Monday, March 21, 2011

Good Luck With That

It's always my basic response when online newspaper paywalls go up. I actually mean it, even though I also don't expect most entities to have much luck. And every minute spent obsessing about the fact that your readers don't pay to read your product is a minute not spent trying innovate in other ways. From the beginning newspapers were high traffic sites, and they could have leveraged that into basically everything that does make money on the internet. Online dating. Social Networking. Working with advertisers to create more effective online ads (I think the biggest problem with most online advertising is that the landing pages suck). Online coupons. The internet equivalent of the "Real Estate" and "Auto" sections which were of course all about packaging advertising, and not really about the paltry content attached to it.

Obviously some of this is just saying "if only the New York Times had invented Facebook..." But the point is that newspapers should have hired smart people who were interested in making money on the internet, people who were always on the lookout for good ideas which they could adapt and use, instead of spending years trying to figure out how to get $10 a month out of their readers.