Daily Archives: July 1, 2008

Mashup: Newspaper prints online comments

Newspapers may be a threatened species, but I have seen many signs of a whole new business model emerging.

The Arizona Republic, whose online self is at is a fine blend of print and online. It has begun to print readers comments, a section called ‘photos by you,’ a thumbnail of a video with the keyword (for searching), and a quote culled from a blogger at All this appeared in last Saturday’s paper.

It goes beyond just displaying these. The headline of a section featuring 10 comments about a map for a soon to be implemented Light Rail sums up the comments with the headline “Light-rail map rated mostly a thumbs-up.” (There were actually 43 online comments by Saturday.) The thumbs up reference was about an icon letting online readers approve or disapprove a comment.

A hybrid news system is surely in the making. In Europe several newspapers have embraced the print and online mashup, with where reader contributions are news. The survival of the business model like OhMyNews, which has 3,000 ‘reporters’ in over 100 countries, bodes well for a different kind of news delivery.

As the Newspaper Association of America puts it, “The revolution will be downloaded.” And for those of us who may not want to download the days news and commentary on an iPhone or sip it through an RSS reader, it may be blended with the digital version, printed and delivered to our doorstep too.

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Posted by on July 1, 2008 in Social Media


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Associated Press could learn from Britannica

The attribution war between the Associated Press and bloggers may end somewhat amicably, but the problem is not going away.

Businessweek has called it “an early skirmish in what’s likely to become a protracted war over how and where media content is published online.” Who knows, one day they may involved in one.

The “AP way,” as Jeff Jarvis called it, may go down as trying to establish a top-down business approach in a bottom-up world. Or to put it another way, trying to force ‘monetization’ through the funnel of ‘syndication.’

It’s an odd time to try to lock down content and charge for it. I recently tried out Encyclopedia Britannica (and interviewed Tom Panelas) and came to the conclusion that instead of trying to set up snipers on the ramparts of the walled garden, Britannica has basically decided to create a new type of walled garden –leaving the keys to the entrance under the mat, so to speak. If a 240-year company can recognize the value in collaboration not confrontation, a ‘younger’ content repository like AP could surely follow suit.

If they don’t want to take a leaf from the page of Britannica, how about this experiment by David Balter of BzzAgent? He’s simultaneously selling and giving away (free download) a book called Word of Mouth Manual Volume II.

“Crazy like a fox, that Balter,” says Todd Defren, whose blog PR Squared is one of the venues selected to allow those free downloads.

“Protection is no strategy for the future,” says Jarvis.

“Content wants to lose the handcuffs,” says little old me.

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Posted by on July 1, 2008 in Disruptive, Media, Social Media


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