Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Digital pushes newspapers; JS print gains

Digital editions continue to push newspaper circulation. A study of the top 25 newspapers showed a 63 percent gain in digital viewers. This offset declines in printed circulations among them.

Meanwhile, the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel reported gains in both digital and print daily subscribers (Sunday print was off), and announced plans to erect a paywall in the spring.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

St. Petersburg Times to change names

The St. Petersburg Times, long noted for its strong journalism, will become the Tampa Bay Times starting Jan. 1. For some reason, it made me think of how what once was Wisconsin's largest bank with the franchise name of First Wisconsin Bank changed its name to some forgettable generic banking name so undistinctive that I can't even remember what it's called now.

Going back to when television stations all lost their distinctiveness thanks to reliance on outside "consultants," media managements have been driving their once-distinctive operations into faceless entities that, when they die (as more and more do), nobody mourns. I'll miss the St. Pete Times.

Study shows problems with ad opt out policies

For a long time I've felt the biggest impediment facing the online media world was secrecy and confusion. For more evidence of the potential, Online Media outlines a new report "Why Johnny Can't Opt Out" that concludes most consumers can't figure out how to opt out of online behavioral advertising.

The report, by researchers at Carnegie Mellon, found usability flaws in all nine methods tested. It's a sad commentary when the self-regulating online advertising business deliberately makes it hard to opt out (and I say deliberately because it's not that difficult to put in easily-understood opt out mechanisms -- if you want to).

How many consumers will get frustrated and just bail. I personally know several who are no longer on Facebook because of its seemingly never-ending changes to its opt out policies.