Wednesday, December 21, 2011

News tops local searches, survey finds

And if we need more evidence that news sells, a new survey by Google shows that news sites top local searches. News sells.

The Atlantic makes its mark online

An interesting take on the Atlantic demonstrates how concentrating on content can save media operations. Mashable Business demonstrates how going digital can lead to profits for a magazine operation.

It turned things around by hiring good people, and making their work available to all on the Internet.

A big part of the success goes to the Atlantic Wire, on which staffers " synthesize and analyze the takes from the U.S.’s leading commentators in rapid, pithy blog posts," with links to the original. It's a lot like the Utne Reader in its early days when I read it so that I would know what other magazines to read (and what to skip). The Atlantic Wire is mostly opinion, but that's OK. Opinion is what drives the Net. After all, opinion is just more content.

'Tis the season for more stupidity

I know, I know. 'Tis the season to be jolly and merry, but the continuing stupidity of media managers staggers me. Newspaper jobs took a steep decline last year with the bulk of them in newsrooms. The Newsosaur blog has come nice thoughts on what's been happening (and be sure to read the comments for more).

To those struggling managers who sigh and say, "Well, things are bad so we had to cut somewhere," I reply: It's all about content and how stupid are you to cut content when we know there is a direct line between content and readers/viewers and profits?

Last night I was talking about something similar with a friend. I'm fortunate enough to live in a city -- Milwaukee -- where the newspaper does good work. On what it can. Its problem is that it has cut back so much that it can't cover most news. Its three Pulitzers in four years and innumerable other great investigative pieces don't make up for the fact its not even covering the basics -- like the revolution going on in our state after state government was take over by a fringe. My friend's comment? "That's why Patch is handing them their lunch." And Patch is doing it with people who were pushed out of the Journal Sentinel. Am I getting more news from Patch than from the Journal Sentinel? No. But I am getting more news from the variety of Internet locations, including some very sharp blogs.

Meanwhile the Journal Sentinel continued its layoffs. And they included secretaries and photographers -- but not CEOs or vice presidents. They don't produce content.