I gave a talk as Conchango last Friday on the present and future of newspapers. (oh and Tom wants a free link to his blog). Nobody remembers what I said exactly as I hid my lack of insight by using XKCD comic strips in each slide to distract them. (Never fails to work)
Google Trends now allows you to see rough site visit information (though many think the data can be way out) but again it’s good for rough estimates. If you log into it you can see the numbers as per the screencaps. If you click the images you’ll see better versions of the images.
Here’s a Trends screencap of visitors to the main Irish Newspaper sites.
Oddly, the Examiner’s Breaking News website gets more visits than their main site. I’m sure the fact the Examiner couldn’t stick with a name or a single website address didn’t help either.
Now, when you throw in RTE’s website, it shows who the daddy is for online news. Newspapers I hope are starting to realise that they can’t rely just on print alone now for distribution.
As I keep on saying and giving out about, they also need to go where the younger generation are going and that’s not a single place anymore. Here’s Newspapers, RTE and Bebo in a graph and this is Irish usage not worldwide usage. Look at all the Irish on Bebo, look at the number visiting the Irish Examiner site:
From my perspective:
Current state of Irish newspapers
- Losing readership. Print revenue down. Charges going up. Becoming more tabloid to get/retain marketshare.
- Screwing existing journos with less fulltime contracts, getting rid of sub-editors, outsourcing, less resouces. Turnaround time is minutes or hours NOT days.
- Their journos are lifting stories right, left and centre from blogs. From images to copying and pasting whole blog posts.
- Associated Press in bed with Google. Google News top story linking to AP headline, not headlines of Boston Globe, National or Local papers.
Bloggers are a threat because:
- Breaking news more.
- Sources going to bloggers. Sources trust the “real” bloggers more these days.
- Blogs have better SEO.
What are the Newspapers doing right?
- Dropping paywalls
- Making a go of SEO
- Allowing social bookmarking
- Allowing comments
- Bringing their own blogs online
- Feeds for every section
More is needed
- Add feeds for each journalist/columnist
- Heavily exploit email
- Bebo and Facebook Widgets
- Distribution API –> Wherever the cool kids hang
Aggregate, edit, distribute
- Newspapers still bastions of balance and quality (for now)
- A newspaper should promote good work, no matter the source and with it encourage good blogging
- Finding news sources, journalists, bloggers.
- Each newspaper should be like AP, offering every article up
- This will need a full blown API for stock purchase and distribution
- All news is breaking news, people no longer wait for the paper
- All newspapers need to be media orgs, QIK.com integration?
- 3 hour radio shows are now 24/7 websites and direct competitors. Remember that.
- In order to crowdsource, reporting material needs to be shared
- A DIGG for each paper?
- Journalists need to share what they are looking at and ask for help – Help a Reporter