Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Google Reader -- New-Improved-Broken-News

Many years ago, Marilyn and I discovered that although we subscribed to one newspaper, we read two very different newspapers. My focus included the editorial pages, the business section and the bridge column and hers included the living section, the local news and the obituaries. Today, the long list of RSS feeds (individual new streams) subscribed to by Marilyn is very different than mine. Having been married 37 years, we have much in common, but I dare say that less...

than 20% of our news feeds are the same.

Many folk, including content publishers, are having trouble understanding "the new communications paradigm". It has appeared to many that the news business is going out of business. The reality is that the demand for news has never been greater. Through Facebook, Twitter, email, texting, readers and other electronic methods, the public sends and receives more information than ever before. The volume of detailed personal information being sent has soared, but so has the volume of "news".

While Marilyn and I no longer subscribe to the paper edition of the Winston-Salem Journal, we continue to read selected articles from it. She and I each subscribe to various Journal RSS feeds.

Newspapers, including the WSJ, have always made their money from advertising. Electronic delivery has made it very inexpensive to deliver both the content and the "attached" advertising. Because Internet advertising is carefully targeted advertising, it is more valuable; so, the news business is headed for a very profitable boom. The news companies that adapt to new methods will see both revenues and profits soar.

About 7 months ago, I wrote that Gannet Newspaper stock was a good buy at $2 per share. Today, it is a good buy at $13 per share. The cost to deliver its product is falling, increasing the demand for its product. At the same time, technology has increased the value of its product. By breaking the news down to the portion wanted by each individual, the news has been improved and the profit from producing it is rising.

A massive shift to mobile Internet is underway. This shift will further enhance the value of advertisements. The trite example is that if a gas station pays $.25 cents to attract an extra customer, it does not have to sell the customer much gas to come out ahead.

So, go ahead and break the news down to ever smaller "streams". I want to have the obituaries of the people I know or should know presented to me in my reader, but I don't want to subscribe to a general obituary feed. I want articles about Carolina Soccer to be included in my personal news stream. And, yes, I want to learn about the products and services that I buy. I send many thanks to Google!
in reference to: Google Reader (1000+) (view on Google Sidewiki)

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