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Disclosure is a touchy subject when it comes to blogging and digital journalism. Most of the time, the debate is centered on when disclosure is necessary. But what happens when disclosure isn't enough?
As I was going through my feed reader yesterday, I came across a post on Silicon Alley Insider (SAI) that serves as the perfect example of why a debate about journalistic ethics and standards online can't be limited to the topic of disclosure.
If there was any group of individuals that you would expect to fight copyright holders to the bloody end, the people behind The Pirate Bay (TPB) were it. But apparently, a costly legal defeat can really take the wind out of just about any pirate's sails.
According to a press release issued today, the owners of TBP have sold TBP to publicly-traded software company Global Gaming Factory X (GGF) for $7.8m and GGF "intends to launch new business models that allow compensation to the content providers and copyright owners".
Comcast and Time Warner are pairing up to offer more of their content for free online — to people who already subscribe to their cable channels on television. Starting in July, the cable companies will let a group of about 5,000 subscribers access that content online.
The new model will make it harder for people to access television content online for free. And while cable companies will not yet be able to monetize online viewing as profitably as they do offline, the migration of their content online should help them get a foot in the door for charging for that content down the road.
Linkbait. It's sort of like foie gras and champagne. Even if it's not your favorite meal, chances are most consumers won't turn it down.
But as a website owner, is linkbait the meal you should be preparing every day?
As consumers, we are all extraordinarily powerful these days. The wonderful web offers us the chance to hunt out the very best bargains, to research our purchases thoroughly and to read up on what other consumers have to say about products.
It's an excellent time to be a shopper and service user, but for retailers and service providers this presents many new challenges. Some businesses have embraced the way the web has transformed their customer base but others have been slow in catching up.
What's the appeal of entertaining mobile answer services? For example, were you one of the almost North American 500 mobile ChaCha text questioners wanting to know the running time for "Angels and Demons"? If so, why? Are we so busy that we would choose a movie based on its running time?
The nifty thing about ChaCha (tagline: ur mobile bff) is it isn't mobile-only. You can visit the website to query the types of questions submitted and read the responses. Following, are some of the more interesting queries about "Angels and Demons":
Newspapers have been let down by online advertising in the past few years. While many have grown the size of their readership online, income online has not eclipsed — or even matched — the loss of revenue in print products. The outlook is getting so bad that many newspapers have discussed banning together to charge for content. But they might not want to abandon their advertising model just yet.
According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, newspapers will see online advertising growth in the coming years. While the numbers are modest (1.8% growth by 2011 and 7.8% in 2012), they are a sliver of sunlight in an otherwise depressing forecast.
PriceWaterhouse expects print advertising to fall over $12 billion, from $36.7 billion in 2008 to $24.3 billion in 2013.
Earlier this month, I wrote about reports that Google's Matt Cutts had essentially told an audience at the SMX Advanced conference that PageRank sculpting was a worthless exercise.
In a new post on his blog, Cutts provides some much-needed clarification.
The Wordpress platform has matured into a remarkably powerful content management platform, and a free one at that. And it just got better.
Matt Mullenweg today announced the release of the latest version of Wordpress, version 2.8.
Craigslist's business model may not seem aggressive — most of the classifieds site's content is posted free — but its community-based model is on track to rake in revenue this year. Craigslist.org is projected to earn $100 million in revenue according to a study by the AIM Group.
And part of the secret sauce is in the Craigslist community. Instead of focusing on generating revenue, Craigslist says it relies on “local communities to suggest ways to make money without compromising craigslist” And that appears to be working, and CEO Craig Newmark says that he is “constantly engaged in community service,” and the site is heavily focused on engaging its community of users.
Most postings on the site are free, but the company charges recruiters and real estate brokers in major cities between $10 and $75 to post job and property listings. 80% of the projected revenue is expected to come from the more than 1 million job listings Craigslist posts a month, with real estate making up the remainder.
In contrast, newspaper ad revenues are down 29%, according to the Newspaper Association of America.
The journalism debates continue. In a New York Times piece this weekend, Damon Darlin takes aim at the blogosphere and accuses bloggers like TechCrunch's Michael Arrington of taking a "truth-be-damned approach".
Not surprisingly, it has sparked a flurry of responses, including from Arrington, who claims that Darlin took some of his comments out of context.
No one knows the silver bullet that will save media companies struggling to survive in today's economy, but more than a few media execs are certain of one thing: there will be a premium on trust. Speaking at IWantMedia's Future of Media: 2009 panel, Nick Denton, Craig Newmark and Jack Dorsey were agreed that success online will increasingly depend on consumer trust. (video here)
According to Newmark, the founder of Craig's List: "Trust is the new black."
This is increasingly a concern for media companies dependent on ads for revenue for a good reason: consumers don't trust advertising.