Thursday, August 7, 2008

Just my opinion.

At newspapers today it’s about revenue and finding the bottom line. Generally, I think the people on the top are great with numbers but that's all they can wrap their head around. For the most part, I don't think they are conceptual thinkers. You know, see the forest through the tree if you will.

I read a blog by a former LA Times reporter William Lobdell, Scroll down to "42 things I know". He made 42 points about his views of the newspaper business and it wows. He made a point about Google and Yahoo that I agree with and I would like to take it a step further. One person’s comment proves my point. He said, he was a small business owner who spends his advertising money with Google for key wording and it has tripled his business.

Lobdell said papers should team up with Yahoo or Google.

If I were Google, I would be thinking what could you offer me? News content? News content is readily available and free.

If a giant like Google made a concerted effort to take over and dominate Internet advertising, I believe they could, without to much effort. The revenue loses for newspapers would continue to decline much as they are with classified advertising going to craigslist.

Imagine newspapers having to pay Google for advertising. Similar to what they already do with wire services.

Newspapers put advertising on their home pages. Jumping, giggling annoying ads that people hate and avoid like the plague. It doesn’t work folks. Gee, maybe a new way would be refreshing. Remember the old day's when mom would say; I buy the paper for the coupons. Direct people to an interactive individual page where there are printable coupons and other bonus advertising campaigns where people can "save money". Get the crap that does not work off the home page!

Like Lobdell said the people on top are slow to respond to the changing times. I don't know what goes on in the big guys office but I would agree from where I sit. It seems things move at a snail's pace. I hope they wake up before its to late. It seems print media companies are desperately trying to save the print product while innovative thinkers are thinking of ways to grow their business on the Internet. Two years ago we had the "web first" initiative at our paper. That lasted 8 months. Due to sinking revenue and declining circulation we're back to the print first initiative. OMG!

If advertisers go to Google and classifieds continue to go to Greg's List where does that leave newspapers revenue growth? Subscribers? Ops! We let them go when we decided to give the paper away for free in hopes of generating new print advertisers.

I know this sounds crazy but it could happen. Lobdell's commenter who is an advertiser is already giving his money to a system that works.


deannadent said...

I agree, something needs to change, print will still be around, but not in the form of daily news.

I think these web giants should merge with local news sources to provide content for their searches/pages. So your IP address might dictate some introductory content on your page. (ie you type in from my IP address and top tempe/phoenix stories are listed at the bottom of the page before you do your search?)

Who knows :)

Bettina Hansen said...

Just what I was thinking, Deanna. You can already do that, with iGoogle, but you have to sign up for what content you want fed to you.