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Journalism, apparently, is in trouble. The once-dominant financiers of journalism -- newspapers -- are dying. And while some see hope in new media, the harsh reality is that journalism's woes have less to do with distribution mediums and more to do with business models.
That's because the kind of journalism that is threatened is expensive, and even online, there aren't too many business models that can support it. So what should we do?
Back in 2008, online social networking startup Ning couldn't give away free, hosted social networks fast enough.
The company, which was co-founded by Marc Andreessen of Netscape fame, reportedly estimated that by New Year's Eve 2010, it would host approximately 4m social networks. Social networks which would produce billions of daily page views for the startup. Ning's projected trajectory excited investors so much that they invested more than $100m in the company.
Much has been made about the market for micropayments over the years, but for the most part, billing for small transactions remains a challenge for online merchants, especially small and mid-size publishers who sell content and virtual goods.
PayPal, however, hopes to provide some relief later this year with a new offering that makes it easier for online merchants to process micropayments cost-effectively.
In 2006, the domain name Sex.com was purchased by a group of investors for a reported $14m.
The buyers of Sex.com, Escom LLC, had big plans for their $14m domain name. According to a press release announcing the sale, "The new Sex.com will transform into the market-leading adult entertainment destination by offering compelling, next-generation web interaction experiences to revolutionize the industry. The new Sex.com will leverage the millions of monthly unique visitors that are already coming to the site while it continues to roll-out a host of professionally produced products and services..."
Ken Fisher, the founder and editor-in-chief of popular online tech publisher Ars Technica has a message to readers who use ad blockers: you're killing us.
In an effort to defeat ad blockers, last Friday Ars experimented with a technique designed to prevent Ars readers with ad blockers from viewing Ars content. According to Fisher, the experiment was a success "technologically" but not surprisingly, a "mixed bag" socially.
Twitter's Trending Topics list may or may not be useful to you. While they can often be helpful in spotting breaking news events and the hot topics of the day, they're also notoriously associated with spam.
In an effort to make them more relevant to users, Twitter yesterday rolled out Local Trends functionality for all Twitter users.
When I interviewed Squarespace CEO Dane Atkinson, I asked why Squarespace chose to adopt a free trial model and not a freemium model.
Although the freemium model, in which a company mixes free services with paid upgrades, is increasingly popular because of the economy, for some online businesses, free trials are well worth a look and could even be a better fit.
Before the company's Twitter marketing campaign went viral, Squarespace wasn't a brand known to many. But the company has experienced rapid growth building a niche in the competitive market for content management solutions/publishing platforms. And it has done it by doing something many others have avoided: charging users.
I spoke with Squarespace CEO Dane Atkinson about the company, its success with a paid business model and what ROI the company's viral Twitter marketing campaign produced.
How popular is Twitter? It's so popular that some would suggest it's worth billions of dollars. But as many of us who lived through the first .com bust know all too well, it's disappointingly easy to take something that looks like it has a future filled with success and turn it into fail.
In the case of Twitter, I think there are 5 things that the company's management needs to do to avoid that fate.
Consumers don't like paying for anything online. This is especially true when it comes to younger consumers. Common knowledge, right?
Wrong. Just ask myYearbook, a second-tier social network that caters primarily to teens. It has managed to do something many other social networks haven't: turn a profit. And it's done it by charging its supposedly frugal Gen Y users.
The buzz in the consumer internet right now is real-time. Twitter and Facebook have put the spotlight on real-time but now tech giants like Google and Microsoft are giving real-time the time of day.
Where is this all leading? Is real-time the most important thing taking place on the internet today as some believe or is it the next overhyped web fad?
Paid content and subscription services are hot once again thanks to an economic downturn that has reminded online publishers that ad revenues are not impervious.
But paid content isn't easy online (newspapers can attest to that) and many publishers inevitably fail at making the transition from free to paid. Here are several ways you can boost your chances of succeeding when selling content online.