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Posts Tagged ‘Jeff Jarvis’

‘Today, We Announce An Historic Change In How We Do Business’

The Tallahassee Democrat is putting up a paywall, but you might not know it from reading its article about the change.

As Jeff Jarvis noted on Twitter, the paper took ten paragraphs to get to the point.

Steve Buttry of TBD.com added: “Boastful description of proud history before buried lead about paywall kinda reads like an obit. Appropriately.”

“Three years before the first Model T automobiles rolled out of Henry Ford’s factories,” the piece begins, “the Tallahassee Democrat began serving our communities with invaluable news and information.”

It’s not until clicking to the next page that the article mentions the paywall: $10 per month for the website, or $15 per month for the website and “e-edition” (which nobody really likes anyway, do they?) Day passes cost $2.

The Tallahassee Democrat employs 300 people, and obviously management is hoping that the paywall will keep those 300 employed.

As a Gannett owned paper, the paper went through a round of layoffs in 2008 (as did the rest of Gannett) and again in 2009.

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Is There Such Thing As A Twitter Influencer?

Earlier this year we wrote, somewhat seriously, about people like Kim Kardashian getting paid thousands of dollars to tweet about advertisers’ products.

According to a Yahoo! research scientist, that money might be better spent elsewhere.

Which means if you were thinking about leveraging your millions of followers for personal gain, maybe rethink that strategy.

Researcher Duncan Watts found that targeting a lot of smaller Twitter users with far fewer followers would yield a “much, much higher ROI,” Jeff Jarvis writes.

And of course, the smaller the fish, the less it costs to reach them. There is probably some point, far after the $10,000 for Kim Kardashian, not so far after bloggers earning 74 cents per click, that your value as a conduit for information/ads becomes zero.

If marketers do decide to target thousands of people with just a small circle of friends, you can cross “twitter spokesperson” off your list of possible job descriptions. Jarvis does note, though, that Watts found that a combination of mass marketing and long-tail (Kim Kardashian and you) is effective.

Copyright Law Advocates Clear Everything Up. No Really.

The how-to-save-newspapers-by-changing-copyright-law storm is still swirling around the blogosphere, and now two of the instigators want to clear everything up.

First, a little history: It started with judge Richard Posner‘s proposal to give news outlets a monopoly on their scoops by banning others from linking to them. Then Connie Schultz, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer (one of us!) proposed something similar, albeit in her version, nobody but the originator of the story can “profit” from the story in the first 24 hours. Whatever that means. Blogger Jeff Jarvis fired back, and then there was a lovely he said, she said.

Argh.

Now we hear from the Marburger brothers, whose proposals were part of Schultz’s inspiration. David and Daniel Marburger are a first amendment attorney in Cleveland and an economics professor at Arkansas State.

Two points:
They don’t oppose aggregators like Google News, which only excerpt small portions of the article. (It’s unstated, but presumably they do oppose HuffPo.)
They don’t want to give news originators a monopoly on the content for any length of time.

So what do they want to do? Just restore the right to sue for unfair competition.

Oh, okay then!!! You’re not making it illegal to link to your content, just really expensive.

Seriously, though. This will either have the exact same effect as if linking/aggregating/whatever were illegal, or it will do absolutely nothing (I don’t see newspapers rolling around in a lot of cash to spend on legal fees right now…who would win The Bankrupt Daily Herald V. Huffington Post?)

Did Internet Kill The Newspaper

The debate rages on in publications across the journalism field. Everyone wants to know: A)How to save newspapers and B) Who is to blame for the crisis newspapers are in right now.

At the American Journalism Review, journalist John Morton has one word to say about the death of newspapers: Internet! Uk, that dastardly internet that, like Jeff Jarvis so astutely noted yesterday, has been encroaching on newspaper territory for about twenty years or so now, has finally done its damage.

The newspaper industry did not succumb to the earlier upstarts…because radio, television and cable could not replicate what newspapers do: provide massive amounts of news coverage.

The Internet, though, can do precisely that, because unlike radio and television the Internet does not depend on listening but on reading, just like newspapers. Reading is vastly more efficient than listening as a way to absorb information, unfettered by broadcast’s time restraints. This fundamental truth lies behind the widespread conviction that print newspapers are doomed, and that if newspapers are to have a future, it must be on the Web.

The answer, in Morton’s opinion, charge for content and go after those pesky antitrust folks. Yes, charge all those indulgent people who want to read news the moment that it happens&#151charge a little less for those patient folks who can wait to read it in print. The essence is charge, charge, charge!

On the other hand Robert Pegoraro over at the Washington Post believes publishers need to stop yelling at the internet (really it’s an inanimate object, so yelling at it is just like yelling at a wall&#151literally). It’s publishers’ fault for not adjusting their business plans over the year to account for new ways that people were receiving information.

The news business has issues, but blaming the Internet won’t fix them. Look, the Internet did not make Sam Zell pay for the Tribune Co. with $8.2 billion in loans. The Internet did not make the New York Times spend $1.1 billion to buy the Boston Globe, then put $600 million into a new headquarters building on some of the most expensive real estate in the United States. The Internet did not make the Washington Post Co. waste a few years of effort on a nightmarishly-bad dial-up online service called Digital Ink.

So, please, enough bleating about the unfairness of the online world. Let’s have some constructive suggestions about what news organizations can do on their own without unleashing battalions of lawyers or undertaking some magical rewiring of the Internet.

Personally I was a big fan of the Media Futurist suggestions about how to pay for content. It seemed like a competent, seamless business model which would still allow us to report news and be paid for it. Pegoraro has some suggestions of his own.

Newspapers Screwed Up, Says Jeff Jarvis

Newspapers are really, really sorry that they have to now undergo all these layoffs. At least that’s what they say in every press release, but Jeff Jarvis tells the Huffington Post today that it’s actually all they’re fault that their in this crisis right now.

You’ve had 20 years since the start of the web, 15 years since the creation of the commercial browser and craigslist, a decade since the birth of blogs and Google to understand the changes in the media economy and the new behaviors of the next generation of&#151as you call them, Mr. Murdoch&#151 net natives. You’ve had all that time to reinvent your products, services, and organizations for this new world, to take advantage of new opportunities and efficiencies, to retrain not only your staff but your readers and advertisers, to use the power of your megaphones while you still had it to build what would come next. But you didn’t.

You blew it.

He goes on to discuss the tirade William Dean Singleton, chairman of the Associated Press, had the other day against Google. Rightly he explains that if Google stops linking to newspapers, it’s like you will lose one-third of your readership. Why? Well Jarvis has an answer for that too.

It all goes back to a quote from a college student last year in the New York Times. “If the news is that important, it will find me.” Oh shutter! What, ask Jarvis, are you doing to bring your news to your “new audience”? The expectation that readers will just come to your sites these days because you are the official provider of all the new local news is just faulty.

So what can newspapers do now? Read Jeff Jarvis’s solution after the jump.

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