Friday, March 23, 2012

Wired tries out a new, maybe-intrustive ad technology

Remember that scene in "Minority Report" when Tom Cruse enters a store and is inundated with advertising messages. There's a new advertising wrinkle that seems to offer the potential of something similar happening when you get near a magazine.

Wired magazine reportedly is placing a new technology called near field communication chips in it's April issue. If your mobile device (that's the umbrella term for smart phones, etc.) gets near the magazine, it'll suddenly be showing a demo of the new Lexus and it's fancy electronic apps.

I realize I'm old fashioned (heck, I'm just plain old, at least in terms of digital generations), and I love QR code technology, but I think I like me choosing what ads to watch, not the magazine.

Layoffs all over the place, but not newspapers -- today

Not a lot of good news out there today. Actually, there's a plethora of bad news with layoffs at CNN (cuts seem to be in long-form TV journalism as the network readies outsourcing and acquisition plans), Bloomberg (switching to a "digital-centric" model, which means replacing TV jobs with digital ones), and AOL (not many details yet, but it's the second wave of layoffs this week).

What's it all mean? Just that the industry shakeup continues with no segment stable.

Monday, March 19, 2012

How much online video should newspapers use?

There's an interesting discussion on about the philosophical differences among newspapers on how to use video. Using the Wall Street Journal, which is spreading video all over the place, and the New York Times, using two stories a day, as bookends, the story discusses the pros and cons of newspapers getting into the video business.

The reason behind it, of course, is money. The story says ad dollars are flowing to the video-heavy sites.

I'd pick up on a point deep into the PaidContent story to suggest a reason why some news organizations might be leery of too much video. The story says one potential problem is that "much of the content is virtually unwatchable. While viewers may accept a clip that lacks studio-style polish, they will probably balk at a six-minute clip of a fidgety print reporter who can’t make eye contact with the camera."

Given that professional sites are attempting to build on their professionalism, poor video seems to me to be a very bad choice.

Traditional news sites outshine social media sites

Despite what you might have heard, social media has not taken over the news business. In fact, only 9 percent of American adults say they get their news direction from Facebook or Twitter. Most continue to go directly to news websites, use keyword searches or aggregators.

That's really not much of a surprise to me. Admittedly I'm older than many in the Pew Research Survey, and the survey has much, much more than just this number (frankly, the spread of mobile technology and the somewhat surprising fact that is building on loyalty for traditional news sites are much more important), but we hear so much about social media -- which is gobbling up so much of the advertising dollar -- that it's welcome to have some sanity returned to the business.

In short, readers trust old brands for news. They also like news-specific sites for their news reporting while leaving the latest friend checking in at Appleby's or niece needing a piece for Farmville to social media.