Archives for July 2009

Old Media A Job and New Media A Hobby: The Problems of Free

I was reading through an article on Spiegel Online International and an interview of Chris Anderson, Editor of Wired magazine.  The article goes into detail as to the thoughts of Anderson and how he perceives the idea of new media.  I wanted to pull out some of the quotes from that article and comment on them.  The first of the comments that jumped out and smacked me across the face and it should others in the print media world was his take on the San Francisco Chronicle:

SPIEGEL: Your local newspaper, the San Francisco Chronicle, is fighting for survival. If it was to disappear tomorrow …

Anderson: … I wouldn’t notice. I don’t even know what I’d be missing.

In a word, OUCH.  Up to this point I was forming an argument in my head that the print media was another form of consumable information we all rely on for another take of a news story, but to say that a newspaper’s disappearance has not bearing on your world is a mind-numbing thought.  I wondered what Anderson would think if a statement about Wired would make him have talk differently if it were to shut down tomorrow?  I think he goes into the real reason why that wouldn’t happen, and a take similar to what I inferred with the remaking of BusinessWeek. His take on the cost of old media:

Anderson: The math of profit is pretty easy, revenues minus cost. You do your best on the revenue side and if you are not making money you lower your costs. The problem is not that there isn’t money to be made online, it’s just that our costs are too high.

This seems like a no brainer but for some it seems that this is the mountain they cannot climb.  The problem is that there are people out there giving away the cow for free which is of course the book Anderson released.  He goes into the economy issue:

Anderson: Attention and reputation are two non-monetary economies. The vast majority of people online write for free. We’ve tried paying some of our bloggers and they thought it was insulting. They’re not doing it for the money, they’re doing it for attention and reputation, or just for fun. For example, two years ago, I started this Web site called It’s about being a dad and being a computer geek. We’re writing about how to do things that are fun for kids and fun for dads. It’s a community project, everyone contributes for free but we now have an audience bigger than many newspapers. And there are an infinite number of sites like this out there.

Not only are there an infinite number of sites out there that are doing just as he states, but they are doing it on budgets that most expense accounts could not cover in the traditional industry.  They are providing the news and they are doing it with close to nothing, which is completely game changing in this economy.

I do like the end of the interview when Anderson is asked about charging for his book and they talk about “time is money.”  This is somewhat of a dichotomy since nothing seems to be actually free.  This could be part of the reason we are in this situation to begin with, someone did it for free.

[photo via LA Times]

Tags: Spiegel Online International, , , , , , ,

Jeremy Wright Leaves b5media – netmobs Launches

An old friend of mine is stepping down from b5media and he went public with it today.  I have known for a little while about his plans as we are actually working on a few projects together.  It is nice to see change happen but it can also be a little difficult to adjust.  I […]

TechCrunch Snubbed From Twitter 101 Resource Page

I am not sure that anyone in the tech world has written about Twitter more than the popular news site TechCrunch.  You may have a hard time picking out the single most popular Twitter post since after 38 pages of search results on the subject I lost count of the number of articles.  The most […]

Working In A Virtual World

I used to have an office in Downtown Denver at a place called The Hive, a co-working community office not unlike others we see across the country like Independents Hall and Citizen Agency.  It allowed me to have a place to call my office and yet it didn’t bankrupt my budget.  I do reccomentd this […]

Amazon Purchasing Zappos: Can You Buy Trust?

We are beginning a season of acquisitions and mergers it seems as we hear today with Amazon ((NASDAQ:AMZN) purchasing Zappos for a reported $807 Million. I congratulate Tony and his company of the purchase and it could not happen to a nicer group.  With that said, I am a little cautious about the future of […]

Want To Be Heard On Twitter? Get Added To A Twitter Roll

It used to be that in order to be seen as an influencer or to be really taken seriously in your niche or genre, you had to be on someone’s blogroll.  Being added to a blogroll gave you some credibility and it also helped you get read by others in your group.  You got to […]

The Changing Face of Journalism or Fixing BusinessWeek

I have been a huge fan of BusinessWeek since I can remember.  I am also a big fan because of the likes of Stephen Baker who I have been reading in the blogosphere for quite some time as well.  I found Stephen’s post related to How to Fix BusinessWeek at his The Numerati blog and […]

TechCrunch and The Twitter Documents

I have been following along with the hacked or leak of confidential documents from Twitter that have somehow been sent to Mike Arrington over at TechCrunch.  I am really fascinated, not by the documents or what my possibly be in them, but how the story is being played by the folks at TechCrunch.  Mr. Arrington […]

Blog Comments Help You Learn: The Road To Becoming An Expert

I am not yet an expert, but I am trying to learn to be an expert in my area.  This is why I read experts.  I pay attention to what they are doing and I learn from them. If I listen and store away what they are providing me I garner wisdom.  I read people […]

Common Sense: A Tailor Made Business

I have been doing an inordinate amount of reading and testing and looking and feeling and all the other things I try to do to get a handle on the state of the economy and how social media fits in with marketing, advertising, public relations and all of it, and I had in my mind […]