Thursday, March 22, 2007

Is it TIME yet?

While many are taking guesses at what will enable Internet news sites to become profitable, Time (also in yesterday's WSJ) has focused on content. Not news content, but analysis and opinion by established writers that have a following. The question remains, how to draw readers to online sites and make it profitable. While the reason for the spurt in online readership is simple – you can share it with friends…"I’ll send you the link” instead of “did you see today’s paper?"- it's profitability is still at question.

As long as half my stories in newspapers are coming from the Associated Press, there is no reason for me to read any particular newspaper over another. Placing value on individual writers for the angle they bring to the discussion table will spur more debate and increase reading and sharing of links. What does this mean for advertisers? Not much, at least not yet. When the media “quadruple play” is in full force (the merging of broadcast, audio, print and Web) along with growing fascination with user contributed content, I’m sure there will be plenty to money to go around. However, delivering consistent localized and unique angles will enable newspapers to regain its trust and readership. Relationships will be the key...the way local papers use to do it way back when...

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