|By Newt Barrett||
|August 3, 2009 09:00 AM EDT||
Local newspapers and business-to-business publications face similar challenges as drastic drops in ad revenue drive equally drastic drops in relevant and compelling content. But for newspapers, ad revenue declines are exacerbated because the highly profitable classified advertising sections have almost disappeared as readers flock to the Internet. Moreover, business-to-business magazines that are well positioned still offer uniquely valuable niche content that helps readers succeed. Their readers still count on them. That’s not so true for our local dailies.
I believe that the potential nail in the coffin for local newspapers is the ease with which readers can access national and international content thanks to the Internet. Conversely, I believe that the potential salvation for local newspapers is to become resoundingly local.
Local Newspaper News Monopoly Disappears
In the heyday of local newspapers they enjoyed a virtual advertising monopoly that was reinforced by an effective information monopoly. That is, in a region like ours, the Naples Daily News was the most obvious source for local, state, national, and even international information. They did a great job of aggregating content that enabled readers to get a good snapshot of everything they likely wanted to know once they had finished their ritual reading of the daily newspaper.
Because most Americans were never blessed by a hometown newspaper like the New York Times or the Washington Post, they read the syndicated content from sources like the Associated Press which was bundled into their local daily. Of course, healthy advertising revenues also supported lots and lots of local news coverage, too. In addition, as we publishing veterans would point out, in many ways the advertising was just as important to readers as the articles.
As an example of the declining relevance of a local newspaper, the Business & Commentary section of the July 4 issue of the Naples daily news underscores the declining impact and relevance of the local press.
- there is no longer a stand-alone business section. It is combined with a commentary section.
- the entirety of the business coverage is on a single page.
- the lead story on that single page comes from the Associated Press and relates, perhaps ironically, to the reinvention of the Saturday Evening Post.
- four news briefs from unnamed wire sources populate a hodgepodge column that includes a story about an oil brokerage firm losing millions to trading
- the two local stories on the page are openly credited to contributions by outside sources, one of which is a local PR firm. They don’t even pretend not to be press releases.
The net effect of this dearth of local news is to reduce the relevance of the newspaper to local readers. I did a quick count of the Sunday edition of the paper and found that in the lead section a tiny fraction of the stories dealt with local issues. Everything else consisted of Associated Press articles on national or state topics.
This formula of combining local and syndicated content for business and other feature stories worked when there was plenty of local information provided and when readers had only expensive, if any, access to sources like the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the London Times. Today, any reader with Internet access can read not only those fine newspapers but what are now effectively daily online editions of Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, The Economist, and a host of other fine business publications.
The unfortunate bottom line is that we rely much less on our local dailies for essential news and information both because we have excellent online alternatives and because there is less compelling local substance.
A Modest Prescription for Local Newspaper Survival
I am certainly not alone in suggesting that local newspapers will have to reinvent themselves in order to survive. But, I believe that a really radical reinvention is required.
Local newspapers need to focus like a laser beam on local coverage. It is the one obvious area where they can outperform any national or international competitor. It is also an area of abiding interest among the local community. We all want to know what is going on with local businesses, growth and development, the local and regional economy, government institutions, community organizations, social activities, entertainment, and much more. Therefore, they need to add, rather than reduce, local content. Perhaps, they could even jettison all that expensive syndicated content completely thereby reducing printing costs while increasing relevance.
The other area of opportunity resides in well organized citizen journalism. I don’t believe that this can be done in the tentative way that is typical of so many publications. For example, The Naples Daily News has opened up virtually all of its articles to commentary in an effort to engage readers. But, because they are unable to monitor the commentary closely, we wind up with a wild array of commentary from the thoughtful to the lunatic fringe. This means that even positive articles or reviews about local companies can be poisoned by unsupervised comments.
This doesn’t mean that citizen journalism cannot work. Quite the contrary. We are blessed with an intelligent, affluent, and informed local population who could almost certainly generate world-class citizen content with the active and enthusiastic supervision of trained editors. We are capable of creating local content that would be so relevant and compelling that it would recapture readers—and all those recaptured readers would lure back the advertisers.
In fact, there are early indications that the Naples Daily News may be moving in this direction. If they do, and if they get it right, I’m confident that our own daily and its newspaper brethren across the country can thrive once more. I certainly wish them well on our collective behalf.
In addition to all the benefits, IoT is also bringing new kind of customer experience challenges - cars that unlock themselves, thermostats turning houses into saunas and baby video monitors broadcasting over the internet. This list can only increase because while IoT services should be intuitive and simple to use, the delivery ecosystem is a myriad of potential problems as IoT explodes complexity. So finding a performance issue is like finding the proverbial needle in the haystack.
Jul. 25, 2016 03:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,143
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develo...
Jul. 25, 2016 01:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,208
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides modern company intranets and team collaboration software, allowing workers to stay connected and productive from anywhere in the world and from any device.
Jul. 25, 2016 01:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,247
Basho Technologies has announced the latest release of Basho Riak TS, version 1.3. Riak TS is an enterprise-grade NoSQL database optimized for Internet of Things (IoT). The open source version enables developers to download the software for free and use it in production as well as make contributions to the code and develop applications around Riak TS. Enhancements to Riak TS make it quick, easy and cost-effective to spin up an instance to test new ideas and build IoT applications. In addition to...
Jul. 25, 2016 12:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,873
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding business opportuni...
Jul. 25, 2016 12:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,483
"We've discovered that after shows 80% if leads that people get, 80% of the conversations end up on the show floor, meaning people forget about it, people forget who they talk to, people forget that there are actual business opportunities to be had here so we try to help out and keep the conversations going," explained Jeff Mesnik, Founder and President of ContentMX, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 24, 2016 11:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,262
“delaPlex Software provides software outsourcing services. We have a hybrid model where we have onshore developers and project managers that we can place anywhere in the U.S. or in Europe,” explained Manish Sachdeva, CEO at delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 24, 2016 11:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,501
From wearable activity trackers to fantasy e-sports, data and technology are transforming the way athletes train for the game and fans engage with their teams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, will present key data findings from leading sports organizations San Francisco 49ers, Orlando Magic NBA team. By utilizing data analytics these sports orgs have recognized new revenue streams, doubled its fan base and streamlined costs at its stadiums. John Paul is the CEO and Founder of VenueNext. Prior ...
Jul. 24, 2016 10:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,983
IoT is rapidly changing the way enterprises are using data to improve business decision-making. In order to derive business value, organizations must unlock insights from the data gathered and then act on these. In their session at @ThingsExpo, Eric Hoffman, Vice President at EastBanc Technologies, and Peter Shashkin, Head of Development Department at EastBanc Technologies, discussed how one organization leveraged IoT, cloud technology and data analysis to improve customer experiences and effi...
Jul. 24, 2016 10:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,956
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform and how we integrate our thinking to solve complicated problems. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, will demonstrate how to move beyond today's coding paradigm ...
Jul. 24, 2016 09:45 PM EDT Reads: 2,126
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Jul. 24, 2016 09:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,465
Big Data engines are powering a lot of service businesses right now. Data is collected from users from wearable technologies, web behaviors, purchase behavior as well as several arbitrary data points we’d never think of. The demand for faster and bigger engines to crunch and serve up the data to services is growing exponentially. You see a LOT of correlation between “Cloud” and “Big Data” but on Big Data and “Hybrid,” where hybrid hosting is the sanest approach to the Big Data Infrastructure pro...
Jul. 24, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,855
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 24, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 2,060
A critical component of any IoT project is what to do with all the data being generated. This data needs to be captured, processed, structured, and stored in a way to facilitate different kinds of queries. Traditional data warehouse and analytical systems are mature technologies that can be used to handle certain kinds of queries, but they are not always well suited to many problems, particularly when there is a need for real-time insights.
Jul. 24, 2016 07:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,697
With 15% of enterprises adopting a hybrid IT strategy, you need to set a plan to integrate hybrid cloud throughout your infrastructure. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Steven Dreher, Director of Solutions Architecture at Green House Data, discussed how to plan for shifting resource requirements, overcome challenges, and implement hybrid IT alongside your existing data center assets. Highlights included anticipating workload, cost and resource calculations, integrating services on both sides...
Jul. 24, 2016 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,931
"We are a well-established player in the application life cycle management market and we also have a very strong version control product," stated Flint Brenton, CEO of CollabNet,, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Jul. 24, 2016 06:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,764
Unless your company can spend a lot of money on new technology, re-engineering your environment and hiring a comprehensive cybersecurity team, you will most likely move to the cloud or seek external service partnerships. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, Darren Guccione, CEO of Keeper Security, revealed what you need to know when it comes to encryption in the cloud.
Jul. 24, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,362
We're entering the post-smartphone era, where wearable gadgets from watches and fitness bands to glasses and health aids will power the next technological revolution. With mass adoption of wearable devices comes a new data ecosystem that must be protected. Wearables open new pathways that facilitate the tracking, sharing and storing of consumers’ personal health, location and daily activity data. Consumers have some idea of the data these devices capture, but most don’t realize how revealing and...
Jul. 24, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 2,037
What are the successful IoT innovations from emerging markets? What are the unique challenges and opportunities from these markets? How did the constraints in connectivity among others lead to groundbreaking insights? In her session at @ThingsExpo, Carmen Feliciano, a Principal at AMDG, will answer all these questions and share how you can apply IoT best practices and frameworks from the emerging markets to your own business.
Jul. 24, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,551
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Jul. 24, 2016 03:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,727