Chuck's Q Blog

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Just another ICM blog

Making a buck online

I was talking to someone a few weeks ago who didn’t understand why newspapers publish their stories online for free but make people pay for the print version.

Good question. As soon as they figure out how to charge for the information online — without stifling traffic — they will. It’s a pretty fine line; one the industry is struggling with.

When most newspapers and magazines went to the Web, nearly everything there was free for the taking. Advertising was expected to support the sites — the same as in print — but since the Web gave everyone the ability to become a publisher overnight, a flood of cheap ad placement opportunities diluted the revenue stream.

Many publications attempted to charge for their websites, but even when the fees were modest, the concept was a turnoff to people who only read the paper online.  Read the rest of this entry »

A note on Nieman

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A blog I’ve been following for a while (mostly through its Facebook and Twitter posts) is the Nieman Journalism Lab‘s blog, which is a product of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard University. On its “about” page, it says:

The Nieman Journalism Lab is an attempt to help journalism figure out its future in an Internet age.

and, as I mentioned in the first post, I’m all about that. Along with industry-specific observations, there are posts and links to stories about interactive media in general. It’s become a daily read.

A post today called “Micropayments and the power of free” is especially interesting because it references Chris Anderson’s book “Free,” which I’ve been listening to, in connection with a pricing experiment for an iPhone app, which I’m hoping will be on the drawing board for my publication sooner than later.

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