News of the Week

Interesting news from around the web:

  • The LA Times gives a fascinating look at the real value of journalism in the world. In the article, Susan D. Moeller and Moisés Naím talk about the deaths of reporters in search of truth, including the recent death of Anna Politkovskaya.

    “It is harder to quash the millions of citizen-journalists armed with photos and videos and blogs than it is to silence a single, bothersome reporter such as Politkovskaya. Yet her investigations and the work of the other professionals provide the unambiguous evidence and credible “content” — documents, sources, doggedly checked and rechecked details — we desperately need for a functioning, civilized, democratic and ultimately free society.”

  • Danish news media are embracing an interesting blend of web and print:

    “From this autumn on, the Danish news industry will experience a radical change, bringing life to new media and new distribution-channels, potentially altering the concept of “newspaper”, news-website and threatening to wipe out major players from the market.”

    (linked via Doc Searls)

  • Fred Wilson looks at the flaws of online metrics, comparing comScore to Alexa:

    “Billions of dollars are getting spent right now on capturing Internet audiences. But we can’t even measure them correctly.”

  • Advertising Age digs into magazine ad revenue for 2006:

    “…after a first half that was “down” 0.2% and a first quarter that was “up” 0.4%, it’s safe to say the business is struggling to sell more pages.”

  • Jakob Nielsen gives the reality of user participation online, and explores ways to increase it:
  • “In most online communities, 90% of users are lurkers who never contribute, 9% of users contribute a little, and 1% of users account for almost all the action.”

  • Read/Write Web looks at some upgrades to key platforms that should increase RSS usage next year, including:
    • Internet Explorer 7 from Microsoft & RSS integration into Outlook 2007.
    • MySpace Widget Platform
    • Yahoo Mail
    • Google Reader
  • Advertising Age explores how sales reps at newspaper and magazine companies sell digital ads:

    “By now most magazine and newspaper publishers will tell you they have answered the digital revolution’s call by transforming their sales reps into brand strategists from parochial media advocates of either print or web. But in reality, a team of brand strategists doesn’t always fill the bill.”

  • Fred Wilson looks at the value of ads within RSS feeds:

    “But here’s the problem with focusing on the blog page. Less than half of all my impressions last month happened on my site. I delivered about 300,000 ad impressions in September. Over 60% of them were in my feed. That’s right, sixty percent.”