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The Paper That Doesn’t Want to Be Free

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Financial Times CEO John Ridding:

It was pretty lonely out there for a while in paid land, but it has become pretty clear that advertising alone is not going to sustain online business models. Quality journalism has to be paid for.

Generally speaking, I HATE news organizations that do this (Wall Street Journal, I’m looking at you).  The reporting may be first class, but that doesn’t excuse an access model which is outdated and irrelevant.  A few suggestions as to how this could be fixed:

  1. Adopt an archive system like the New York Times whereby old content becomes “paid-only” or “members-only” after a certain date (weeks, months, etc).
  2. Keep ALL content on the site free up until this date.
  3. “Special” sections and multimedia are excluded from this rule and remain free.
  4. When people buy a copy of the paper, either through electronic delivery or otherwise, give them a code which allows FREE online access to that day’s paper (This code has no expiration date – They bought the paper, after all).

Charging for access to the paper and online versions separately may generate more revenue, but it isn’t done in the interest of readers, the most important audience that these publications have.  In a bid to make traditional news offerings more compelling, paid-only “niche-publishing” seems like a bad move.  What’s really needed is a way to eliminate the differentiation between paper and online versions, it’s the same news, only delivered in a different way.  I don’t buy the “perceived value” argument for the physical paper, the content is the important thing.  Asking people to pay for an additional subscription to a product they already bought is unnecessary.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

August 17, 2009 at 12:00 pm

Posted in Random Stuff

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Clear shuts its doors.

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Another interesting idea bites the dust.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

July 2, 2009 at 7:55 pm

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RIM gets it?

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RIM CEO Mike Lazaridis talking about the Blackberry Storm with Laptop Mag: 

That’s our first touch product, and you know nobody gets it perfect out the door. You know other companies were having problems with their first releases.

Um, Mike?… The iPhone did get it right the first time.  It’s true that features were missing (and we’re still waiting on some that may not come until after 3.0), but at least Multi-touch WORKED.  Find me one review of the Storm that actually praises the touchscreen, THEN talk to reporters.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

April 16, 2009 at 2:37 am

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The iPhone Gold Rush

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Like so many others (Trism creator Steve Demeter, for example), independent programmers are finding ways to make iPhone development a full-time job.  Apple probably doesn’t mind that all of these people can now create applications for the Mac as well.  After all, both platforms use Cocoa and Objective-C and the transition from Cocoa Touch (on iPhone) to Cocoa and AppKit (on the desktop) is a fairly gradual one.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

April 4, 2009 at 11:33 pm

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Can an Employer’s Past Follow Its Workers?

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Not surprising.  I’ve told several companies that I had an internship with Lehman, followed by ‘a year before it imploded’.  Haven’t gotten quite the same reaction, but it wouldn’t be weird at all to find out that this happens.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

February 22, 2009 at 5:19 pm

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Apple’s Q1 results

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Despite the weak economy, Apple’s results are some of their best ever.  Also worth noting are COO Tim Cook’s comments on the current state of Apple TV.

There was a tremendous tickup year over year [for Apple TV]. In fact, unit sales were up almost 3 times vs the year-ago quarter. However let me be clear, we still consider this a hobby.

We’re going to continue to invest in it, because we fundamentally believe there is something there for us in the future.

Interesting.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

January 22, 2009 at 4:36 am

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Dan Lyons and Jim Goldman throw down

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For those who haven’t seen the video.

Written by @chrisfinazzo

January 19, 2009 at 9:53 pm

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