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    What Motivates Us To Do Our Best Work?

    June 21st, 2010

    (Note from Editor-in-Chief, Chris Franklin:  If you are still “on the fence” about writing your own corporate/business blog, consider Mac’s mention below of author, Daniel Pink’s statement in his new book, Drive: The Surprising Truth..: “The secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home – is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.”

    To me,  it seems reasonable to believe that business/corporate blogging is something that may, to some degree, enable high-performance  and satisfaction at work (perhaps at school and at home also).     In my experience,  it would appear to enable many business people to do the following at least to some extent:

    • self-direct how they markets their business activities.
    • learn, create  and do better by themselves.
    • do better by the world (after all, business blogs are typically hosted on the web, literally  for the world to see;  beneficial writing in a business blog has the potential to benefit a world of readers).

    So, if you’re a business person, do consider business/corporate blogging in light of Mac’s review of  Drive: The Surprising Truth… )

    —————

    Daniel Pink’s new book, Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us, suggests that most private and public organizations haven’t figured out what really motivates us. Mr. Pink says, “Most of us believe that the best way to motivate ourselves and others is with external rewards like money – the carrot-and-stick approach.” He says that this strategy is no longer relevant in today’s business environment.

    Mr. Pink clearly states that while the carrot-and-stick approach worked in the twentieth century, today this approach is no longer valid. “Too many organizations – not just companies, but governments and non-profits as well – still operate from assumptions about human potential and individual performance that are outdated, unexamined and rooted more in folklore than in science” according to the author.  

    The author goes on to say, “The secret to high performance and satisfaction-at work, at school, and at home – is the deeply human need to direct our own lives, to learn and create new things, and to do better by ourselves and our world.”

    Quoting from the author’s own website: “In Drive, he examines the three elements of true motivation-autonomy, mastery, and purpose – and offers smart and surprising techniques for putting these into action. Along the way, he takes us to companies that are enlisting new approaches to motivation and introduces us to the scientists and entrepreneurs who are pointing a bold way forward.”

    Back during the earliest stages of human development, motivation was all about survival. Mr. Pink refers to this as Motivation 1.0. It was hunting, gathering and survival at the most basic level. Motivation 2.0 was developed during the industrial revolution. It was rules based and depended on the fulfillment of routine tasks culminating in a final finished good or product. Get the job done and get a paycheck.

    According to Mr. Pink, Motivation 3.0 is about autonomy and self direction. Workers need autonomy over what they do (the task). Most people would prefer to determine how they accomplish their tasks (the technique). And the majority of people would prefer to manage their own time while they are at work (when they do it). Therefore, management of these employees should be less about overseeing their work and more about creating the proper environment for the workers to get the job done the best way they see fit.

    The author believes that there are three essential elements to Motivation 3.0: Autonomy, Mastery and Purpose. Most people would like to be able to direct their efforts the best way they see fit. That means they desire autonomy. Most people feel the need to expand their professional knowledge and improve their skills; hence the need for mastery. And people want and need to know that what they do contributes to something larger…the big picture. That is our purpose.

    Several months ago, I wrote a blog about happiness in the workplace and how research studies have proven time and again that happy workers were much more productive. I pointed out that happiness in the workplace had a lot to do with autonomy. Being able to control your time was an important factor to job satisfaction and happiness. Having control of how you did you job directly related to happiness in the workplace. Recognition for one’s contribution to the success of their organization contributed to making you a happier employee. Social interaction was another factor that contributed to employee happiness.

    I have always thought the best approach to managing people was to give them goals and guidelines and let them determine the best way to get the job done. Micro-managing your staff will have a negative effect on the output from your team. Fear and intimidation won’t motivate your employees. Autonomy breeds creativity and frees employees to focus on the best and most expedient ways to do achieve their objectives.

    Bottom line:  if you would like to become a 21st century manager, then you had better see to it that your employees have the autonomy they desire and the tools they need to perform at their highest level.  Daniel Pink believes that profit maximization without purpose maximization won’t get it done. If you want to take your organization to the next level, you had better have both. And if more American businesses embrace this philosophy, then we might just get America back on track and gain back our position as a global economic power.

    My website, www.boomeropinion.com is all about voicing your thoughts and opinions on the critical issues facing America. We are looking for any and all solutions and ideas on the best ways to address these issues. Feel free to chime in. You can follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com@boomeropinion.

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    Is Social Media Causing American Workers to be Less Productive?

    January 27th, 2010

    First, let me qualify this blog by saying that I manage an opinion portal, www.boomeropinion.com, which is in reality a social media site. We provide polls, discussions and articles on issues facing America and Baby Boomers. We encourage Boomers to visit our site daily so they can weigh in and discuss the critical issues of the day.

    I should also mention that I use Twitter, but only for business purposes. I post the latest polls and discussion topics on my company’s Twitter page. I use Facebook to keep up with my friends, relatives and children. After much persuasion, I got my wife to join Facebook and I haven’t seen her since. And I use Linkedin to network with people around the world and to promote my businesses.  

    That said, I find that a good chunk of my time is taken up by these sites. Could I be more productive if I didn’t fall prey to these sites? Absolutely. Is social media just a new form of crack? Quite possibly. Are large numbers of Americans wasting work hours perusing these sites? I am sure that is true.

    It should be obvious to every American the loss of attention caused by Twitterers across the country. Remember when the President made his first State of the Union speech last year? As the network cameras panned the audience, you could see numerous Congressmen and Senators sending out tweets on their smart phones. How intently can you listen to a speech if you are otherwise occupied tweeting?

    A 2008 Study in Britain concluded that workers in that country typically lose 12 hours of work a week logging onto social media sites. That’s over 25% of their time at work. If your typical American office workers are sitting at their computers tweeting about what they had for lunch or checking out the latest posts on their Facebook wall, how productive can they be during those periods. How much work are they not getting done each week?

    Social media has a number of very positive benefits. Documenting protests and clashes between protestors and police or soldiers in parts of the world where network coverage is not available or not allowed. Documenting major weather events and other catastrophes in remote areas around the world is another benefit social media has brought to the table.

    Instantaneous movie, restaurant and concert reviews are becoming the norm. Keeping close touch with relatives or friends in far away places, as well as keeping in touch with relatives or friends who live across town. Synching schedules or inviting people to special events is yet another benefit.

    Some companies have initiated firewalls and/or filters to keep employees off social media sites and focused on the job at hand. Other companies have written policies against social networking during business hours. Without technical blocks, policing the usage of social media particularly given the new smart phone technologies will be hard to do for most companies.

    There is no doubt that social networking and social media is here to stay, so what can be done to ensure that it doesn’t distract the American worker to such an extent that it significantly impacts our national productivity? What do you think? We want to hear your thoughts on this topic. And if you respond from your office computer, just make sure you have completed your work for the day.

    If you are a Baby Boomer and haven’t joined our community,www.boomeropinion.com, please consider it. It is free and only takes a couple of minutes to sign up. You can share your viewpoint and voice your opinion on the critical issues facing America. And if we recruit enough of you, we can positively impact business and political policies around the country.

    2 Comments "

    Driving With Social Media?

    January 14th, 2010

    At the Consumer Electronics show in Las Vegas last week, Ford Motor Company unveiled dashboard innovations that included being able to use Twitter and Facebook from behind the wheel. Streaming internet audio from behind the wheel is one thing, but social media? Presented as Ford’s connectivity strategy, it appears that other auto makers will soon follow suit. Can you say distracted driving?  

    I have had a love affair with cars since the nineteen fifties. I secretly aspired to be a race car driver. Although, over the past thirty plus years, my racing has been confined to some motocross racing, a couple of years of road racing really fast go karts, and about five years of autocross. The pinnacle of my driving experience occurred when I attended to Jim Russell’s race driving school at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma California. We were fitted, literally, into open wheel formula fords and got three days of intensive training on the finer points of open wheel road racing. Too much fun for sure.

    I have owned numerous sports cars including an Alfa Romeo Sprint Veloce, an MG-A, a Sunbeam Alpine, an Austin Healy 3000, a Porsche 911, two RX 7’s and several turbo charged Mazdas. My first car was a 56 Chevy with a small block V8. I love to drive and I love road trips.

    My first road trip with a cell phone took place back in the early nineties. The phone was huge and didn’t work all that well. The one thing I remember about using that phone was a conference call I was able to take part in while sitting in the parking lot at Buffalo Bill’s Grave just outside of Denver. Talk about an office with a view!

    Our cars are our second home. According to the National Highway Safety  Administration, on any day of the week, 800,000 people drive and use their cell phones. In a recently released Pew report, one in three teenagers admitted to texting while driving.  In 2008, 6,000 highway deaths were the result of distracted driving – a great many of which involved cell phone usage.

    In the near future we will be able to access social media from inside our cars. I’m sorry, but how smart is this strategy? Given the statistics and the growing use of cell phones in automobiles, do we really want to continue down this road? I understand that some people can’t seem to function without talking incessantly, but texting and twittering? Even if you could accomplish interacting with Facebook or Twitter hands free, you still have to look at the screen.

    Did you know that sales of in-vehicle gadgets is expected to surpass $9.3 billion for the last year? There are some gadgets that are aimed at reducing cell phone use or at least making it safer. One such product will shut off your cell phone once your exceed 15 mph. There are gadgets that provide traffic alerts and accident reports using cell phone ring tones.

    One FCC member, Meredith Attwell Baker, puts her two smart phones in her purse and locks them in the trunk before driving. Transportation Secretary, Raymond Lahood, puts his Blackberry in the glove compartment to ensure he is not distracted. Mr. Lahood has publicly stated that texting while driving has become an epidemic in America.

    During one panel discussion at the Consumer Electronics Show, Peter Appel, the Transportation Department’s head of research and technology stated that his agency is researching ways to use technology to make driving safer. There is an application that will make the drivers seat vibrate or rumble and alert the driver to an accident ahead on the road. A couple of software firms have demonstrated technologies that block text messages and incoming calls while the car is being driven.

    So what’s the answer? Should all cell and internet communication devices be banned while driving? There are states where cell phone usage is illegal. Of course, if the technology is built into the vehicle, how will the troopers and police spot offenders and enforce such laws? Can all such communications be accomplished hands free and if so, does this ensure that the driver is not distracted? Yes, I talk on my cell when I drive sometimes. And I encounter distracted drivers every day who are talking and driving.

    What’s the answer? What do you think? What’s your view on this subject? Should cell use and internet connectivity be outlawed altogether?

    If you are a Baby Boomer and haven’t joined our community,www.boomeropinion.com, please consider it. It is free and only takes a couple of minutes to sign up. You can share your viewpoint and voice your opinion on the critical issues facing America. And if we recruit enough of you, we can positively impact business and political policies around the country.

    3 Comments "

    The Best Place To Launch Your New Business Startup

    December 16th, 2009

    Earlier this year, Penelope Trunk wrote a blog about the best place to launch your startup. The title was, “Starting a Company in Silicon Valley is Stupid“. In her blog, she pointed out that the location for starting a new business, tech or otherwise, should be based on factors other than where the major venture capitalists reside.  College town

    Having worked for a major software company in Silicon Valley, I understand where she was coming from when she wrote her blog. First of all, the cost of living in that area is very high. In fact, the entire West Coast has a high cost of living and high cost of doing business, as do most big cities. Yes, I know that Apple, HP and numerous other phenomenally successful businesses got their start in the valley. However, Silicon Valley is also littered with the carcasses of startups that believed they would be the next Apple or Google.

    You might be saying to yourself that in order to be successful your startup will need a team of the best and the brightest employees and you can only draw that level of talent from the tech centers or the big cities. Keep in mind, that there are plenty of smaller less expensive cities which have major universities. A lot of those cities are attractive enough to the student population that is where they would like to stay after finishing college. A great many colleges draw cutting edge businesses into their cities because of the available talent being generated by those schools.

    In order to be successful, you will need to like where you live. Chances are, if you are not happy in a particular town or big city, you won’t be very successful there. Even if you are prepared to make a huge sacrifice for your company, don’t expect your employees to do the same. Regardless of how great your idea is, it is critical to put yourself and your team in an area that provides outlets and activities that are in keeping with their needs and desires. Happy workers tend to stay longer and are more productive.

    Most startups depend on angel funding, not venture capital. Angel funding can be obtained locally from people who live near you. Most angels have plenty of money and are more interested in edgy, out there ideas that might turn their investment into the next big thing. You have to give them something to brag about to their friends and associates.

    Given the fact that only one in ten startups make it, the angel investors are in the game as much for the ride as for the return. Do remember that the angels are investing in you as much as in your concept, so you better learn how to become their best friend as well as their business partner. Learn as much as you can about them and ensure your presentation addresses their hot buttons, their interests and their objectives. Keep in mind, if they don’t like you, they won’t invest in your startup.

    If your startup gains traction and requires more funding, then all you need is easy access to an airport. Although a lot of meetings these days are being held online, you will need some face time with potential investors if you expect to raise large amounts of funding. Keep in mind that you might present to eight or ten VCs before you find willing partners.

    Also remember that a lot of startups become successful without becoming large organizations. So, if your startup does well but doesn’t grow that large, then you don’t have to move from your original home base. Plus, in a smaller city your company becomes a better known entity and draws more publicity.

    There is one caveat. If you are launching a business that is a specialty shop or fashion house, then a major city is probably just the ticket. There are some business types that will only work in large cities and if your concept matches that type, then a major city is your only choice.

    And if your startup does make it big, then you can always relocate it to a larger city if need be. Facebook didn’t start out in Silicon Valley, but their headquarters are there now. If you already live in a college town and like it, then you are already home. If you live in a rural community, then do your homework, visit a few towns and find the best fit for you and your startup. Good luck and don’t worry about paying me for this great advice…I do take stock options.

    Do you have a startup business? Is it located in a major city or a small town? What are your thoughts on this topic?

    Mac McKinley, BoomerOpinion.com

    1 Comment "

    What Would Make Internet Advertising Better and More Engaging?

    December 12th, 2009

    Since the Internet became the go-to place for research, finding information, entertainment and socializing every business large and small has tried to come up with the best approach to branding, product recognition and monetizing their company’s presence on the web. It doesn’t appear that anyone one or any business has really figured out how to do this effectively.  Ad Here

    Even the giants like Facebook and Twitter haven’t cracked the code on how to monetize their traffic. While their valuations are in the billions their profits are non-existent. Facebook is valued at $9.5 billion while Twitter’s value is estimated at $1 billion.Facebook has over 300 million regular users, but doesn’t expect to go cash positive before 2010 and that doesn’t necessarily mean it will be profitable. Twitter is not close to being cash positive, let alone profitable.

    What does this say about the effectiveness of web advertising? What does this say about advertising your company, your brand or your products on a social media site? What it says to me is that no one, not even the most brilliant advertising executives on Madison Avenue, have figured out how to use this medium to bring brand recognition or brand awareness to their company or products.

    The one exception is Google. Of course, they are not a social media site. Google determined this early on with their Adsense and Adwords programs. Being a search engine certainly gives Google a unique advantage and a head start on the other popular web sites. They have certainly done a tremendous job branding themselves over the years. Just “Google it”. Their name has become a verb. Google is typically the first place anyone on the web will go to when they are looking for anything. Ads corresponding to that search make perfect sense.

    The most popular social media sites will have to crack the code on effective web advertising soon. In order to survive they will need a better business model. Who will figure out how to help them do this – the web sites themselves, the advertisers or the advertising community? Some smart person, entity, or agency will generate some serious income whenever they do come up with a solution to this problem.

    Currently banner ads just annoy most people and instead of reading the ad, they hurriedly try to figure out the quickest method of getting it off their screen. And why put the same ad online that you would put in a newspaper or magazine. Does the term multimedia ring a bell? Then there are the pop up motion ads that try to take over your screen while you are trying to read an article or get some needed information. Again, such ads tend to aggravate their audience instead of drawing them in.

    On television or radio, the audience is captive and they don’t have a choice other than changing the channel or the radio station. Of course, if you have Tivo or a DVR, then you can avoid even those advertisements. If you are watching a program using the Internet as your medium, you will still be subjected to commercials, but in most cases there are fewer of them during the program particularly on sites like Hulu or a broadcast network site. Still the network ads are usually more compelling and more entertaining. Then again, how many ways can they sell us E.D. drugs? No more twin tubs please!

    When it comes to social media, Steven Hodson in a recent column on Mashable.com, suggested that social media sites should ask for donations using Paypal to generate income. If you like Twitter or Facebook and use it regularly, then why wouldn’t you want to contribute $1 or $5 a month. He calculated that if 50% of the Twitter users donated $1 per month, that would result in $500 million of revenue per month for Twitter. Personally, I don’t believe users would fall for that concept, particularly given the fact that the users are the ones generating the content on that site. Without the tweets there would be no Twitter

    Personally, I think the best approach would be a compelling well produced viral type video highlighting the advertisers’ product or message. Videos that people would want to watch and not be forced to watch. You can view samples of this type of video athttp://adage.com/digital/article?article_id=140819. Check out the bottom of that page. These are agency produced videos that appear on YouTube. 30 and 60 second segments of these videos can also be seen in standard television commercials. OnYouTube, the videos last 1-3 minutes. My favorites are the roller skating babies and the bulldog playing Tony Hawk’s video game.

    The most successful video ads would need a theme and be serialized. It is a proven fact that people recall and respond to ads that draw their attention. Recall is a logical process while recognition is an emotional process. Motion, such as video, evokes emotion, but the printed word normally doesn’t do that. Of course these videos would need a recurring theme or character. There are plenty of well done TV ads that come to mind. The e-Trade baby is one. Remember Joe Izuzu? Okay I might have just dated myself.

    These web videos could be original content or they come from a clip of a current box office hit movie that includes a clever use of your company’s product. They could be elaborate productions or well thought out amateur videos. If you think that you can’t produce an inexpensive video that draws millions of viewers, you need to watch the Pink Glove Dance on YouTube. This video was made to promote breast cancer awareness in a hospital using hospital staff as its cast and was done for very little money.

    Come on people. It’s time to think outside the box and get creative. A well-made, creatively done video ad should draw you in, not push you away. One option for Social Media sites would be to insert 15-20 second ads every 10-15 minutes. That might not be too intrusive for most people. If the user wanted to avoid these interruptions they could pay a monthly use fee to use that site, say $1 or $2. The web isn’t going away and we need to come up with ways to make it a viable commercial enterprise. Wouldn’t it be cool if the web ads were so good that your friends recommended you view some of these video ads?

    With the advent of broadband and streaming video, web ads shouldn’t be rehashed versions of print ads. That is sooo nineties. Video and/or clever animation is where it’s at. Being able to quickly opt out of any web video should be mandatory. If a product ad isn’t compelling enough to make its potential customers want to watch, then the viewer should be able to click it away. On the other hand, if it is good enough to bring you back several times, then the production will be well worth the investment.

    What’s you opinion about web advertising? Got a better idea? I would love to hear it.

    Mac McKinley,  BoomerOpinion.com


    1 Comment "

    Some Major News Organizations Want to Start Charging You for Their Content

    December 9th, 2009

    If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”  Murdoch

    Murdoch’s comments were repeated by other media executives at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop that was held to explore the challenges faced by media companies from across the country to determine how the government could help them survive in the Internet-era. Many newspapers, broadcasters and other traditional media companies have become distressed because their online revenue has failed to offset falling offline advertising revenue.
    If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”
    Murdoch’s comments were repeated by other media executives at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop that was held to explore the challenges faced by media companies from across the country to determine how the government could help them survive in the internet era. Many newspapers, broadcasters and other traditional media companies have become distressed because their online revenue has failed to offset falling offline advertising revenue.
    Some of the ideas being discussed were: Tax credits for media companies, Making media companies tax exempt entities, and Copyright law changes to force online aggregators and search engines to pay for any content or links to that content for which they provide links or summaries. Murdoch has even suggested forcing Google to pull links off its site to any stories, articles or coverage produced by his media companies.
    Some major newspapers have been developing plans to charge people to read some of the stories on their web sites.BusinessWeek is considering publishing an online edition that is only available to subscribers. The Wall Street Journal is already requiring a subscription if a web surfer wants to read a full version of any of their articles online. Mr. Murdoch is trying to block all of the Journal’s content from Google or have them pay for any links to the publication’s articles or other content.
    It is obvious that the print media will not be viable for many more years. And in order for them to survive they will have to come up with a more efficient business model. I think we tend to take our news for granted because of the pervasiveness of its availability on the net. If we want to learn more about a breaking story all we have to do is a quick search and there will be links to more stories than we could possibly read.
    Journalism Online, a startup that is developing a payment system for newspapers and magazines will begin shipping its software to publishers before the end of the year. The company has not published its list of test sites, but they did say that over 1300 newspapers and magazines would be testing their software in the coming months.
    Will this save the newspapers? I doubt it because there will be too many alternative news sites will offer similar content. Of course, the major newspapers that already have a decent following could very well remain viable using a subscription based revenue model, ie. The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc.
    The smaller newspapers will most likely go away, if they haven’t already. There are a couple of large internet entities that are soliciting news gatherers from around the country to provide local news in those areas lacking coverage. Yahoo and theExaminer come to mind.
    There is no doubt that the journalism business requires massive overhead and only the strongest news organizations will survive. Who will they be and what model will they have to adopt in order to stay in business? Bottom line is that they will have to come up with a business model that keeps them profitable.
    Specialized news organizations like business and industry specific newspapers and magazines will find it easier to adapt to a subscription model. I believe that journals like BusinessWeekand the Wall Street Journal can successfully adapt to this model.
    The more general news gatherers will have to find a different model to use. In the past, advertising was the revenue engine for these entities. I believe advertising could still be the revenue driver for these organizations, but it will have to be a new, innovative technology driven model and parallel the online content that it precedes. As I mentioned in my previous blog on web advertising, it will probably come in the form of a 15 second spot or advertorial that the reader will have to view in order to read the content they selected.
    Oh, by the way, Rupert Murdoch recently had discussions with Microsoft about making Google de-list News Corps publications from its search results and allowing only Microsoft’s Bing search engine to list them. Currently Google delivers about 25% of News Corps. traffic. This makes no sense. Online news distribution by search engines have increased competition and resulted in better efficiencies for all concerned. One columnist suggested that this was tantamount to making the paper boy pay a fee for delivering the newspaper. You can’t make this stuff up.
    I still believe that news organizations should allow all of their content to be listed on search engines, as well as summarized and linked on various aggregators’ sites. That is really the best way to increase exposure across the board for both the publication and the content. Of course, there has to be a revenue component gained from such exposure. That ad revenue needs to be generated at he site of origination. There are plenty of brilliant marketers and technologists out there. I am convinced they will find a way.If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”
    Murdoch’s comments were repeated by other media executives at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop that was held to explore the challenges faced by media companies from across the country to determine how the government could help them survive in the internet era. Many newspapers, broadcasters and other traditional media companies have become distressed because their online revenue has failed to offset falling offline advertising revenue.
    Some of the ideas being discussed were: Tax credits for media companies, Making media companies tax exempt entities, and Copyright law changes to force online aggregators and search engines to pay for any content or links to that content for which they provide links or summaries. Murdoch has even suggested forcing Google to pull links off its site to any stories, articles or coverage produced by his media companies.
    Some major newspapers have been developing plans to charge people to read some of the stories on their web sites.BusinessWeek is considering publishing an online edition that is only available to subscribers. The Wall Street Journal is already requiring a subscription if a web surfer wants to read a full version of any of their articles online. Mr. Murdoch is trying to block all of the Journal’s content from Google or have them pay for any links to the publication’s articles or other content.
    It is obvious that the print media will not be viable for many more years. And in order for them to survive they will have to come up with a more efficient business model. I think we tend to take our news for granted because of the pervasiveness of its availability on the net. If we want to learn more about a breaking story all we have to do is a quick search and there will be links to more stories than we could possibly read.
    Journalism Online, a startup that is developing a payment system for newspapers and magazines will begin shipping its software to publishers before the end of the year. The company has not published its list of test sites, but they did say that over 1300 newspapers and magazines would be testing their software in the coming months.
    Will this save the newspapers? I doubt it because there will be too many alternative news sites will offer similar content. Of course, the major newspapers that already have a decent following could very well remain viable using a subscription based revenue model, ie. The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc.
    The smaller newspapers will most likely go away, if they haven’t already. There are a couple of large internet entities that are soliciting news gatherers from around the country to provide local news in those areas lacking coverage. Yahoo and theExaminer come to mind.
    There is no doubt that the journalism business requires massive overhead and only the strongest news organizations will survive. Who will they be and what model will they have to adopt in order to stay in business? Bottom line is that they will have to come up with a business model that keeps them profitable.
    Specialized news organizations like business and industry specific newspapers and magazines will find it easier to adapt to a subscription model. I believe that journals like BusinessWeekand the Wall Street Journal can successfully adapt to this model.
    The more general news gatherers will have to find a different model to use. In the past, advertising was the revenue engine for these entities. I believe advertising could still be the revenue driver for these organizations, but it will have to be a new, innovative technology driven model and parallel the online content that it precedes. As I mentioned in my previous blog on web advertising, it will probably come in the form of a 15 second spot or advertorial that the reader will have to view in order to read the content they selected.
    Oh, by the way, Rupert Murdoch recently had discussions with Microsoft about making Google de-list News Corps publications from its search results and allowing only Microsoft’s Bing search engine to list them. Currently Google delivers about 25% of News Corps. traffic. This makes no sense. Online news distribution by search engines have increased competition and resulted in better efficiencies for all concerned. One columnist suggested that this was tantamount to making the paper boy pay a fee for delivering the newspaper. You can’t make this stuff up.
    I still believe that news organizations should allow all of their content to be listed on search engines, as well as summarized and linked on various aggregators’ sites. That is really the best way to increase exposure across the board for both the publication and the content. Of course, there has to be a revenue component gained from such exposure. That ad revenue needs to be generated at he site of origination. There are plenty of brilliant marketers and technologists out there. I am convinced they will find a way.If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”If Rupert Murdoch has his way, you won’t be able to Google a headline and get all the story links available for that news piece. According to Mr. Murdoch, “We need to do a better job of persuading consumers that high-quality, reliable news and information does not come free. Good journalism is an expensive commodity.”Murdoch’s comments were repeated by other media executives at a recent Federal Trade Commission workshop that was held to explore the challenges faced by media companies from across the country to determine how the government could help them survive in the internet era. Many newspapers, broadcasters and other traditional media companies have become distressed because their online revenue has failed to offset falling offline advertising revenue.

    Some of the ideas being discussed were:

    • Tax credits for media companies
    • Making media companies tax exempt entities
    • Copyright law changes to force online aggregators and search engines to pay for any content or links to that content for which they provide links or summaries.

    Murdoch has even suggested forcing Google to pull links off its site to any stories, articles or coverage produced by his media companies.

    Some major newspapers have been developing plans to charge people to read some of the stories on their web sites.  BusinessWeek is considering publishing an online edition that is only available to subscribers. The Wall Street Journal is already requiring a subscription if a web surfer wants to read a full version of any of their articles online. Mr. Murdoch is trying to block all of the Journal’s content from Google or have them pay for any links to the publication’s articles or other content.

    It is obvious that the print media will not be viable for many more years. And in order for them to survive they will have to come up with a more efficient business model. I think we tend to take our news for granted because of the pervasiveness of its availability on the net. If we want to learn more about a breaking story all we have to do is a quick search and there will be links to more stories than we could possibly read.

    Journalism Online, a startup that is developing a payment system for newspapers and magazines will begin shipping its software to publishers before the end of the year. The company has not published its list of test sites, but they did say that over 1300 newspapers and magazines would be testing their software in the coming months.

    Will this save the newspapers? I doubt it because there will be too many alternative news sites will offer similar content. Of course, the major newspapers that already have a decent following could very well remain viable using a subscription based revenue model, ie. The New York Times, The Washington Post, etc.

    The smaller newspapers will most likely go away, if they haven’t already. There are a couple of large internet entities that are soliciting news gatherers from around the country to provide local news in those areas lacking coverage. Yahoo and theExaminer come to mind.

    There is no doubt that the journalism business requires massive overhead and only the strongest news organizations will survive. Who will they be and what model will they have to adopt in order to stay in business? Bottom line is that they will have to come up with a business model that keeps them profitable.

    Specialized news organizations like business and industry specific newspapers and magazines will find it easier to adapt to a subscription model. I believe that journals like BusinessWeek and the Wall Street Journal can successfully adapt to this model.

    The more general news gatherers will have to find a different model to use. In the past, advertising was the revenue engine for these entities. I believe advertising could still be the revenue driver for these organizations, but it will have to be a new, innovative technology driven model and parallel the online content that it precedes. As I mentioned in my previous blog on web advertising, it will probably come in the form of a 15 second spot or advertorial that the reader will have to view in order to read the content they selected.

    Oh, by the way, Rupert Murdoch recently had discussions with Microsoft about making Google de-list News Corps publications from its search results and allowing only Microsoft’s Bing search engine to list them. Currently Google delivers about 25% of News Corps. traffic. This makes no sense. Online news distribution by search engines have increased competition and resulted in better efficiencies for all concerned. One columnist suggested that this was tantamount to making the paper boy pay a fee for delivering the newspaper. You can’t make this stuff up.

    I still believe that news organizations should allow all of their content to be listed on search engines, as well as summarized and linked on various aggregators’ sites. That is really the best way to increase exposure across the board for both the publication and the content. Of course, there has to be a revenue component gained from such exposure. That ad revenue needs to be generated at he site of origination. There are plenty of brilliant marketers and technologists out there. I am convinced they will find a way.

    by Mac McKinley,  BoomerOpinion.com

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