links for 2010-06-16

  • Kevin: A news aggregator contacts Dow Jones asking them how to pay for and licence their content. The aggregator was told that no such licence was available. Furthermore, "We would not allow our content to be used in this form. Please do not archive, spider, link or otherwise mention or use any content from any Dow Jones International publications on your website. We hereby confirm that we do not allow the use of our IP on your site." The company has contradicted this statement since. What's the story? One would think that they would think about accepting money. Maybe not. It's pretty easy to see why the news industry is in trouble.
  • Kevin: Gina Chen has an excellent post on the Nieman Journalism lab blog looking at insights into news consumption patterns based from a recent Pew Research Center study. The study looked at news stories in the mainstream press and news that gained traction on blogs, Twitter and YouTube. "But the important point is that the loyalty isn’t to the platform, the application, the delivery system, or the brand. The loyalty is to the need for the information." Excellent post and excellent discussion after the post.
  • Kevin: George Brock, former editor for The Times and now head of journalism at City University London, has some great observations from a conference he spoke at recently in Germany. "German publishers – and they’re hardly alone – can register with their heads talks which stress unpredictability of the changes driven by new media; but in their hearts they yearn for the familiar." He says that the most successful platforms and editorial products on the web rely on "friction-free simplicity". Contrast that with the a quarterly lifestyle magazine recently launched by the group Axel Springer, The Iconist, that takes 40 minutes just to download. Hardly frictionless.
  • Kevin: Folio has an excellent overview of The Atlantic magazine's efforts to reverse a circulation and revenue decline that began in the 1960s. They made an effort to create a solid brand, which is useful although I argue that the brand is the experience. Brand building without delivery is wasted effort. The more compelling elements to me are how he set up a digital-first strategy as an internal insurgency. He wanted to disrupt his own business and 'unlock (print's) grip on traditional revenue sources'. They also increased events and marketing services. Good business sense, good content, good branding with a focus on talent mean that they are shifting to profit.
  • Kevin: My friend and former colleague Jemima Kiss has an excellent overview of what Apple's acquisition of the Siri, a very clever mobile service that reminds me of Tom Baker's intelligent agent in Hyperland. Jemima sees this as a big play into search by Apple. It's a bundle of artificial intelligence, natural language processing (voice recognition) and web search algorithms. Apple could be moving to challenge Google in mobile search, and with both companies having mobile ad networks, this could be an interesting bit of competition. As Jemima says, watch this space.