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The two factors cited for the boom are an increase in broadband users and;
Second, technological advances have made it possible to embed ads in journalistic copy itself, as they are in newspapers and magazines, and to tie the ads to articles related to those interests, rather than having to resort to annoying pop-ups and banners.
"For instance, the New York Times went from a $7.5 million loss on its Internet site in 2001 to an $8 million profit in 2002 - a swing of nearly US$16 million in a single year, a spokeswoman says."
Washington Post: " In the last year, for non-classified advertising, [the Internet site] was up 36 percent, and up 80 percent for the fourth quarter."
Impressive numbers and pretty charts. ;)
They had tremendous waste and for the most part the newspaper industry feels that the net is a silly but useful little tool that nobody takes seriousely for news. I actually heard the head of one of the top 5 papers say that since he does not read the online paper that he knows his readers do not. He actually felt he represented the average reader... he is late 60's, filthy rich and brushes elbows with the worlds elite.
The newspaper industry has been losing readership steadily for the last 20 years, but it has really went down over the last 10. There is no indication that it will swing back up. I guess what I found frustrating in dealing with a large Chicago newspaper was that they wanted to use the internet to drive sales of the daily delivered newspapers - rather than try to make the online versiono profitable. They lost *far* more than the New York paper each year. The New York paper was actually one of the more tech savy/friendly management groups that I experienced.
I am the webmaster for a long established Vermont daily newspaper. Per copy sales are slowly but surely headed downward as the younger generations do not read the news as much as the older.
Yet, the website continues to experience a steady 5% to 15% PER MONTH growth in visits! More and more people are getting their news online when and where they want. We can even scoop the hard copy version of the newspaper because they have to wait until the next morning to print out the Big Story while the internet department can post it to the world within seconds of receiving the information.
The biggest problem I face is from the old school staff. They not only see the internet news as a threat to selling hardcopy papers, they want to mold the online news into the image of the hardcopy version. I say, look at the numbers and the growing success of the website - lets run with it!
The biggest problem I face is from the old school staff.
You hit the nail on the head. They are stodgy and somewhat arrogant administrators.
I am sure most newspaper sites could be profitable if they were allowed to run with fresh blood at the helm. I don't even vist the online newspaper where I live (Chicago). It is a terrible design, cluttered with awkward ads and pop-ups. From what I saw, a problem was the support structure of the hard copy. The print people, support, drivers etc... these folks are directly threatened by the online paper.