Re classifieds: Seen in the Dallas Times Herald when I was a young lass: “Pet turkey free to good home. Must promise not to kill.”]]>
This is what I wrote on the RevenueTwoPointZero blog:
The problem as I see it _not_ “how do we create content?”
We’re experts at content creation and message massage.
Its just that we’ve never been paid for it. _Never_.
Our message, our medium if you’ll pardon the McCluhanism, has always been carried and paid for by the advertisers. They gave us a ride, but only grudgingly.
If we had credibility, they liked our reporting when it was favorable and could take comfort that our alleged media effects were just that, alleged. We were living proof that, as Leibnitz said, “the power of the press belongs to those who own one.”
Now we have some real competition, not for the fruits of our journalistic and entertainment labors, but for the dead trees that we used to print them on. (Yes, we can even extend the metaphor to any physical product which embodies any kind of message, textual, audio, video…)
So lets restate the problem as “How can we deliver a message and get paid?”
That is something quite novel since the actual product of the creation, design, writing, fact checking and editing is the _process_ of content creation and has always been hidden behind the delivered goods.
We have to become far more open about the work, the process, that goes into the creation. No more cliquish awards hidden behind red velvet ropes. We have to be quite visible, bold in our byline, instead of being relegated to moldering in a bibliographical reference.
So, to reiterate, how can we deliver a message and get paid?
By allying ourselves with a service, an existing service, which delivers billions of messages, everyday, all over the planet, for trifling sums.
I refer of course to the international postal services, which in many countries already function as non-lending, non-interest paying ‘cash-flow’ banks. (Stamps and Postal Money Orders are as good as cash, though of limited use. Some postal services accept cash from their customers for the payment of certain bills and will issue cash to their customers for the settlement of certain obligations.)
Now just authorize the postal service for the collection for and delivery of on-line content.
They can take care of collections and delivery of RSS packaged data, regardless of the actual form and format, and issue payments to the originators (say a news organization.)
This would require no changes in their systems or their charters and make the post offices relevant again, apart from the delivery of bad news, bills and junk mail.]]>
Thought you’d like to hear about some newspapers that are actually going strong…I edit the Hudson Reporter chain in Hoboken, North Jersey, a chain of nine news-packed weeklies right across from midtown Manhattan. Here in Sopranosland there is so much to cover – and a shrinking variety of newspapers to do it. We compete with the daily Jersey Jounal, which announced two months ago that they may or may not fold in April. Over the last 10 years it has fallen to some community newspapers like ours to fill in cracks in coverage and at times take the lead, but weeklies are sometimes going out of print as well. In an area with so much hard-hitting news, it’s worrisome that newspapers here have gone out of business in the last few decades. Who is going to keep an eye on things if journalists aren’t here to do it?? Blogs don’t have the resources to track down sources and find out information, although they certainly get some of the news out there and get people talking. This is a problem across the country, so I just wanted to say that I hope the remaining newspapers stay strong and adapt to the current times! We recently redesigned our website so hopefully that will draw more readers to comment and care about local government and their community.]]>