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Friday, June 24, 2005

Google: Syndicator or Broadcaster? 

Wired News: Beware the Google Threat

Adam L. Penenberg weighs in on what he thinks Google is.

Grab: Some view Google as a media company. It isn't, because it doesn't create its own content. Rather it repurposes and repackages pre-existing material. Google is really little more than a content syndicator, a broker that makes money through information arbitrage.

Interesting screed, and worth a read. I think Google is more like a broadcaster, using content produced by others to develop an audience and sell ads around it. Except that they don't pay for the content, as broadcasters do.

Via IWantMedia.

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Gaming and Great Writers 

The Best Writers in the Business 2005

GameDailyBiz does a great job of covering the media that covers their market. The gaming world is generally served by enthusiast publications and websites which tend to also encompass the B2B segment--that is, there really aren't any successful trade magazines for gaming--the enthusiast publications fill this niche by serving retail buyers and game publishers as well.

The piece linked at the top of this post looks at GameDailyBiz's take on the best writers serving the gaming world. "The goal of this search," they note, "was to find great writers that might otherwise go unnoticed."

Given my friend Paul Conley's series of posts on editorial quality, ethics and his insightful critiques of website execution, I think it's important to remember that our business comes down to something simple: excellent reporting, analysis, writing and analysis creates a winning product.

The GameDailyBiz folks get that.

Here are some key grabs from their piece:

His serious work is not as flashy as some of the other writers on this list, but Keighley has a sharp eye for getting to the beating heart of the story.

and

Thorsen's Rumor Control column at GameSpot is consistently entertaining, well researched and always packed with good information.

and

Casamassina deserves a spot on this list if only for his ability to manage a surprisingly massive, usually angry and always poor-spelling audience of Nintendo fans.

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Thursday, June 23, 2005

Press Releases and B2B 

My fellow b2b blogger Dave Jung ponders the potential death of the press release.

He notes that the decline in editorial space available has changed the demand for press releases, and points to an article on Marketing Profs which recommends short emails to journalists instead.

I think the paper press release is indeed dead--it's just junk mail. And I'm not sure stuffing up the email box of journalists with unwanted pitches is going to work.

But press releases can be viable. Especially if they're delivered to journalists by a trusted source.

My client, Religion News Service, launched a press release distribution service several years ago. Releases are emailed to an opt-in list of religion journalists and editors, linked from the website, linked from a weekly e-newsletter, and run on our AP feed. It's very successful, both for customers posting releases and for our journalist/editor subscribers. And there's no junk mail, no annoying followup phone calls (we don't release our list to anyone).

We're more cost-effective and just generally more effective than BusinessWire or PR Newswire for our customers because of our trusted brand. And our opt-in delivery system gets clients a lot of pickups.

There's an opportunity here for any b2b media company with a strong position in a marketplace to launch an electronic press release distribution service, using an opt-in mechanism. It's a way to make money, and a way to help clients get their message out to the market.

Perhaps if Dave Jung had a press release distribution service targeting his market, hosted by a leading magazine or media property, delivering key decisionmakers (and journalists) who ask to see such releases, he'd find that there remains life (and effectiveness) in press releases.

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Wednesday, June 22, 2005

Fiddling While Rome Burns? 

Newspaper Executives Say Concerns Are Overblown

The Wall Street Journal (sub. req) has a short piece on some newspaper execs' optimism about the future of newspapers.

Grabs: Tony Ridder, chairman and chief executive of Knight Ridder Inc., told investors at the Mid-Year Media Review in New York that "the newspaper industry generally and Knight Ridder specifically are strong, healthy businesses with a bright future."

and

[The NY Times' Len] Forman added that newspapers have been faced with challenges, including competition for advertising and readership, for the past 50 or 60 years, "yet the business continues to be a healthy business ... . There will be some businesses that don't make it and some that do."

And yet both Knight-Ridder and the Times have issued profit warnings.

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Monday, June 20, 2005

Heavenly Blog Aggregation 

Beliefnet's Blog Heaven is one model for blog aggregation. Beliefnet has pulled together a variety of religion and political blogs at a central site, notes which have been recently updated, which are most popular and features a blog of the week.

Each blog, once clicked, is framed with Beliefnet's header and a Beliefnet-hosted ad.

Beliefnet is a non-sectarian religion and spirituality website/community/e-newsletter producer which genreates the majority of its income through advertising. The trade of traffic for bloggers for additional pageviews for Beliefnet advertisers seems a good one, but I don't think it's long until aggregators share ad revenues with bloggers.

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