The Future of News: 14 Years Ago

The Neiman Journalism Lab has gotten its hands on a forum with the Publisher of the NYT and the-then Editor of Digital for Time Inc., in which they struggle with the question of how the Interwebs were going to impact their print biz. It's fascinating reading. From the overview,…

The Neiman Journalism Lab has gotten its hands on a forum with the Publisher of the NYT and the-then Editor of Digital for Time Inc., in which they struggle with the question of how the Interwebs were going to impact their print biz.

It’s fascinating reading.

From the overview, written by Zachary Seward:

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A Model for Metro Journalism? Check Out New West

My former partner at the Industry Standard has been building something important out in the expanses of Montana (caveat – I am a very minor investor – the only such investment I've ever made – and sometimes offer my counsel to Jonathan). It's called New West, and for the…

My former partner at the Industry Standard has been building something important out in the expanses of Montana (caveat – I am a very minor investor – the only such investment I’ve ever made – and sometimes offer my counsel to Jonathan). It’s called New West, and for the past four years he’s taken what he’s learned over more than 20 years as a journalist and entrepreneur and applied it to the same “problem” that has elicited so much hand wringing in the traditional print world. He wrote a great piece today about his experiences. From it:

We started this company in 2005 partly on the premise that the news business would be changing in profound ways, and that would create opportunities. We were also very interested in what we considered a very big story – the dramatic transformation of the Rocky Mountain West from an under-populated, resource-dependent region to a dynamic, fast-growing hub of the emerging “amenity” and technology economies. We thought the story was regional in scope, but at the same time we were very conscious of the fact that people relate most closely to what’s most local, so we established NewWest.Net as a regional online magazine with local sites in key markets.

The editorial model relies on a combination of professional journalism (currently two full-time and four part-time professionals, as well as a number of freelancers); what we think of as semi-professional journalism (talented writers or subject-matter experts who do something else for their day job); and citizen journalism (bloggers and others who contribute on specific topics, sometimes for small sums of money). We don’t have copy editors, but rather copyedit each others’ stuff. We’re direct and conversational in our style, which is actually easier and quicker once you get used to it, and more appealing to readers than old-style newspaper formulas.

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Do Not Erase!

I'm a student of history. OK, maybe more like, I am a getting-older journalist following a youngish history, of companies like Apple, a company I covered in the 80s, Microsoft, (late 80s to present), AOL, Yahoo (mid 90s to present), Google (late 90s to present), Facebook (early 2000s to…

do not erase twitter.pngsteve j good master plan.png

I’m a student of history. OK, maybe more like, I am a getting-older journalist following a youngish history, of companies like Apple, a company I covered in the 80s, Microsoft, (late 80s to present), AOL, Yahoo (mid 90s to present), Google (late 90s to present), Facebook (early 2000s to present), and on and on (yes, Twitter is my most recent obsession as a story).

So when I saw this tweet today, well, heck, it brought me back. To this. I first saw the Google Master Plan whiteboard when I went to Google in early 2002 to meet with Eric Schmidt. Love the idea that Twitter now has a whiteboard with its revenue plans, and prominently declared is that wonderful mandate we’ve all written in the corner; DO NOT ERASE!

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Another Reason to be Skeptical of “Analysts”

The Times runs a piece today citing a media analyst at Sanford Bernstein claiming: …monetizing Twitter “would be difficult at best and likely unsuccessful.” People who sign up for free services tend to resent a company for trying to wring revenue from the business later. Subscription fees are out of…

The Times runs a piece today citing a media analyst at Sanford Bernstein claiming:

…monetizing Twitter “would be difficult at best and likely unsuccessful.” People who sign up for free services tend to resent a company for trying to wring revenue from the business later. Subscription fees are out of the question, they said, and advertising-based revenues don’t seem to have yielded enough cash flow to make a Web 2.0 property viable.

I agree about one thing – building ad platforms like Tweetsense will be difficult. But nothing valuable is ever easy. Adwords was not easy. Overture was not easy. What Facebook is building is not easy. And TweetSense won’t be easy.

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Not News, But Certainly Interesting

(Oct. 2008) (This week) Much buzz about this, but … Twitter's been promoting things it finds worthy since at least last Fall…what I find interesting about this is the promotion of Twitter search, which I've been on about for a long time as a really, really big deal….

prmote twitter thenjpg.jpg (Oct. 2008)

Twitter promotion now.png (This week)

Much buzz about this, but … Twitter’s been promoting things it finds worthy since at least last Fall…what I find interesting about this is the promotion of Twitter search, which I’ve been on about for a long time as a really, really big deal.

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Cloudera

Much buzz early this week on the launch of Cloudera, for its focus (distributed platform computing), its philosophy (best described as Not Google Or Anyone Else For That Matter, based on Hadoop, a Yahoo-driven open source competitor to Google's MapReduce), and its team (from Yahoo, Oracle, Google….). Very worth…

cloudera.png Much buzz early this week on the launch of Cloudera, for its focus (distributed platform computing), its philosophy (best described as Not Google Or Anyone Else For That Matter, based on Hadoop, a Yahoo-driven open source competitor to Google’s MapReduce), and its team (from Yahoo, Oracle, Google….).

Very worth keeping an eye on.

Cloudera’s launch post. SEL’s coverage. NYT coverage.

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AdWords On Picasa

You knew this was coming – Google has added AdWords to Picasa. What's next?! They might add advertising to search results!!! (More on that here)…

You knew this was coming – Google has added AdWords to Picasa. What’s next?! They might add advertising to search results!!! (More on that here)

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It’s Very Sorta Twitter (Facebook, That Is)

I just logged into Facebook for the first time since The Change. And I have to say, it's totally a Twitter experience. Except…that's not why I am going to Facebook. I find myself wanting all the simplicity and tools of Twitter, and they are not there. (Except I like…

fbook = twitter.png

I just logged into Facebook for the first time since The Change.

And I have to say, it’s totally a Twitter experience. Except…that’s not why I am going to Facebook. I find myself wanting all the simplicity and tools of Twitter, and they are not there. (Except I like the threaded conversations, which are nice, however, I wonder if and how folks know you’ve “replied?”). As a heavy Twitter user, I find the experience a bit…lacking.

However, I have said this over and over and will say it again – I am NOT a typical Facebook (or even Twitter) user, so I cannot judge. What do you all think?

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Three Peer-Reviewed Takes On Armstrong and AOL

I've had the chance to poll a few folks in the industry – all of them very senior executives who are now, have recently, and/or will again run very large Internet companies. Their reactions, in no particular order: 1. This showed how badly Time Warner needed to shake up…

tim_armstrong.jpg I’ve had the chance to poll a few folks in the industry – all of them very senior executives who are now, have recently, and/or will again run very large Internet companies. Their reactions, in no particular order:

1. This showed how badly Time Warner needed to shake up AOL’s management, both because “Rondy” (the term used, derisively, to describe the top two departing AOL execs) was not working, and because TW needed to show a big shift in order to convince investors it’s worth backing a spin out of AOL.

2. Armstrong was not going to get any bigger job inside Google, they’re all taken. And he really wanted to do something bigger.

3. This was an “upgrade” for sure, but unwinding AOL and then finding its footing is very hard, so there were doubts remaining as to whether Armstrong is up to it.

4. Related – major doubts as to whether AOL has a path back to relevance and real growth.

5. Armstrong is getting “an undermanaged company with great assets at a low price.”

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Tim Armstrong To Lead AOL – Further Thoughts

This I find quite worthy of comment. More after breakfast… AOL is getting new leadership again, just two years after the outgoing executives were chosen to turn around the struggling dial-up and content company. Google Senior Vice President Tim Armstrong will take over as chairman and chief executive, replacing…

This I find quite worthy of comment. More after breakfast…

AOL is getting new leadership again, just two years after the outgoing executives were chosen to turn around the struggling dial-up and content company.

Google Senior Vice President Tim Armstrong will take over as chairman and chief executive, replacing Randy Falco, said Time Warner, AOL’s parent company. Ron Grant, AOL’s president and chief operating officer, will leave with Falco after a transitional period of a few weeks.

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