links for 2009-03-28

  • Kevin: John Dvorak says: "For too long newspapers have taken on the role of cultural arbiter and distribution channel for popular culture ideas. That is all over and can never return." He criticises The New York Times for considering a pay-wall for their content. "The problem with the subscription model for today's big newspapers is the fact that there is very little exclusive information of any real value." He adds: "The Internet added comparison shopping to the mix. Want a story about the baby stuck down in the well? How about 3,000 stories about the baby in the well?

    Pretty soon the public began to notice that 2,975 of those 3,000 stories about the baby in the well were the exact same story, with the other 25 being rewrites of the exact same story."

  • Kevin: Robert Picard looks at the problems with proposed legislation to allow newspapers to operate as non-profits. It's a fundamentally flawed bill in its current form that would help few newpapers and creates opportunities for abuse.
  • Kevin: Eric Clemons, Professor of Operations and Information Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, guest blogging on TechCrunch says his "basic premise is that the internet is not replacing advertising but shattering it". He says that consumers don't trust, want or even need advertising. I think one of the important elements of this post is thinking about other revenue streams beyond advertising.
  • Kevin: Fitz & Jen of Editor & Publisher write about the three factors that they believe killed "The Ann Arbor News". They say: "In the case of The Ann Arbor News, which is closing in July to be replaced by a mostly Web business with a TMC and a twice-weekly print paper, three factors conspired in its doom – its state market, its home market, and its family owners."
  • Kevin: Social media strategist Woody Lewis gives five ways that he believes newspapers can avoid extinction. The thing I see most in this is that newspapers will have t become more collaborative, especially when it comes to technology. Most newspaper companies simply do not have the resources or the culture for rapid technological development. And I agree with Lewis, "Doing nothing is not an option."
  • Kevin: "The new Obama administration’s emphasis on transparency and the recent economic crisis has focused a great deal of attention on the value of online APIs for accessing government data. One of the latest examples comes from the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis who have recently released a new API to access their FRED database, a comprehensive collection of U.S. economic trends. The API also provides online access to ALFRED, an archive of historic economic data, which features information dating all the way back to the 1920s."
  • Totally agree with Charles about how broken email is, but we need a way to ween people off email, otherwise the problem's just going to get worse.
  • Kevin: As the New York Time announces pay cuts to deal with the advertising recession. Jon Friedman at MarketWatch says that bad news from newspaper businesses will be accepted as routine. Jeff Jarvis says that he expected an orderly transfer of the traditional newspaper to the digital model. "Instead, we have great confusion." I think that we reached a tipping point in audience behaviour beginning in 2004-05 in the US, even while most newspaper execs still believed that the crash had dispensed with the threat from the internet to their businesses. Once, conservative advertisers make the digital transition the 'confusion', as Jeff calls it, will become even greater.