New job is great – but the ying to the media companies yang

Its kind of funny – I worked at the Gazette for 7 of the last 11 years.  All I did was complain how slow things moved.  I was like – “Hey, lets launch the newspaper site today” taunting them to say yes, but knowing they never would.

Fast-forward to now, I received an email today that said we need to look over the list of to-do’s, instead of launching Friday let’s see about Wednesday.  Get you list together and see what we can and cannot get done.

ClickStop is a killer company and when I interviewed my future boss Shaun said “things move fast here”.  I was like, yea – I’m looking forward to it – and I was.  I just am so amazed at the speed of this business…it’s great

I cannot say that I have made it up to speed yet – but I can guarantee I’m spooling up.

Be on the look out for the redesign of two of our web properties soon – one is called Body Bling (a site which sells all sorts of cool jewelery for all areas of you body) and Truwell (a site for liquid vitamins and suppliments)

Please check them out near the end of the week and let us know what you think.

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The million dollar idea

It’s funny, the newspaper I work for is trying hard – but spinning its tires a lot.  We’ve gone from build a “super blog” network, to atomizing all content into a distribution engine to looking for the “million dollar idea”.  It’s crazy, but it is possible to make a million with a blog.

Here is a quote from a post which outlines the process:

that blog is read by over 3 million readers a month and is quickly paying my mortgage – in fact in November it generated more than $100,000, most of that in a week

WOW.  Unreal?  Not really.  But here is what I left out:

Today, 3 and a half years later, that blog is read by over 3 million readers a month and is quickly paying my mortgage – in fact in November it generated more than $100,000, most of that in a week after launching a Portrait Photography Tips E-book.

See, it’s not the fact that a million dollar idea/or blog is not possible.  It’s the how to do it part we miss.

We need good content, we need to nuture the people who come, we need to let those people become a part of the site and you have to hustle.

Check out the full article.

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The new divide: Walled v. open

The walled garden at the demolished Bellfield ...
Image via Wikipedia

I have not been paying a lot of attention to Jeff Jarvis lately – but his recent post hit home.  Maybe it was the friendly objection via a co-workers tweet to my re-tweet, but either way – this is a good read.

Here are a few of the better quotes IMO:

The momentum is toward including ever more data. But now come Murdoch and Microsoft, threatening to take their balls and go home.

But I would hate to see walls go up just as we are tearing them down.

Rusbridger reminds us that advertising freed newspapers from ownership and control by political parties and special interests who exercised that control via patronage. Advertising gave journalism independence. Advertising also subsidized news and reduced its cost so more people could get it.

There are many more – check it out, and good news.  It’s free to read and free to be commented on!  :)

The new divide: Walled v. open

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Charging for Hulu? Newspapers better watch this one.

Image representing Jonathan Miller as depicted...
Image via CrunchBase

After all the buzz around the ‘net about Hulu and charging for content in 2010 – this may be the show newspapers are waiting for.

The big question, of course, will it stick.  Hulu has some very impressive numbers going into 2010.  But what will that look like if they put up a pay gate?

…Jonathan Miller, News Corp.’s newly-installed chief digital officer, said he envisions a future where at least some of the TV shows and movies on Hulu…are available only to subscribers.

The big question is – How much?, What shows are protected? and Who will pay?

I personally have loved Hulu from the beta days and find it to be a great alternative to cable.  If, for a low fee – under $5, could get access to the shows they have now and a few more…may go for it.  But, I don’t want to wait a week for content.  I don’t want to see that content disappear in 4 episodes and I want more.

I think newspaper people will be eagerly watching too:

Miller also talked about what he thinks newspapers will have to do to convince readers to pay for articles that they’re used to getting free on the web.

So grab a seat.  Let’s see wat happens when they flip the switch.  More to come.


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AT&T – big, bad and high tech

Image representing iPhone as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

After reading my CEO’s blog today – it made me think about my “call” with AT&T on Saturday.  I’ve recently signed up for an iPhone from AT&T.

Onto the story – I took a motorcycle ride on Saturday to meet a friend’s son for lunch.  When we arrived at the restaurant, I checked the and had two voice messages.  One was a friend and the other was AT&T.  I had not set-up my payments on my online billpay yet, so I had not made a payment.  I was basically behind.  Not intentionally – but I really just not gotten around to it.

So I called the 800 number and 2:31 (two minutes – thirty second later, I checked) I was done.  I had made a bank transfer of funds.  Now some will get a bit freaked out – but I’m saying thank you.

Firstly – you can take the iPhone when you pry it out of my cold dead hands.  The iPhone is awesome.  Seriously – 10x better than any other phone I’ve used.  Secondly – 2:31 seconds for me to pay my bill – COME ON!

Now – what does that have to do with newspapers and media?  Well – it goes back to what Chuck said in the blog post.

I do not believe that human nature is changing. However, we are learning new behaviors, using new tools.

Exactly.  I felt too busy to pay the phone bill.  I could have, but just chose not to.  But AT&T was cool with that and changed their behavior to adapt to my crappy ways.

So – what have we (as media companies) done to change what we do for people?  Do we even know who the people are?  What they do? What they want?  We have no clue what our people want or desire.

Just think what we could do if we knew the audience.  We have tens of sites, if we had all that data – plus the TV station, plus the newspaper and it was all available.  We could really know who they are and what they do and why they do what they do and that they may want you to let them pay the bill over a text message.

That would be good…but we don’t.  And we need to figure that out too.

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