Paywalls or links?

29 April 2009

I’m traveling this week back in the Big Apple, raising money (let’s hope) plus seeing how we do at the National Magazine Awards (Mother Jones is up for 3 of ’em) so posting will be light. But wanted to point to an interesting guest post over at Reflections of  Newsosaur by  Bill Grueskin, formerly at and now at the Columbia J-School. He does a quick comparison of Journalism Online, the Brill/Hindery/Crovitz project to “generate much-needed revenue by building a platform for subscription services” (i.e., put the paywall back in place) and Publish 2, run by Scott Karp and Josh Korr, which is a platform designed to make it easy for journalists to do “link journalism” (viz Jeff Jarvis’ mantra: do what you do best and link to the rest…).

I think Grueskin is onto something – even with all the throatclearing that anyone writing about journalism+business models has to do these days (“we don’t know, we’re not sure, who can say, we’ll see how it turns out etc etc) – the key difference I think being that Publish 2 has a built-in incentive for journalists to connect not just with other journalists working on related items, but also with their community of interest. As someone thinking about non profits and journalism, anytime anything encourages us folks to open out to our community, that’s worth sitting up and paying attention to.

Grueskin reports that Publish 2 is kicking off a project to:

. . . track spending in the federal stimulus plan, marrying reporters’ content and citizens’ tips, but – and this is important – always through the lenses of journalists. He calls this as a “new ecosystem” of news, that is, a way of understanding that the Web empowers sharing of information, and that journalists have a special role to play in identifying worthy content and evaluating the quality and credibility of others’ reporting.

Combine this open-to-the-network approach to journalism and, say,’ open source crowdfunding code, and maybe there’s something there to test out.

Anyone giving this a try?

This week’s “trifecta”?

22 April 2009

Ken Doctor has this to say about Attributor’s “Fair Share Syndication” rev share model for publishers. Combine it with Brill/Crovitz/Hindery’s Journalism Online, he sez, and publishers have a way to capture some of the advertising revenue from Google and Yahoo (combined they handle 90 percent of the advertising placed against content). Don’t send in the lawyers, just work out a deal. A way out of the prisoner’s dilemma? What do you think?

(BTW what is it with the piracy meme the past couple of weeks – the guys off the coast of Somalia – did you catch the 2nd mate on Colbert the other night? – and then the San Diego newspaper meeting with Singleton going off about it, and the AP rattling their own sabers. . . strange.)