links for 2009-09-03

  • Kevin: paidContent looks at newspapers in the US that have put their online content behind a paywall. "The newspapers tend to be located in smaller, often rural markets; online-only subscriptions are typically priced at a substantial discount to the print edition (in general, about 75% of what the print product costs); where numbers are available, the number of online subscribers is still a tiny percentage of their print counterparts (less than 5%); and many of these papers say they began charging not so much to make money online, but rather to protect sales of their print editions."
  • Kevin: Want to know why the newspaper industry is in crisis? It's not the rise of digital but their inability to create viable digital businesses. From the FT: "Alarmingly, the industry has also so far “failed to make the digital transition”, according to a report last month from Outsell, a publishing research firm, which found that news organisations’ digital revenues were just 11 per cent of their total revenues, compared with 69 per cent for the broader information industry, which includes legal and financial data providers such as Reed Elsevier and Bloomberg."
  • Kevin: This is similar to a post I wrote recently about social filters and news. I find that professional contacts on Delicious, Twitter and Facebook are much more useful in highlighting stories that I need to know about rather than the media. As my post and this article suggest, people are finding ways to personally filter news and information that is much more effective for them than portals, news sites and other traditional editorial mechanisms. "Precise statistics about the rise of sharing information through social networks are hard to come by because links are being shared on multiple platforms, and new services such as link-shorteners are complicating efforts to monitor the flow of traffic. …
    But the broad strokes are clear. Media companies' efforts, coupled with the increase of sharing online, have effectively turned social networks into massive engines of recommendation, responsible for directing an ever larger amount of online traffic."
  • Kevin: There are some really good tips in this post about how to be a successful community manager. The five tips are good for anyone working with online communities. 1. Speak up. 2. Focus on concrete issues. 3. Be honest. 4. Be firm. 5. Be grateful. The post is coming from the point of view of virtual world Second Life, but many of the concepts do translate to other online communities.
  • Kevin: John Temple is the former editor, president and publisher of the Rocky Mountain News, asked his former staff if they had found work after the newspaper "published its final edition on Feb. 27". His findings? "So, what struck me about the responses?

    As might be expected, the Web staff seemed the most successful in finding new work. People landed at,,, and other sites.

    It seems many reporters, photographers, videographers, designers and managers are finding some success, satisfaction and cause for optimism by either starting their own businesses or freelancing."

  • Kevin: "After several months of trying to get the deal done, Citizen-J site NowPublic is about to be sold to a non-traditional buyer: local news network, which is controlled by Philip Anschutz’s Clarity Media Group, we have learned. The price is around $25 million range, according to a source, including a part of that as an earnout. Also from a source, the other potential buyers included AP, Fox News, Glam Media and even Technorati, though not clear who all were interested in late stages."
  • Kevin: "It seems that The Telegraph has been using Digg successfully to drive more traffic to its website, and provides a useful example for other newspaper and blogs to follow." Subs (British English for copy editor) thought 'the Horror, the horror' when SEO experts told them to write boring, American-style headlines. I wonder how many will commit suicide writing Digg-optimised headlines.

    Seriously, tying into social media is a good thing. I have mixed feelings about link-bait.

  • Kevin: "Yahoo! is readying the launch of an English-language version of its Twitter-like microblogging website, Yahoo! Meme, after quietly rolling out the site in Spain and Portugal." There is already a lot of talk on Twitter about what what hole in the market this is filling. It's being touted as part of Yahoo's social media strategy. I haven't seen the service. That being said, if it's a status update service that elegantly connects to existing Yahoo services, I can see it being useful for people who are heavy users of Yahoo services, but I can't see it as a break out product that will bring new users to Yahoo.