|By Newt Barrett||
|August 3, 2009 09:00 AM EDT||
Local newspapers and business-to-business publications face similar challenges as drastic drops in ad revenue drive equally drastic drops in relevant and compelling content. But for newspapers, ad revenue declines are exacerbated because the highly profitable classified advertising sections have almost disappeared as readers flock to the Internet. Moreover, business-to-business magazines that are well positioned still offer uniquely valuable niche content that helps readers succeed. Their readers still count on them. That’s not so true for our local dailies.
I believe that the potential nail in the coffin for local newspapers is the ease with which readers can access national and international content thanks to the Internet. Conversely, I believe that the potential salvation for local newspapers is to become resoundingly local.
Local Newspaper News Monopoly Disappears
In the heyday of local newspapers they enjoyed a virtual advertising monopoly that was reinforced by an effective information monopoly. That is, in a region like ours, the Naples Daily News was the most obvious source for local, state, national, and even international information. They did a great job of aggregating content that enabled readers to get a good snapshot of everything they likely wanted to know once they had finished their ritual reading of the daily newspaper.
Because most Americans were never blessed by a hometown newspaper like the New York Times or the Washington Post, they read the syndicated content from sources like the Associated Press which was bundled into their local daily. Of course, healthy advertising revenues also supported lots and lots of local news coverage, too. In addition, as we publishing veterans would point out, in many ways the advertising was just as important to readers as the articles.
As an example of the declining relevance of a local newspaper, the Business & Commentary section of the July 4 issue of the Naples daily news underscores the declining impact and relevance of the local press.
- there is no longer a stand-alone business section. It is combined with a commentary section.
- the entirety of the business coverage is on a single page.
- the lead story on that single page comes from the Associated Press and relates, perhaps ironically, to the reinvention of the Saturday Evening Post.
- four news briefs from unnamed wire sources populate a hodgepodge column that includes a story about an oil brokerage firm losing millions to trading
- the two local stories on the page are openly credited to contributions by outside sources, one of which is a local PR firm. They don’t even pretend not to be press releases.
The net effect of this dearth of local news is to reduce the relevance of the newspaper to local readers. I did a quick count of the Sunday edition of the paper and found that in the lead section a tiny fraction of the stories dealt with local issues. Everything else consisted of Associated Press articles on national or state topics.
This formula of combining local and syndicated content for business and other feature stories worked when there was plenty of local information provided and when readers had only expensive, if any, access to sources like the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times, the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the London Times. Today, any reader with Internet access can read not only those fine newspapers but what are now effectively daily online editions of Business Week, Fortune, Forbes, The Economist, and a host of other fine business publications.
The unfortunate bottom line is that we rely much less on our local dailies for essential news and information both because we have excellent online alternatives and because there is less compelling local substance.
A Modest Prescription for Local Newspaper Survival
I am certainly not alone in suggesting that local newspapers will have to reinvent themselves in order to survive. But, I believe that a really radical reinvention is required.
Local newspapers need to focus like a laser beam on local coverage. It is the one obvious area where they can outperform any national or international competitor. It is also an area of abiding interest among the local community. We all want to know what is going on with local businesses, growth and development, the local and regional economy, government institutions, community organizations, social activities, entertainment, and much more. Therefore, they need to add, rather than reduce, local content. Perhaps, they could even jettison all that expensive syndicated content completely thereby reducing printing costs while increasing relevance.
The other area of opportunity resides in well organized citizen journalism. I don’t believe that this can be done in the tentative way that is typical of so many publications. For example, The Naples Daily News has opened up virtually all of its articles to commentary in an effort to engage readers. But, because they are unable to monitor the commentary closely, we wind up with a wild array of commentary from the thoughtful to the lunatic fringe. This means that even positive articles or reviews about local companies can be poisoned by unsupervised comments.
This doesn’t mean that citizen journalism cannot work. Quite the contrary. We are blessed with an intelligent, affluent, and informed local population who could almost certainly generate world-class citizen content with the active and enthusiastic supervision of trained editors. We are capable of creating local content that would be so relevant and compelling that it would recapture readers—and all those recaptured readers would lure back the advertisers.
In fact, there are early indications that the Naples Daily News may be moving in this direction. If they do, and if they get it right, I’m confident that our own daily and its newspaper brethren across the country can thrive once more. I certainly wish them well on our collective behalf.
Intelligent machines are here. Robots, self-driving cars, drones, bots and many IoT devices are becoming smarter with Machine Learning. In her session at @ThingsExpo, Sudha Jamthe, CEO of IoTDisruptions.com, will discuss the next wave of business disruption at the junction of IoT and AI, impacting many industries and set to change our lives, work and world as we know it.
Oct. 27, 2016 08:00 PM EDT Reads: 497
SYS-CON Events announced today that Enzu will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Enzu’s mission is to be the leading provider of enterprise cloud solutions worldwide. Enzu enables online businesses to use its IT infrastructure to their competitive advantage. By offering a suite of proven hosting and management services, Enzu wants companies to focus on the core of their online busine...
Oct. 27, 2016 07:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,460
The explosion of new web/cloud/IoT-based applications and the data they generate are transforming our world right before our eyes. In this rush to adopt these new technologies, organizations are often ignoring fundamental questions concerning who owns the data and failing to ask for permission to conduct invasive surveillance of their customers. Organizations that are not transparent about how their systems gather data telemetry without offering shared data ownership risk product rejection, regu...
Oct. 27, 2016 07:15 PM EDT Reads: 281
The Open Connectivity Foundation (OCF), sponsor of the IoTivity open source project, and AllSeen Alliance, which provides the AllJoyn® open source IoT framework, today announced that the two organizations’ boards have approved a merger under the OCF name and bylaws. This merger will advance interoperability between connected devices from both groups, enabling the full operating potential of IoT and representing a significant step towards a connected ecosystem.
Oct. 27, 2016 06:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,324
November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Penta Security is a leading vendor for data security solutions, including its encryption solution, D’Amo. By using FPE technology, D’Amo allows for the implementation of encryption technology to sensitive data fields without modification to schema in the database environment. With businesses having their data become increasingly more complicated in their mission-critical applications (such as ERP, CRM, HRM), continued ...
Oct. 27, 2016 05:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,183
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
Oct. 27, 2016 05:00 PM EDT Reads: 1,061
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudbric, a leading website security provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloudbric is an elite full service website protection solution specifically designed for IT novices, entrepreneurs, and small and medium businesses. First launched in 2015, Cloudbric is based on the enterprise level Web Application Firewall by Penta Security Sys...
Oct. 27, 2016 04:30 PM EDT Reads: 1,338
Smart Cities are here to stay, but for their promise to be delivered, the data they produce must not be put in new siloes. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Mathias Herberts, Co-founder and CTO of Cityzen Data, will deep dive into best practices that will ensure a successful smart city journey.
Oct. 27, 2016 04:15 PM EDT Reads: 3,278
Data is the fuel that drives the machine learning algorithmic engines and ultimately provides the business value. In his session at Cloud Expo, Ed Featherston, a director and senior enterprise architect at Collaborative Consulting, will discuss the key considerations around quality, volume, timeliness, and pedigree that must be dealt with in order to properly fuel that engine.
Oct. 27, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 3,997
SYS-CON Events announced today that MathFreeOn will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MathFreeOn is Software as a Service (SaaS) used in Engineering and Math education. Write scripts and solve math problems online. MathFreeOn provides online courses for beginners or amateurs who have difficulties in writing scripts. In accordance with various mathematical topics, there are more tha...
Oct. 27, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,167
Successful digital transformation requires new organizational competencies and capabilities. Research tells us that the biggest impediment to successful transformation is human; consequently, the biggest enabler is a properly skilled and empowered workforce. In the digital age, new individual and collective competencies are required. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Bob Newhouse, CEO and founder of Agilitiv, will draw together recent research and lessons learned from emerging and established ...
Oct. 27, 2016 01:45 PM EDT Reads: 1,615
The best way to leverage your Cloud Expo presence as a sponsor and exhibitor is to plan your news announcements around our events. The press covering Cloud Expo and @ThingsExpo will have access to these releases and will amplify your news announcements. More than two dozen Cloud companies either set deals at our shows or have announced their mergers and acquisitions at Cloud Expo. Product announcements during our show provide your company with the most reach through our targeted audiences.
Oct. 27, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 5,094
In his general session at 19th Cloud Expo, Manish Dixit, VP of Product and Engineering at Dice, will discuss how Dice leverages data insights and tools to help both tech professionals and recruiters better understand how skills relate to each other and which skills are in high demand using interactive visualizations and salary indicator tools to maximize earning potential. Manish Dixit is VP of Product and Engineering at Dice. As the leader of the Product, Engineering and Data Sciences team a...
Oct. 27, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 867
Virgil consists of an open-source encryption library, which implements Cryptographic Message Syntax (CMS) and Elliptic Curve Integrated Encryption Scheme (ECIES) (including RSA schema), a Key Management API, and a cloud-based Key Management Service (Virgil Keys). The Virgil Keys Service consists of a public key service and a private key escrow service.
Oct. 27, 2016 01:15 PM EDT Reads: 1,212
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential Internet of Things Brand by Onalytica in the ‘The Internet of Things Landscape 2015: Top 100 Individuals and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed Twitter conversations around the #IoT debate to uncover the most influential brands and individuals driving the conversation. Onalytica captured data from 56,224 users. The PageRank based methodology they use to extract influencers on a particular topic (tweets mentioning #InternetofThings or #IoT in this ...
Oct. 27, 2016 01:00 PM EDT Reads: 8,624
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Oct. 27, 2016 11:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,279
Web Real-Time Communication APIs have quickly revolutionized what browsers are capable of. In addition to video and audio streams, we can now bi-directionally send arbitrary data over WebRTC's PeerConnection Data Channels. With the advent of Progressive Web Apps and new hardware APIs such as WebBluetooh and WebUSB, we can finally enable users to stitch together the Internet of Things directly from their browsers while communicating privately and securely in a decentralized way.
Oct. 27, 2016 11:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,918
With an estimated 50 billion devices connected to the Internet by 2020, several industries will begin to expand their capabilities for retaining end point data at the edge to better utilize the range of data types and sheer volume of M2M data generated by the Internet of Things. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Don DeLoach, CEO and President of Infobright, discussed the infrastructures businesses will need to implement to handle this explosion of data by providing specific use cases for filterin...
Oct. 27, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 3,073
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining sensor...
Oct. 27, 2016 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,176
Ask someone to architect an Internet of Things (IoT) solution and you are guaranteed to see a reference to the cloud. This would lead you to believe that IoT requires the cloud to exist. However, there are many IoT use cases where the cloud is not feasible or desirable. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Dave McCarthy, Director of Products at Bsquare Corporation, will discuss the strategies that exist to extend intelligence directly to IoT devices and sensors, freeing them from the constraints of ...
Oct. 27, 2016 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 3,262