Online Business Models
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Online Business Models
Web-Based Business Strategies and Monetization Models
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Scooped by Robin Good
March 30, 2012 2:03 AM!

Online Newspapers and Paywalls: It's The Relationship That Counts, Not The Traffic

Online Newspapers and Paywalls: It's The Relationship That Counts, Not The Traffic | Online Business Models |

Robin Good: At GigaOM, Mathew Ingram has a very good article on online newspapers and their rising problem with monetization.

If I had to synthesize its content and re-title it, I would write: "Traffic Is Worth Zero If You Are Looking for New Revenues - Try The Open Journalism Model".

Here a few key excerpts from the original article: "The problem for both the Post and the Guardian is the same as that confronting virtually every other major newspaper: print-advertising revenue, which a majority of papers rely on for the bulk of their income, continues to fall off a very large cliff..."

The alternatives, non-standard solutions, may be using the so-called Open Journalism model.

"Guardian editor-in-chief Alan Rusbridger described them fairly succinctly...

in a nutshell, readers can contribute by providing their time, their information or their money.

Ideally, a truly interactive digital-media outlet would make use of all three of these, in order to build relationships with readers that are about more than just a cash grab.

"...trying to increase the ways in which its readers can contribute to or become involved in news stories — including opening up its story-assignment schedule to the public for commentary."

"...think of the relationship with readers as being about more than just money, and then let the monetization flow out of that relationship, rather than the reverse."

"...try the “reverse paywall” method suggested by Jeff Jarvis and former Washington Post managing editor Raju Narisetti...

...that encourages readers to “level up” and provide either more information about themselves or more effort in a variety of ways, and then gives them benefits as a result."

Truthful. Insightful. 9/10

Full article: 

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Scooped by Robin Good
December 31, 2011 7:40 AM!

The Future Business Model for Online News Publishers: The Reverse Meter - Jeff Jarvis | BuzzMachine

Jeff Jarvis at Buzz Machine considers the upside-down logic of paywalls at online newspapers, where low-value readers get their content for free while loyal, engaged readers are required to pay.

Instead Jarvis proposes that newspapers build the opposite — a system of credits that rewards readers for actions that show loyalty (and benefit) the publication, such as:

a) sharing stories across social media,

b) looking at ads,

c) reading more articles (which generates more ad inventory), and

d) sharing data about yourself that enables the paper to charge higher advertising rates.

Jeff Jarvis wites: "Imagine that you pay to get access to The Times. Everyone does.

You pay for one article.

Or you pay $20 as a deposit so you’re not bothered every time you come.

But whenever you add value to The Times, you earn a credit that delays the next bill.
* You see ads, you get credit.
* You click: more credit.
* You come back often and read many pages: credit.
* You promote The Times on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, or your blog: credit. The more folks share what you’ve shared, the more credit you get.
* You buy merchandise via Times e-commerce: credit.
* You buy tickets to a Times event: credit.
* You hand over data that makes you more valuable to The Times and its advertisers (e.g., revealing where you’re going on your next trip): credit.
* You add pithy comment to articles that other readers appreciate: credit.
* You take on tasks in crowdsourced journalistic endeavors: credit.
* You answer a reporter’s question on Twitter and the reporter uses your information: credit.
* You correct an error in a story: credit.
* You give a news tip or an idea for an article The Times publishes: credit.

Maybe you never pay for The Times again because The Times has gained more value out of its relationship with you.

If, on the other hand, you hardly do any of those things, then you have to pay for using The Times."


"You see, that values the local reader over the remote reader.

My idea for the reverse meter values the engaged reader over the occasional reader — and even rewards greater engagement.

And therein lies, I think, the key strategic skill for news businesses online: understanding that all readers are not equal; knowing who your more valuable readers are; getting more of them; and making them more valuable."


"The key strategic opportunity for news sites is relationships — deeper, more valuable relationships with more (but not too many) people."

Must-read. 9/10

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