading


So, several months ago, I started hearing folks — non-media-savvy folks, mind you — asking why newspapers couldn’t be more precise in their ad pricing.

Why can’t you charge the same way Google does, where I only pay for the clicks?

The demand was for something tangible and precise, something that couldn’t be fudged.

Or could it?

If only there was an even more precise metric. Hmm…

Faster, looser, cheaper

Having capriciously recommended it to a couple of our team members, I’m finally getting around to reading Michael Wolff’s Autumn of the Moguls, in anticipation of a talk he’s giving in Dallas later this month.

My wife just handed me an article he wrote for last month’s Vanity Fair (not online). Although it’s about the fall of network evening news, there was one passage that I found somewhat germane to Our Little Venture:

News, in anything but its most rarified form, was only ever commercial, local, cranky, ill-informed, cheap. Network news, on the other hand, established in the mid-50s was grand, Olympian, internationalist,  fair-minded, expensive (really expensive) — and for everybody.

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