Saturday, March 31, 2007

What bloggers can learn from Homer Simpson

Two things:

1. Let everyone have a blog
So that we no longer have to suffer from the monopolistic ways of old media behemoths.

In my favorite Simpsons episode, Mr. Burns (Springfield’s richest man) buys off all media properties in the town, leaving it to Lisa Simpson, Homer’s precocious daughter to fight Mr. Burns’s power with her mimeographed single page newspaper. Eventually, Mr. Burns manages to discourage Lisa. Next, Homer takes up Lisa’s cause and comes with his own single page paper, followed by every Springfield citizen rolling and hawking one’s own paper, putting Mr. Burns’s power to dust.

So, my dear, friends, even if you don’t make a single a penny out of your blog, remember this: whenever, you feel your voice is being suppressed by the system or anything else out there, your blog will always be there.

Speak out. Break the shell.

Writing about IDG founder Patrick McGovern’s attack on fellow media heavyweight John Battelle, Rex Hammock says,
When everyone blogs, all sides of a story can be aired
You may give Rex the Nobel prize for this line.

2. Be yourself
Homer is a glutton. Homer is lazy at work (that’s putting it mildly). While other 40 year olds are busy toning off their bodies like 20 year olds, Homer is proud of his belly. Homer is himself and his family and friends are happy with him the way he is.

As a blogger, you might look at others and think, "Why can’t a write this way or that way?" Why can’t I be clear and concise? (Though there are merits with being concise) As long you being true to yourself and keep writing what you truly believe in, in due time, you will have found your own unique voice - which may be coarse, provincial, bitchy, or whatever.

But, it will be your voice. Unique, like Homer Simpson's personality.

Blog on.


For your consideration: The ‘1%creator vs. the 99% consumer’ meme

"Ozmandias, don't be too proud."

I have seen the ‘web 2.0 as time-waster meme’ grow fast these couple of days – people busying themselves with dissing the new habits:

- monitoring social news sites
- exploring, Flickr and Technorati tags.
- watching the videos on Youtube and others
- reading the latest celeb/gadget dirt on blogs
- commenting on the latest political/techie opinions and memes (like the present web 2.0 one)
- trolling and spamming Myspace, Orkut, Facebook and others.
- using the Gtalk embed in Gmail thoroughout the day.
- checking out the latest distracters, Twitter and Tumbler.

Aaron Swartz
, Reddit co-founder writes about the ‘the 1% creator and 99% consumer issue’:

Technology was supposed to let us solve … problems. But technology never solves things by itself. At bottom, it requires people to sit down and build tools that solve them. Which, as long as programmers are all competing to create the world's most popular timewaster, it doesn't seem like anyone is going to do.

However, all this not new. The 99% is always a consumer. Our media diet has changed with technology, that’s all there is to it.

What do 7 billion humans do to pass time? Bertrand Russell said that the greatest challenge of humanity is to deal with boredom. Russell thought that a reason we wage wars was because we do not get ample opportunities to sing, dance and play.

At best, most top paying jobs do not require full-time physical labor. Who best to endorse it than the (yet another) batch from top business schools vying for investment banking jobs? When we are not working, we are traveling. Again, how do we pass time if we do not have to dispose of e-mail spam or work at a presentation (I love this cliché. The hero working at a presentation to save the company? Yes , that one.)

One could go on and on.

The 1% should be happy for the 99% who who often pay their bills.
You don’t fear the 99% - they are not the Persians of “300”.


Thursday, March 29, 2007

What bloggers can learn from Sanjaya Malakar

1. Target a profitable niche:
Pander to the taste of 10-14 year olds and you will go a far way. The 10-14 year is a very profitable demographic.

2. Have a USP:
The kid obviously can’t sing. However, knowingly or not he has a USP ready – his hair – changing with every show.

3. Monetize smartly:
Past AI winners have been adult oriented and except perhaps Kelly Clarkeson to some extension, have not been as popular as regular pop stars. Jennifer Hudson did not win AI but made it big in the movie business. Sanjaya, with his following of 10-14 year olds can hope to sell more CDs on basis of looks alone; his tiny unremarkable voice is a side show. Even if Sanjaya does not win, he has a ready- to- exploit Teeny weeny pop career within easy grasp.

Many bloggers, including yours truly write for a broad, smart and mostly adult audience.
Result: few adsense clicks.

Gadgets sites know this and focus on 18-34 YTM demographic (Young, Techie, Male) who are forever covering the yet another useless new doodad, but the click thoroughs are better.

4. Confuse the competition, look at a bigger picture:
Many think Sanjaya survives because of the Indian-American vote. He is not concerned about his heritage but he is assured that his great AI run will help him earn his bread in future.

Lesson: blog well and often your future employers might 'Google' you and find what you are all about. Savvy?

Come on, we are not that jingoistic, or, are we?


Media dystopia: it isn’t happening

JD Lasica at Social Media, co-founder of Ourmedia among other notable things, links to videos of Dan Gillmore talking about 1. the future of newspapers and 2. about the dangers from Telcos and cable companies.

Here is what I think.

1. Are we losing professional journalists as newspapers die?

That is a scary thought. Commenting on the negative aspects of Wikinews, Jimmy Wales once said that where Wikinews and other Citizen Media lagged behind traditional ones such as The New York Times was traditional hardcore investigative reporting, on the spot reporting and related stuff, which the trained journalist is perhaps better trained to do.

Taking an idea from the Future of news article on this blog, IMHO, professional journalists will need support in terms of donation drives (NPR), Pro-Am ventures (Assignment Zero), support from big guns (Craig Newmark funded New Assignment), support from Non-profits established especially to fund quality journalism.

Idea: Maybe, Bill Gates can do PR one-up on Google by creating a Citizen Media foundation with a $1 billion corpus aimed to fund local level quality journalism.

2. The influence of cable companies and Telcos who may control what we see.
We read about similar stuff during the Internet rising of 1993-onwards, when talks of 500 channels, controlling the last mile were entering the lexicon.

Think of it this way: after cheap PCs & server space which is fueling the so called Web 2.0 startup boom, bandwidth and access charges are next in line to crash.

Moreover, disruptive technologies including Wimax, Bluetooth-enabled local P2P servers, Open source mobile phones and others will soon start creating headaches for the big guns.

Rather, the main challenge for many publishers will be to keep calm, adapt fast and continue creating great pieces of journalism.

There will be many other changes and I am sure things are not as bad as they are. This is not the first time an industry has cried out in agony over the incredible pace of changes.

Link to Dan's Videos

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My favorite Internet manifestos

Although, Wikipedia describes a manifestos as ‘ a public declaration of principles and intentions’ calling it ‘often political in nature’, the public, like myself knows them more to be about ‘principles and intentions’.

Manifestos are an important PR tool and I say this without being cynical.

If you can coin a credible, relevant, unique and lovebale/admirable manifesto, you can have a go at conquering the world.

Alex Iskold at Read/WriteWeb writes about the Mozilla Manifesto And Its Impact On Major Web Players.

A list of my favorite internet manifestos ( and some non-internet ones)

The Google Philosophy: Never settle for the best

A list of ten things Google has found to be true.

1. Focus on the user and all else will follow.

2. It's best to do one thing really, really well.

3. Fast is better than slow.

4. Democracy on the web works.

5. You don't need to be at your desk to need an answer.

6. You can make money without doing evil.

7. There's always more information out there.

8. The need for information crosses all borders.

9. You can be serious without a suit.

10. Great just isn't good enough.

The Mozilla Manifesto

An excerpt:

1. The Internet is an integral part of modern life - a key component in education, communication, collaboration, business, entertainment and society as a whole.

2. The effectiveness of the Internet as a public resource depends upon interoperability (protocols, data formats, content), innovation and decentralized participation worldwide.

3. Free and open source software promotes the development of the Internet as a public resource.

4. Transparent community-based processes promote participation, accountability, and trust.

5. Commercial involvement in the development of the Internet brings many benefits; a balance between commercial goals and public benefit is critical.

6. Magnifying the public benefit aspects of the Internet is an important goal, worthy of time, attention and commitment.

An excerpt:
1. Markets are conversations.
2. Markets consist of human beings, not demographic sectors.
3. Conversations among human beings sound human. They are conducted in a human voice.
4. Whether delivering information, opinions, perspectives, dissenting arguments or humorous asides, the human voice is typically open, natural, uncontrived.
5. People recognize each other as such from the sound of this voice.
6. The Internet is enabling conversations among human beings that were simply not possible in the era of mass media.
7. Hyperlinks subvert hierarchy.
8. In both internetworked markets and among intranetworked employees, people are speaking to each other in a powerful new way.
9. These networked conversations are enabling powerful new forms of social organization and knowledge exchange to emerge.

Entire Text Index Page

Manifesto for Agile Software Development

Individuals and interactions over processes and tools
Working software over comprehensive documentation
Customer collaboration over contract negotiation
Responding to change over following a plan

More Manifestos

The 37 signals manifesto (on usability)

Gizmodo's Anti-RIAA Manifesto

The Social Customer Manifesto: Treat your customers like you

Make Marketing History: The J Train (A Marketing 2.0 Manifesto) - Marketing Is Not A Department.

GNU Manifesto by Richard Stallman: The open software movement

Manifesto aggregators

Manifestos at ChangeThis

Manifesto tag on

List of Manifestos on Wikipedia (mostly political and artistic)


Dogma 95 (1995) by Lars von Trier, Thomas Vinterberg, Kristian Levring and Søren Kragh-Jacobsen:
Filmmaking without any props, costumes and outside music among other things. Keeping things natural and true.

The Coming Age of Solid State Drives

Samsung says the Sold State Drive (SSD) market is expected to reach US$200 million in 2007 and increases to US$6.8 billion by 2010. This implies an impressive compound annual growth rate of over 200 percent.

In July 2006, Information Week reported about a report from Market research firm In-Stat which said that '50% of mobile PCs will sport solid-state drives by 2013, and that the drives may possibly replace hard disk drives as the preferred storage medium in laptop computers within 10 years', that is, by 2016.

First, this month, Sandisk introduced the SSD SATA 5000, a 32 GB 2.5-inch hard drive designed to serve as a drop-in replacement for traditional 2.5-inch hard drives in laptops and other computer systems.

Sandisk claims the SSD SATA 5000 is approximately twice as fast as the hard disk drive
The SSD SATA 5000 sports a low power consumption rate, less than 50%, compared to the hard disk drives.

Samsung has a 32 GB SSD as well. The company has taken it up a notch and soon it will start shipping a 1.8”-type 64 Gigabyte (GB) flash-solid state drive (SSD) later this year. The price is yet unknown – expect it be on the high side on introduction which will soon fall to lower levels boosting widespread acceptance.

Samsung claims that the 64 GB SSD is faster and more power-efficient than the 32 GB version. The company says the read and write’ performance of the new SLC flash-SSD is 20 percent and 60 percent respectively better than the 32GB flash-SSD
Better than Hard Disk Drives
Vis-à-vis normal hard disk drives, Samsung claims the Read/Write Speed is 4.3 times and 6.4 times faster. Moreover, the new 64 SSD weighs ¼ of hard drives and consumes power 1/3-1/15 to that of hard drives.

Big users of the Solid State Drives:
If prices start faster than earlier anticipated, within 5-7 years, I think SSD drives may take over the market position enjoyed by Hard Disk drives because of low weight, faster speeds, low power consumption and low prices resulting from mass manufacturing.

Already, Samsung is reported to be gradually moving away from hard drive manufacturing.

A sampling of some big SSD adopters:

- Notebooks
- Camcorders: eventually, MiniDV, DVDs and other formats will give way to inbuilt storage systems.
- Servers: A big source of Global Warming, according to many.

Wednesday, March 28, 2007

Five Camboy transmissions I would like to see

Following is a list of people whose life I might see for at least 4 hours a day for a couple of days for a few days, cameras fixed to their head:

1. Paul Graham from Ycombinator as he counsels startups.
2. Facebook’s 22 year old Mark Zuckerberg's and his trademark adidas sandals: have to watch for myself all that supposed arrogance.
3. Sergey Brin/Larry Page of Google: I would like to see at least one Google meeting.
4. Kevin Rose: Maybe we will know the truth about dig moderation.
5. Michael Arrington/Jason Calacanis/Nick Denton/Rafat Ali/Om Malik: And see how they manage successful new media upstarts.

Nick Douglas has written about Justin TV, 24 * 7 transmission of Justin Kan’s life.

So, who is on your list?

The people behind are the same guys who started Kiko, the online calendaring application that folded after Google Calendar's launch. The founders sold Kiko on eBay for $250,000, they paid back their angel investor and saved enough for a year's salary.

Via Paul Graham


Tuesday, March 27, 2007

How to beat Google: Good linkbait, wrong question

To beat Google, one has to ask, what's next in search? What's next after pagerank and Google's huge datacenters?

Rich Skrenta discusses ideas on beating Google and as far as I could read, there was nothing new.

Beating Google in a PC-based field is almost impossible, for reasons you can find plenty on Skrenta’s post.

I believe it was Don Dodge who said earlier that the next search champ was from mobile, local and classifieds market – or, maybe a mix of all three.

Coming to the second big Google post of the day, Phill Midwinter on Readwriteweb writes about ‘Semantics being Web 3.0 and Natural Language Processing being Web 4.0’.

Both of these ideas are after the same goal – finding meaning. That will be real hard, requiring collaborations on a giant scale, which will be hindered by the basic fact that humans are not borgs.

Till then, search people have to make do with intention.

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Tumbler: competition to Twitter

Tumbler is a mini-blog tool like Twitter, without the mobile/SMS functionality, which I think can be added.

With Tumbler, you can post short bits of all types – what you recently saw, heard, overheard, read, read, and so on. Think of it as a on steroids; like a linkblog, but different.

It is beautiful that you find so many tools to express yourself, to reach to others. It would be a pity if we start hyping things, like they are doing to Twitter.

More coverage at Centernetworks, where Allen says that ‘I could easily see tumblr woop twitter in a 10-round KO if they were to add mobile, IM, and friends’.

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5 ways to deal with evil bloggers

What happened to Kathy Sierra is unfortunate. Some fellow bloggers have ganged up and resorted to stalking, using foul language on their blogs – cowardly activities all.

Learning that someone like the ‘respected’ Cluetrain Manifesto co-author Chris Locke (aka Rageboy) is a part of the ugly business is sobering.

As if Splogs were not enough, what do you do when your fellow bloggers turn evil on you? Some suggestions:

1. Ignore the louts.
2. Form a group of bloggers and web site owners and counterattack - bring out the truth. Rake up any thing you get on these cowards. Show them what they really are beneath that sheen of knowledge and wisdom - a lot of frustrated souls.
3. Continue blogging: We will never let evil win by shutting down our voice. Keep the conversations going.
4. Don't let the government in to regulate things. History tells us government regulation fuels bad stuff and that government stifles the voices of decent citizens.
5. Picket the bloggers' homes. Hang placards outside their homes: "A coward blogger lives here"

Monday, March 26, 2007

What not to learn from the world's largest English-language broadsheet newspaper

This is part two of the earlier MediaVidea story on the future of news. I want to draw readers' attention towards the lower end of the journalism fulcrum, of markets where there is less news and more noise, of markets where newspapers are forging ahead instead of folding up operations, of readerships that lap up sensation, mistaking it for news because of the TINA factor (There Is No Alternative).

The Times of India newspaper today sells 2.7 million copies daily, and has an average issue readership in excess of 8.4 million.

I have never worked for TOI or any other paper. What I am going to point out is what I don't like as an avid reader of newspapers and I think media can bring in positive changes in a developing society such as India. Living in a country where corruption, mis-governance, pervasive feudal structures, a VIP culture go hand in hand, I think and maybe this may seem wrong to some, that rather than write about the yet another rape/miscarriage of justice type story, you might educate people to how to go about - in this case, why not run 1 minute shorts about basic self-defense, basic law and related useful information?

The things that are wrong with TOI may also be said of many other papers in these parts of the world.

I had written down some points to say about what I felt was wrong with the paper that is more than 100 years old but Wikipedia made it easy.

The Wikipedia article says the same things that all media folks in India know but rarely dare to say it out.
Reason: The ‘Lady from Boribunder’ can be a generous paymaster and going by its reputation, it can stifle dissent quickly.

- Many accuse that The Times of India does not always acknowledge its Indian news sources.

- Many readers say the paper has modelled sections of the newspaper upon fashion tabloids.

- Stories of management interference in editorial policy are common. In fact, even I don't know who edits TOI nowadays. t

- The policy of selling paid news: The Times Group has a scheme called "medianet", which other firms can use to purchase editorial coverage in the daily.

- More recently, the Times Group has started a focused practice on acquiring clients under a program named "Private Treaties", in which PR and advertisements are provided in return for purchase of client's company shares.

- The newspaper unabashedly promotes its inhouse brands owned by its parent company, M/s Bennett, Coleman & Co. Ltd, (such as Times Internet, Femina, Radio Mirchi, Planet M, Times Music).

- The city supplements issued with the newspaper usually features some games, jokes, a fortune teller and television guide. The coverage is skewed towards glamor, fashion, life style articles and 'filmy' issues , which often contribute more than 75% of the entire supplement. You can credit TOI to bringing in the so-called Page 3 society and related coverage, like the Page 6 of New York papers, creating people who are famous for being famous. Director Madhur Bhandarkar even made a satirical film on the issue, called what else but, 'Page 3'.

- Overly sensationalizing news stories. The paper, celebrates the consumerist boom with the usual rhetoric of "Young India", a favorite subject with every other publication and electronic media outlets.

- Less of 'Hows and Whys, the cornerstones of reportage. The paper offers no solutions to the problems it seemingly highlights. You can say the same about most other media properties in this country.

A Simple Guide to the Indian Newspaper Market
The monopoly of the big two newspaper groups in India shuts out competition. I do not know about other newspaper markets in other countries but TOI and HT (Hindustan Times) sell their papers for almost 1/5 of their printing and distribution costs.

Thus only well-funded people can think of entering the news business in India. According to some estimates, it would cost upwards of Rs. 2 billion and upwards to launch a newspaper in India.

It is no surprise that print newspapers will continue to thrive in India for more than in Western Countries as PC and Internet penetration is still abysmal.

A bit of Newspaper economics: Cigarettes, newspapers and more...
A pack of Camel cigarettes cost around $3.32 in the United States; whereas, a 1 week subscription to the NYT might cost around $12.

In India, a big pack of Gold Flake costs around Rs. 38 whereas; a one month subscription to TOI costs Rs. 78.

I am no economist expert or anything but these figures do give you an idea about the Indian Newspaper market.
Idea: Somebody ought to create the Media version the Economist's Big MAC index.

Your typical Indian reader might spend Rs. 3-5 on a cigarette stick or a cup of tea; he won’t spend it on a newspaper.

He is spoiled silly by the low prices offered by the big newspaper companies.

You would find it surprising that the people living in the poor hinterlands were happy paying around Rs 3-4 for a paper whereas the city people paid only Rs. 1.50.

Now, with the increasing media consolidation in India, the big paper companies are offering lower prices to beat out competition. The core of this media expansion into the Indian hinterland is the stringer, who is paid around Rs. 1500 per month to submit stories. That is less than what even a laborer earns and so the idea of great news reporting goes for a six.

So, what do we learn from the world's largest newspaper?

News is news. Period.

Think better, think positive.

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Looking for the future of news

This post does a roundup of what’s next for print newspapers (& journalists) and what they must do to survive.

To start: Isn’t it fitting that it is Tim O’Reilly, the man credited with inventing the Web 2.0 idea, who wrote about rumored trouble at the San Francisco Chronicle? This in turn has started a flurry of opinions and suggestions in the blogosphere about what holds next for the traditional newspaper business.

Don't worry.Keep on with the good stuff

Mathew Ingram says:
Print may be dying, but the news is not.

What he means: There will always be buyers for quality news analysis, opinion and extras (multimedia, etc.)

How Newspapers can improve
Doc Searls has a list of suggestions for newspapers to improve. These three are most useful:

- open up the archives. Stop putting tomorrow's fishwrap behind paywalls

- Start following, and linking to, local bloggers and even competing papers (such as the local arts weeklies)

- Get citizen journalists of the locality involved on you site. Start experiments in ProAm journalism like Wired’s Assignment Zero.

- Have an All devices approach. Make your data available seamlessly across multiple platforms. For example, mobile versions like Digg River.

Ryan Sholin echoes Doc Searls.
The two obstacles to improving online newspapers, according to Ryan are:
1. We don’t link enough.
2. We don’t bring local bloggers into the fold.

Free Classifieds, with a twist
Scott Carp goes a little further. He encourages newspapers to indulge in some Creative Destruction.

He suggests that Newspaper solicit free classifieds from citizens - maybe some revenue sharing – it is still not clear how Scott wants it to be carried out:

We…celebrate the rise of blogging as citizen journalism and Craigslist as self-service advertising,

But I wonder what would happen if newspapers introduced a new factor into the equation: the civic benefit of supporting local journalism.

Imagine that you decided to post your classified listing with your local newspaper rather than with Craigslist because you knew it would support the work of local journalists who help make your locality a better place.

In July last year, Scott had suggested the idea that Newspapers should follow the Non-profit lead of NPR and work on donation drives, or something BBC (tax on televisions and radios).

The Guardian (U.K.) and the Christian Science Monitor are supported by non-profits. (Via the Economist)

The future of newspapers
In August 2006, The Economist wrote extensively on the future of newspapers and predicted that one day:

1. An elite group of serious newspapers available everywhere online, independent journalism backed by charities, thousands of fired-up bloggers and well-informed citizen journalists.

2. Publications like the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal should be able to put up the price of their journalism to compensate for advertising revenues lost to the internet—especially as they cater to a more global readership. As with many industries, it is those in the middle—neither highbrow, nor entertainingly populist—that are likeliest to fall by the wayside.

3. For hard-news reporting—as opposed to comment—the results of net journalism have admittedly been limited. Most bloggers operate from their armchairs, not the frontline, and citizen journalists tend to stick to local matters.

4. In future, some high-quality journalism will also be backed by non-profit organizations.

Another Probable model:
Free commodity news supported by ads for a younger audience.
Paid premium news analysis and opinion, customized according to reader preferences.

Mark Glaser at Mediashift has aggregated some great ideas as well.

The Three online news models
He quotes Richard Sambrook, director of BBC Global News:

Currently most models for news online fall into one of three categories: Aggregators of other people’s content (Google News,; social functionality around news, including self-generated content (Newsvine, Digg); and traditional news organizations migrating online (BBC, Guardian, New York Times — and I would include Yahoo in this category given the way they operate). The boundaries between them are grey and some are trying to integrate the characteristics of more than one category — but there is no compelling site which delivers all three as yet…I think it’s right that we are only just beginning to re-imagine the role of journalism in the age of online information.

The 'broadcast mode' problem
Mark quotes Tom Abate:
The problem is that journalists think in “broadcast mode” and not in an interactive mode with their audience:

Mass Media as forums
Mark Glaser suggests:
If mass media are to survive I think they will have to become forums where professional journalists frame issues, stakeholders argue the nuances and policy makers surf the results and, one would hope, make better decisions.

Mark also looks at the mammoth State of the Media Report.

Charging aggregators is backward thinking
Reasoning that ‘News creators overestimate the value of their content online', Mark disagrees with Project on Excellence in Journalism, the creators of the State of the Media report when they propose that ‘the best online revenue model was to create content licensing consortiums (CLCs) which would charge ISPs and aggregators fees for content usage.

Look forward. The News aggregators are your friend. Don't follow your friends in Belgium.

Search is the new journalism

Greg Jarboe at Search Engine Watch (Via Mark, again) picked the best part of advice in the State Of Media report:
The press is no longer gatekeeper over what the public knows. Journalists have reacted relatively slowly. They are only now beginning to re-imagine their role. Their companies failed to see “search” as a kind of journalism.’”

I agree. On the net, your data is open for view for a global audience.

Over-importance of Digg
Mark says what I have been saying all this while about what is wrong about Digg:
Digg is democracy in action for an incredibly small segment of society, judging from the overwhelmingly tech-oriented content. It’s funny that the MSM is criticized so much for being ‘elitist.’ Digg also represents the priorities of a small privileged minority, even if the system is open to anyone.

How can journalists cope with the online onslaught?

Learn it. Do it.

Mindy McAdams has a great post, where she advises Journalists to go out and start trying the new Web 2.0 tools.

The New Journalism 101
Larry Dignan has a four-point formula on what the modern Journalist should be taught:

1. Teach entrepreneurship (learning from Om Malik, Robert Scoble, Michael Arrington, Jason Calacanis, Nick Denton, Raft Ali)
2. Embed online tools throughout the curriculum (blogs, podcasts, forums, etc.)
3. Get real pros to teach you: ( the likes of Rob Curley must also come into teaching)
4. Remember the basics: because, real reporting still matters.

Journalists have to keep in mind that as pressures on the papers mount, they will start slashing staff.

In fact, you should know that even the nascent blog networks/spam blog networks work on this price factor all the time. They are always on the lookout for the cheapest writer and editor.

It won't take long for newspapers to follow - in that case, your skills, adaptability and experience will come in use.

The quick and dirty shall win
Newspapers must adapt quickly, for according to the sage pf Omaha, Warren Buffet, they are going downwards on the south slope of Mount Everest):

What multiple should you for a company that earns $100 million per year whose earnings are falling by 5% per year rather than rising by 5% per year? Newspapers face the prospect of seeing their earnings erode indefinitely. It’s unlikely that at most papers, circulation or ad pages will be larger in five years than they are now. That’s even true in cities that are growing.
- at Hypergene, (thanks to Stowe Boyd)

Micropayments: in or out?
Tim O’ Reilly thinks Micropayments (supported by something like Google Checkout) are a way to go for Newspapers.

However, I think people still think micropayments are not use-friendly (too many clicks) and that user may only pay for stuff especially marked ‘Special’ – compilations, customized collection of favorite front pages and so on.

Publishers will have to be creative when they choose micropayments. Too much user-distraction at the moment.

Related coverage on MediaVidea

A short primer to building great news sites

Creating the ultimate news site

7 reasons why Google should buy The New York Times

Video blogging 101

The Best blog in the world and lessons for citizen journalism

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