OK, its easy to get huge growth from a tiny emerging technology.

That said – its time to think about all three of these and if these could be core to our business.  We have an RSS advertising project underway, and I believe an demonstrated need for a blog strategy, and strong curiosity about podcasts. 

Who has ideas about these?

Posted by Dave Wieneke 

Up until four days ago (April 7, 2006) the cell phone as a browsing device was an idea that was in the distant future.  It was an oddity for techie teens who already had their handy out for SMS messages.

The thing which is going to drive this will be use of cell phones as electronic wallets.  Several firms have tried to establish such systems, but the entry of PayPal into this space is a very big deal.
https://www.paypal.com/us/cgi-bin/webscr?cmd=xpt/mobile/MobileOverview

The service allows members to pay for products (or to pay each other) by sending a text message from their phone.  Besides being embedded in posters, product packages, and fast food lines — look for such links to be part of web pages too. Except other larger competitors to debut offerings this year.

This will drive more handset traffic online.  And the thing that will accelerate this is the already high percentage of Europeans and Asians already using cell phones for email and text messaging. This large installed base makes phone commerce attractive to business – and as more people buy with their phone, they will browse with it for select functions.

What does it take to be friendly to these phone surfers? The Monitor is already taking the first step by having more standards-compliant pages. If this is a market we’re keen on, then we may want to make a conscious decision in the future to create pages styles that will render for mobile devices.

Here is what Sony Ericsson has to say about making phones first-class options for accessing web content.

http://www.w3.org/2004/10/MWIWS-papers/sonyericsson-mwi-ws.html

This is  something that we may want to be actively thinking about as we plan our strategic future.

By Dave Wieneke

What's Web 2.0? Social media.

What consumers think and express is essential to the this new focus of publishing. It changes how brand identity and promotion work – and it is at its disruptive and useful best right here in online journalism. Why? It changes how things have been organized for 100 years.

Our consumers are called readers — because in general that's what they do. They read, and except for a few special areas, we provide the writing. And at the center of this is a process of judgment and validation added by us, the trusted source.

Increasingly, however, our readers trust an amalgam of knowledge. The Netflix rating of what people similar to you like, the Amazon user review….Google rankings gathered from millions of independent links from sites. Blogs of people who are living in and creating the news. Our audience trusts its inductive-self more, and omnibus news sources less.

As customers become more engaged, if something is better, faster, easier – they find out and migrate. Gone is the day of the Super Bowl ad. Belief is driven less by brand reach than consumer reputation.

So, we have 2 million people a month reading our news, thinking about it….and generally going somewhere else to discuss it — which might be most engaging content of all to carry.

Perhaps our biggest challenge is to decide if we want to deeply serve specific audiences. And then to serve them drawing on all journalism — from foreign sources, vetted bloggers, amazing photos, backgrounders, and network news clips. Pointing out truth from error with clarity, and encouraging readers to add to our work.

What thought community would we love to actively engage with Monitor journalism? And what about our current visitors? How is their collective knowledge and energy engaged as part of our thinking about the future? Could we provide greater visibility into this process of change, and allow a level of engagement that would fuel advocacy by our visitors?

This is a moment for exciting possibilities. And web 2.0 challenges us to open up to our audience, and to bring them closer to our work's core.

Posted by Dave Wieneke

From Leigh 

New service launches tomorrow to syndicate weblog content to newspapers: BlogBurst from Pluck

A news library colleague brought our attention to the design of the Scotsman’s web page, feeling that it was refreshingly uncluttered, yet with nice use of photos and promotion of multimedia:

http://thescotsman.scotsman.com/

I also thought I would mention that they are doing a brisk business in historic archive sales, promoting it to the genealogy market.

How to Sell Online Subscriptions to (Very Old) Newspaper Archives 12/01/2005
http://library.marketingsherpa.com/barrier.cfm?CID=3133

I’ll also mention that it is Tartan Day! Clicking on the Tartan week link pulls together all sorts of related articles on the subject: http://news.scotsman.com/topics.cfm?tid=261

Scots Wha Hae!

Leigh

From Kendra

Michael Kinsley questions on Slate the role of objectivity in journalism and how this will play out online. http://www.slate.com/id/2139042/