Christian Conservative Christian "Independent"

I'm an evangelical Christian, member of the CPC, but presently & unjustly exiled to wander the political wilderness.
All opinions expressed here are solely my own.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Charging for news on the Internet

There's lots of talk these days about papers starting to charge for their articles, AGAIN, seeking to make up for "lost revenues" and such. Here's my take on the issue, which I think it reflected by a lot of bloggers... if it ain't free, we'll just get our news elsewhere. And when we post our stories, we'll just refer our readers to the free version, instead of yours.

It's really that simple. Media organizations have clearly not gotten the message, as many are considering putting up firewalls once again. A big part of the problem is, however, that they're spending MILLIONS of dollars on website redevelopment projects, trying to make their sites the slickest, integrating tons of features and extra content. Quite frankly, that's not what I'm interested in. When I hit a newspaper website, all I want is the article in question. THAT'S IT. I don't go there for the "extras". If I want the "extras", I'll go to somewhere like the CBC's or CTV's websites.

Just to break it down and make it easier for the execs... it's strictly your CONTENT that I want, based on the writing of your particular writers. You pick good journalists who put forward an interesting take on a major story, and I'll likely pick up and re-broadcast YOUR content... instead of the other guys. Or, quite frankly, maybe your idiot of an author, who's moronic screeds I'll forward too. But I'm not interested in any of the other stuff you're trying to provide, SO DON'T BOTHER WASTING YOUR/MY MONEY!!!

As you can see, it's clearly not worked... so just stick to what you're good at. Investigative stores. Series on a particular issue of interest. REPORTING THE NEWS. Opinion and analysis. You know, the kind of thing you did in "the good old days" before the internet. If you stick to that, keep your websites simple, AND KEEP THEM FREE, then your current online ad revenues should at least keep your web operations going. But will it ENHANCE your bottom line? I don't think so... but I pretty much assure you that charging online for your content WILL hurt your bottom line, as readers/bloggers tune you out, and start looking for content elsewhere.

My rant/screed on this one, take it or leave it. But know that if you ignore it, you'll likely be hurting yourself in the long term. That's because today's youth DEMAND that content online be "FREE", and will en mass ignore media organizations that don't follow that dictum. And today's youth WILL be your future subscribers... or your competitors subscribers. You choose.

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4 Comments:

  • At Sat Mar 13, 11:03:00 AM EST, Blogger The Christian Heretic said…

    Amen!

     
  • At Sat Mar 13, 02:48:00 PM EST, Blogger bertie said…

    AND....Dear Editor,your spin on the story will also be a factor on whether you survive or go bankrupt.In other word's we are all tired of the BS..If we see Pm Harper give a speech and then pick up your paper and see his words twisted out of context,so as to be actual lies,your gonna be gone a lot faster than you think.It has been going on for too long now and we Canadian readers are not taking it anymore...DO YOU HEAR US Mr Editor

     
  • At Sat Mar 13, 06:47:00 PM EST, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    A couple of US online papers I used to visit have already gone "subscription". They show you the headline and that's that.

    So dumb and totally ineffective because all I had to do was run a search based on that headline and up popped dozens of other "free" sources.

    Those who are going the route of charging will be the first to bite the dust. Good riddance.
    MariaS

     
  • At Sun Mar 14, 12:21:00 AM EST, Blogger Anon1152 said…

    Confession: I like my content free; I am frustrated when it is not free. But I know that at some point, someone has to pay. And online ads probably wont (or aren't) covering it. I rarely if ever click on them...

    If ANYTHING is "free" for us, we need to ask ourselves: "who's paying?".

    If the price is low... then someone else is paying.

    And they may be getting their money's worth.

     

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