Media revolution

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Speaking of magazine and blogs and whatnot, everyone has linked to this piece n cartoonist Daryl Cagle’s weblog wher ehe lays out the challenges facing old media (print, newwspapers) very succinctly, Short version: there is no magic solution.

Newspapers continue to pin their hopes on their Web sites in the belief that their brands carry goodwill into a new medium, when in fact, newspaper brands have little value on the Web. The three most popular news sites on the Web-Yahoo News, CNN and MSNBC.com-dominate the audience, with other news sites trailing far behind. The reason why is simple, each is attached to a huge audience (Yahoo, AOL and MSN.com) which feeds readers into these sites.

My own cartoon site is associated with MSNBC.com, which gets its traffic from MSN.com, which gets most of its traffic from the famous MSN.com home page, the default home page for PC buyers using the Internet Explorer browser, who don’t bother to change their home page. Yahoo and Google channel their huge search engine audiences into their news sites. The trick to finding a big audience on the Web is to bring your site to the audience, not to expect the audience to find your site.

Comments

  1. This is a very US-centric view of the web, though. It certainly doesn’t hold true for the UK, where last I checked, the number one news site was the BBC, and the number two was Guardian Unlimited, with various other newspaper sites following behind. The Guardian seems to be making the transition to the web just fine, thanks, perhaps because they’re actually approaching their website as a website and not merely an electronic reproduction of their print newspaper. From what I’ve seen of American newspapers’ websites, they don’t seem to display the same grasp of the medium.

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