Figuring out online content

Posted by joy


For all of you in the online content business… the Fark headline for this BBC article was “Newspapers discovering it’s difficult to charge readers money for content that some bastards put on the Internet for free”.

These are scary times for newspapers and a crucial time for society.

A fully functioning media needs more than fast reacting rolling news, it also needs newspapers which spend more time chewing over what the news actually means.

There is a problem with free: it often comes unpackaged and without the know-how to understand it.

A question I was thinking about when I was reading the BBC article was this - How does one value different online news properties?

For example, I could care less about what is supposed to be my hometown paper online, Philly.com. I feel that I should like it and that I should check it maybe once a day. But honestly, if the site ceased to exist, I personally would not be affected by it.

Then again, I love the NYTimes Online and the WashingtonPost Online but I am not sure I would pay for the access to either site. I don’t mind their current advertising schemes or that I have to register for each of the services.

And, I do gladly pay for the Wall Street Journal Online, but the Journal gives me news and analysis that I can’t find anywhere else.

So what are the NY Times, the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal giving me that Philly.com isn’t? Relevance, perhaps?


2 Responses to “Figuring out online content”

  1. bert Says:

    “Local” sites like Philly can’t compete on national/world news like the big 3 you list, so they focus more on local news. But beyond covering the local city commission, they should also be the authoritive one stop for all kinds of local info such as events, restaurant, shopping, tourist stops, etc. They also need to take more steps toward growing a online community.

    Newspapers already let Craigslist take a good bite out of classifieds. If they don’t devote the resources and technology into making themselves relevant to their own community, others will take bigger bites.

  2. Gavin Heaton Says:

    The way that we engage with and consume online media is changing the world of publishing. The simple fact that we read online sites indicates an expanding interest. We seem to have a fascination with the very local or the global — blogs and personal content on one hand and reportage that helps us make sense of these trends. Anything in the middle … anything that does not remain relevant to us, just fades away.

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