Q: ‘Who’s tried that already?’ A: ‘Who cares!’

This has happened a few times (including recently), and it’s become a pet peeve that I need to get off my chest. As I occasionally do digital-media consulting work for media companies, or bid on consulting jobs, it’s not uncommon to be asked after presenting a new idea: “Has anyone else tried this and shown…

Why Google soars, and newspapers sink

Hint: It’s the leadership and corporate culture! Check out this video of Google CEO Eric Schmidt being interviewed for WashingtonPost.com’s “On Leadership” series by Steven Pearlstein: Wow. I hadn’t heard Schmidt talk about the Google corporate culture before, but watching this video interview made me realize why his company is so successful, and how the…

Paid web news = Fail! I offer a softer alternative

My May Editor & Publisher Online column was published today — “Getting Money from Readers Who Won’t Pay for Online News” — and it’s mostly getting positive reviews so far. I make the case against daily newspapers’ shift toward charging for local news on their websites, and suggest an alternative: newspaper.com paid memberships that work…

‘Will you pay for news?’ … ‘Hell, no!’

In this Denver Post story about parent company MediaNews Group’s new plan to charge for online news content, there’s an informal online poll. The results aren’t pretty for MNG. I’m quoted as the dissenting voice in this piece by reporter Andy Vuong, but it’s a tiny clip and he leaves out most of my arguments…

My mistake points to ProPublica’s mistake

An alert listener of Colorado Public Radio heard my interview last week on the “Colorado Matters” program, and noted that I erred in citing ProPublica, the independent investigative reporting website, as “ProPublica.com.” Well, I can’t very well fix my recorded radio voice to the correct ProPublica.org, but I’ll at least note it here. But ProPublica…

Classroom idea: Twitter note-taking

If you’ve been to a media conference lately, you know that it’s increasingly common for audience members to be posting to Twitter during speeches and panels. At the Online Journalism Symposium at the University of Texas recently, during a panel I was chairing, not only were some audience members tweeting about the panel, so was…

What strange ploy are magazines up to?

I have a new, complimentary subscription to Field & Stream magazine (print edition). Why is that? Since I don’t fish or hunt, or have any interest whatsoever in reading about either, publisher Bonnier is wasting money by granting me an unasked-for 1-year subscription. I’m thinking this started with my paid subscriptions to a couple printed…

Tired legs and catching up

Yeah, I’ve been playing hooky quite a bit lately. In the previous couple weeks I’ve mountain biked 4 days on Utah’s famed White Rim Trail, then succumbed to an invitation from a friend to drive to southwestern Colorado and ride some great trails near Cortez and Durango for 2 days. (Fellow mountain bikers: You have…

Big Kindle, little phone: Which will it be?

So on Wednesday, Amazon will be introducing a larger Kindle e-reading device. I’ll be away from the Internet on my mountain bike in southwestern Colorado so will probably miss the announcement. But I can’t help but ponder the significance of the advancement of the portable e-reader. While I do believe that Kindles (medium and large)…

‘Digital’ media or ‘online’ media?

A reader of one of my recent Editor & Publisher Online columns takes me to task for using “digital” rather than “online” to describe what we used to call “new media.” He prefers “online” as more accurate. Actually, I’ve shifted my word usage to “digital media” on purpose, and think I’m correct in doing so….