According to Talking Biz News, Bloomberg Businessweek has made cuts to its online staff, including news editor of Businessweek.com Phil Mintz.
Google has been sued in the US, over claims that its Buzz social media service “violated” Gmail users’ privacy rights, Bloomberg’s BusinessWeek reports.
Buzz, introduced by Mountain View, California-based Google in February, automatically displayed to other users the customer’s contacts pulled from Google Gmail e-mail accounts. Google has said it modified the service after customers complained.
Have you been affected by social media privacy settings? Please get in touch with judith [at] journalism.co.uk to share your experiences.
John Byrne, executive editor of BusinessWeek and editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.com, will leave the title on 1 December.
Byrne’s announcement follows news of Bloomberg’s pending acquisition of BusinessWeek.
Byrne will relocate to San Francisco where he plans to launch a new digital media company.
Bloomberg will acquire BusinessWeek magazine from McGraw-Hill Cos, it was announced yesterday. The terms of the arrangement were not made public, but ‘knowledgeable sources’ said the price is between $2 million and $5 million, reports BusinessWeek.
The BusinessWeek sales process has had ‘plenty of turns’ over the last three months, paidContent comments. It charts the sale to Bloomberg though its archive of links.
In what may feel like a twist of logic too far, there are a growing number of non-media companies who are adopting the Fourth Estate’s digital business model.
That’s the ad-funded, free-to-the-consumer model.
You know the one.
It’s at the root of the crisis afflicting the newspaper industry around the world, an industry which is trying desperately to make money online. Or at least not haemorrhage it.
To believe the unholy trinity that is News International, Daily Mail and General Trust, and the Guardian Media Group, the media model is unworkable, unsustainable and it’s got to go.
The three are not sure if it should be replaced by paywalls, micropayments, subscriptions or something else entirely.
But what they are agreed on is that it cannot be business as usual. Because that business is going under.
So why do we find the likes of Facebook, Digg and the mighty Google – and perhaps soon Amazon– adopting the ad-funded model to support services and software.
Take Gmail. It’s not a media entity, it’s email, but it is ad-supported.
One answer is that that advertising is the last, desperate (and largely) failing attempt to generate some money, given nobody wants to pay for their products. In short: free reigns.
On that latter point, Wired’s editor-in-chief Chris Anderson is likely to agree.
His new book ‘Free: The Future of a Radical Price’ – appropriately available to read and listen to online without charge – celebrates ‘freeconomics’, but has a much more positive take on its effect on the business world.
The reason, he says, people are convinced that ad-funded won’t work is because they are applying the conventional rules.
Offline – in newspapers, magazines, billboards, TV and radio – advertising is predicated on scarcity not abundance. Ad sales people trade on ‘space’ and the less there is the higher the yield.
So when there is infinite space online, their greatest selling tool disappears.
Anderson argues that there is another kind of advertising which is epitomised by Google’s text ads:
“Google doesn’t sell space. It sells users’ intentions – what they’ve declared to be interested in, in the form of a search query.
“And that’s a scarce resource. The number of people typing in ‘Berkeley dry cleaner’ on any given day is finite.”
Google’s CEO Eric Schmidt – admittedly a man with a vested interest – estimates that the potential market for online advertising is $800bn.
“That’s twice the total advertising market, online and off, today,” notes Anderson.
So why is his tone at such odds with that of the media he is writing about?
Perhaps it has something to do with the production-cycle of book publishing. This book was in train before he had even finished writing the much-admired The Long Tail.
Clearly much of his thinking predates the collapse of Lehman Brothers which sealed our current economic fate.
His penultimate chapter, presumably added very late in the day and titled ‘Coda: Free in a Time of Economic Crisis’, is an acknowlegement of that, although not a denunciation of his core argument.
Just maybe, it’s the down-in-the-mouth media owners who are out of time, not Anderson.
Maybe this rush to find other ways to monetise will be a passing phase and when the economy picks up so too will online advertising revenues.
After all, what’s the alternative?
Pay walls may work for niche information but not for mainstream news and exclusives. That’s something that even the Wall Street Journal, poster child of the paid model, accepts.
Interviewed earlier this year its executive editor Alan Murray said:
“Look, if it’s a big news story, if we report a takeover and – we could hold that behind the pay wall. But if we do, BusinessWeek or someone else will simply write a story saying ‘The Wall Street Journal is reporting x’ and they’ll get all the traffic. Why would we do that?
“So if it’s that kind of a big, broad-interest news story, we’ll put it outside the pay wall and go ahead and take the traffic ourselves, thank you very much.”
Blogger Amit Varma has been named by Businessweek as one of India’s 50 most powerful people.
When we talk about other new ways to compete, most magazines don’t seem to know where to start,” writes Byrne.
Magazines need to think about: context; filtering and aggregation of online content; and editorial curation, he says.
As a press release published at MarketWatch said, the new website will target foreigners who cannot read Dutch, but are interested in Dutch ‘quality journalism’.
News, features and opinion will be published daily, reflecting domestic issues, and looking at international news that impacts the Netherlands.
There will be a discussion forum, concentrating on current affairs, to which well-known Dutch nationals will contribute.
The site is also linked to DutchNews.nl, the work of two British journalists. The editors of DutchNews.nl will translate and edit articles for Nrc.nl/international.
Wikipedia updated its pages to account for the death of NBC News’ Washington bureau chief Tim Russert half an hour before a news alert was release by the Associated Press (AP), Brian Cubbison from the Syracuse Post-Standard blogs.
The first update to the online encyclopedia entry for Russert was made at 7:01pm (GMT) on June 13 to add the date of his death to the page – 35 minutes before AP’s alert.
Cubbison’s post interestingly links to a Businessweek article on the same phenomenon – a commenter on which points out that the IP address of the user who made the first amendment to Russert’s Wikipedia entry belongs to Internet Broadcasting Systems, the same company behind NBC’s website.
Lacy’s response: an angry message to Twitter (flagged up by CNET) shown below.
Lacy’s interview is now being touted as teaching material for journalism professor Jeff Jarvis’ classes. On his blog, Jarvis says Lacy’s biggest mistakes were not knowing or listening to her audience and her treatment of Zuckerberg – who apparently had to interrupt her ramble to suggest she asked a question at one point.
A post on Adam Tinworth’s blog details the lessons that should be learnt from this interview, namely: ‘engage, know your occasion, do your research and don’t confuse yourself with the story’.
Well said – these are basic interview skills, but Tinworth’s post highlights how these rules should be applied in a new media environment. He points out that despite working in a social media area, Lacy has ‘no direct means of replying that isn’t mediated by others’.
Lacy’s credentials as a business reporter covering technology for BusinessWeek and author on the subject of Silicon Valley and Web 2.0 should have stood her in good stead for this interview.
But it seems her reputation was not sufficient to endear her to or engage with her audience or the blogosphere – after all the interview wasn’t supposed to be about her…
UPDATE – Lacy gives her reaction to the interview in a video response (from Omar Galagga)[youtube:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-wyrny8PP-M]