By paulgillin | August 29, 2007 - 4:31 am - Posted in Fake News

Three recent items of note:

    MediaPost reports that newspapers have a surprising new competitor in eBay. The auctioneer’s new classified advertising service, which facilitates transactions between people who live near each other, is a potentially powerful force in classified advertising, which is newspapers’ most profitable business. The article goes on to suggest that newspapers should partner with eBay, which is kind of like thanking your host for the glass of poison he’s just offered you.

    The VP of Marketing at Eluma makes a case for news organizations to get local again. In an iMediaConnection opinion piece that’s otherwise a shameless pitch for his company’s products, Joe Lichtenberg cites a B&C/Magid Media Labs study of 2,000 Internet users that found that only 13% use the Web for local news. However, 60% said they’d be likely to use a local TV site for topics that include health, real estate, in-depth sports and local events. Yes, it’s all about local. Years ago, a lot of papers got New York Times-envy and decided to expand their international coverage. They’re paying for that now. The few newspapers that survive the coming nuclear winter will be those that refocus aggressively on local issues and leave White House press conferences to the AP.

    Editor & Publisher, whose coverage of the meltdown of its core market has been largely uninspiring, does come through with a provocative argument by Steve Outing that newspapers should get over their obsession with objectivity. Harking back to the finest days of muckraking, Outing argues that the media’s efforts to tell both sides of the global warming issue is as dumb as telling both sides of the polygamy issue. The fact that some whackos still believe global warming is just a cyclical atmospheric change is no reason to give them equal time. Newspapers should advocate for their readers to get active and do something, Outing says. It’s interesting advice. In the new world in which everyone is an opinion writer, not having an opinion may make newspapers look clueless.



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Comments Off on Interesting reading


  1. September 27, 2007 @ 7:51 am

    Hi Paul,

    Thank you for your mention of Eluma and our article in iMedia Connection. I was surprised by your characterization of the article as a shameless pitch for our products, however.

    For example: adding Digg- and YouTube-like functionality to your website, and USA Today’s Web 2.0 efforts have nothing to do with our products, and instead are much more along the lines of what you can do with products like and kickapps than with what Eluma provides. Regarding WHDH-TV, I had hoped that WHDH-TV’s experiences would be a welcome data point and food for thought for others in the industry.

    I would also invite your readers to check out my blog at, which is also not a forum for pitching our products, but are my thoughts and observations on best practices for marketers to leverage the various Web 2.0 technologies to better engage with their users.

    Best regards,


    Posted by Joe Lichtenberg
  2. October 2, 2007 @ 4:08 am

    I’ll let readers decide on that one, Joe. Seems to me the point of the piece was to tee up the value of desktop widgets which, not surprisingly, are Eluma’s business. That isn’t a slap; every other marketing VP tries to place the same kind of piece.

    In any case, thanks for some interesting data and for stopping by to comment.

    Posted by paulgillin