Friday, August 14, 2009

Brill's plan to charge users $5 to $10 a month to read the news online

"Journalism Online said its technology would give publishers flexibility in how they charge for digital content, including collecting monthly subscriptions or micro-payments for individual articles. Its estimates that a website that attracts 1 million monthly visitors could reap additional annual revenue of $5 million to $10 million.

The LA Times story fails to say how that money is to be made. But simple math says that each reader would pay an average of $5 to $10 for their news online.

I just don't see the product being that valuable.

Journalism Online is a startup created by Steve Brill, creator of CourtTV, and Gordon Crovitz, former publisher of The Wall Street Journal. They claim agreements with 506 newspapers, magazines and online news sites that reach more than 90 million monthly visitors - but they don't say who the clients are.

They likely are not the Tribune Co. (LA and Chicago), Gannett (USA Today), NY Times or the Wall Street Journal. Those who do not charge for the news will be the big winners if this idea actually takes shape.

Newspapers tried this model with classified advertising. Ah but Craigslist provided a better, national service for free. And it only takes one giving it away for free to ruin a business model in the online world.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

AP's confiedential Play Plan for content leaked: Strengthen copyright, horde news, adopt Wikimodel (no mention of its volunteer contributors)

The Associated Press has laid out a plan to put news behind a pay wall.

The confidential plan was not for distribution but was mentioned at the Nieman Lab and broadcast widely through Romenesko, a site I read daily. But who scraped who there and did it hurt or help?

I'll share some amazing numbers from the document (numbers I'm sure you have to pay for) later today.

For now some quick thoughts:

The document pointed to the success of the Wikipedia model - "standing, authoritative pages" (that's all you got - have you read The Long Tail or Clay Shirky - it's not that elementary).

The document fails to mention or acknowledge that Wikipedia is updated and maintained by any visitor to the Website who wants to participate. It is updated constantly.

The document also didn't say - there is no advertising at Wikipedia and only a few dozen are paid.

And oh year, no one pays to read the stories. Even the flimsiest newspaper archive (except the New York Times - YEA!) charges to search its archives.

"AP simply can't continue to provide the same quality of golabal news coverage under the current rules, where second hand news gets most of the eyeballs."

"Emboldened by the uncertain state of law around content use online ..." sounds like Jon Stewat making fun of George Bush talking about terrorists.

"AP News Registry is a way to identify, record and track every piece of content AP makes."

Big Brother?

The AP wants to be like Wikipedia Then they point out Wikipedia garnered only 6.8 percent of the audience who searched "Michael Jackson" in the month after his death. 6.8 percent made Wikipedia the second largest beneficiary of traffic?, slightly behind only Google News (7.1%). AP and Google already have a partnership.

The piece never gets into the fact that the market for news is so diluted that it seems impossible to discern the producers from the users. Will AP applaud bloggers for pointing people to news sites or will AP seek to punish bloggers for reprinting information?


Friday, June 19, 2009

Newspapers just don't get it.

Why would you ever need to announce that you are killing a blog?

Much less one called White House Watch?

Sorry Dan Froomkin. Every day more evidence that newspapers just don't get it.

Washington Post Media Communications Director Kris Coratti tells POLITICO that "our editors and research teams are constantly reviewing our columns, blogs and other content to make sure we're giving readers the most value when they are on our site while balancing the need to make the most of our resources. Unfortunately, this means that sometimes features must be eliminated, and this time it was the blog that Dan Froomkin freelanced for"

Thanks for the tip, Jim.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

What's black and white and red all over?

The Daily Show With Jon StewartMon - Thurs 11p / 10c
End Times
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political HumorNewt Gingrich Unedited Interview

Your balance sheet. ha ha

Friday, June 12, 2009

Fear mongering courtesy of TIme and their reliance on bad research

Reason presents

The Top 10 Most Absurd Time Covers of The Past 40 Years

There's one on Satan, cursing and of course I think the one that relied on the undergraduate research paper Andrew mentioned on internet porn.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

APOC the musical

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Quartelife needs your quarters. I say If I give you a quarter will you call someone who cares?

Seriously sad. Check out the email I got this a.m. Cue taps.

"quarterlife is in crisis.

In spite of thousands of amazing and creative members from sixty countries, we do not have the traffic to survive as an ad-supported social network. Even with our minimal paid staff (only two!), due to hosting, rent, maintenance, and insurance costs, it still costs WAY more each year to run the site than we receive in ad revenues. We simply cannot continue any longer this way.

The only alternative left is to ask you, the members of the community, to help keep quarterlife alive, to keep those hundreds of thousands of photos, videos, paintings, poems, songs, blogs – and human connections – online for the world to see.

We are asking you to contribute a voluntary monthly subscription fee of $6.00 or – if quarterlife has truly been an important part of your life – $10.00, in order to help the site survive. We know this is a lot to ask, but we still have great plans for quarterlife – new functions, new content, new services we want to offer – and without our basic expenses covered we simply can’t afford to grow in these new areas. Be assured that if we cannot raise enough, and quarterlife has to close down, we will immediately stop collecting those fees. And if by some miracle we collect more than we need, we’ll lower or even eliminate the subscription fee. This is not about profit – it’s about survival.

quarterlife has always been first and foremost a community – and no more so than right now. We have put off making this request as long as we could, but the situation is dire. We need everyone who believes in the humane and creative quarterlife vision to do what he or she can to help the site weather this crisis. Don’t assume others will shoulder the burden. And please know that along with your subscription we want to know your thoughts – on how the site should grow and how it can best affect your life.

Thank you, thank you, for the incredible experience quarterlife has been so far. With your help I know it can continue.

Marshall Herskovitz, Founder

To Subscribe, please visit