Hop, skip and jump through this collection of resources, opinions and links for the content-scientious.

Thursday, July 25, 2002

The Subscription Solution Is a Dubious Content Model

I have to agree with PC Magazine's John Dvorak — that the trend to charge for content as the solution to the failure of online advertising is not really a solution at all. In a recent article titled Rethinking Content on the Web, Dvorak states,

"While there is potential for a subscription model, none of the relevant issues [about web content] have changed—philosophically or objectively—in the last four or five years. All the debates about the usefulness of the Web were argued to death probably about six or seven years ago. If a subscription model was a bad idea back then, what changed to make it a good idea now? We've already determined, based on good evidence, that people will pay only for Web-based information that is highly exclusive."

My feeling has always been that online content needs to be part of an integrated offering; making it pay for itself is difficult. Exclusive online content providers will do better to take a more narrow approach — the more specialized the offering the more valuable. There's way too much general news out there. Success belongs to those that can add real value.

Wednesday, July 10, 2002

Wikipedia: Open-Source Encyclopedia Project

It Get's Better and Better and...

Here's an example of what the web can be. Wikipedia and Nupedia are open-source content projects that are building on-line, ever-improving free encyclopedias. That may sound wacky to you, but here's the Wikis' response:

"You might expect Wikipedia to be a low-quality product because it's open to everyone. But, perhaps it's the fact that it is open to everyone that makes a lot of these articles pretty good, and ever-improving. To alter a now-famous catchphrase: 'Given enough eyeballs, all errors are shallow.' We tend to cater to the highest common denominator — "lower denominators" tend politely not to touch articles they know nothing about! There are a lot of Ph.D.s and graduate students and other very smart and knowledgeable people at work here — but everyone is welcome."

I'm adding the Wikipedia to my search engine favorites. Check it out at www.wikipedia.com.

Tuesday, July 09, 2002

The Blogging Revolution

Weblogs are to words what Napster was to music

What is the sound of a paradigm shifting? Andrew Sullivan says "Blog!" In this May 2002 Wired magazine article, he asks: "Why should established writers go to newspapers and magazines to get an essay published, when they can simply write it themselves, convert it into a .pdf file, and charge a few bucks per download? Just as magazine and newspaper editors are slinking into the sunset, so too might all the agents and editors in the book market." Read entire article on Wired. See Andrew Sullivan's Blog.

Dave Winer vs. NYT Digital's Martin Nisenholtz
square off on blogs and the future of news

Will weblogs outrank the New York Times Web site by 2007 (based on a Google search of five keywords or phrases reflecting the top five news stories)? Read on.