links for 2010-02-11

  • Kevin: Om Malik looks at the CXO mud wrestling match at MySpace. That's old news, and the FT took a deep dive into larger issues at MySpace last month. The really interesting lines in this story deal with whether News Corp is tired of the web and is going to refocus on its high margin businesses. "In many ways, News Corp and Murdoch have lost any and all interest in the web. The fire sales of Photobucket and Rotten Tomatoes are clear indicators that any-and-every digital property is up for sale. I bet if you showed up with a decent offer for say IGN or MySpace, News Corp would be willing to make a deal."
  • Kevin: Good post by Robert Hardie asking what newspapers really sell in the age of digital content. Is it the content or the experience? (I might substitute service for experience, but that's largely a semantic distinction.) He says that he paid for the Guardian's iPhone app because he finds the experience superior to viewing the standard mobile site on his iPhone. However, he wonders whether the distinction holds true for regional or local news? He thinks it does.
  • Kevin: An interesting bit of comment/blog roundup with some very interesting graphs looking at the costs and the operating margins at Guardian Media Group Regional Media, most of which was just sold to the Trinity Mirror Group. The sickening collapse in 2009 was a predictable result of the Great Recession, but the collapse in earnings started well before then. With the profits shrinking since 2004 while the British property bubble soared, it's hard to see how the predicted return to economic growth (albeit very anemic) will help restore the fortunes of regional newspapers in the UK.
  • Kevin: The BBC's Brian Wheeler looks at Twitter and its potential role in the upcoming UK General Election. "Experts … agree: Some hapless candidate will say or do something which will make them an instant, if unwitting, internet star – bringing instant shame and embarrassment to their party." With such risk aversion amongst politicians here in the UK, I don't think it's going to deal with the trust deficit they have after the Paliamentary expenses scandal.