Newspapers: Another Analysis of Failure

January 7, 2009

Slate’s Jack Shafer took a Tanaka ECS-3301 chain saw to traditional newspapers here. His “How Newspapers Tried to Invent the Web” was an enjoyable read for me. I don’t think the wizards at some of the formerly high flying newspaper companies were similarly affected. The hook for the article was Pablo J. Boczkowski’s 2004 book, Digitizing the News: Innovation in Online Newspapers. Armed with a fact platform, Mr. Shafer frolics through the misadventures of media mavens and the Web. The phrase I liked was “extreme suckage”. I wish this goose had thought of that. Wordsmithing aside, the comment that resonated with me was:

From the beginning, newspapers sought to invent the Web in their own image by repurposing the copy, values, and temperament found in their ink-and-paper editions. Despite being early arrivals, despite having spent millions on manpower and hardware, despite all the animations, links, videos, databases, and other software tricks found on their sites, every newspaper Web site is instantly identifiable as a newspaper Web site. By succeeding, they failed to invent the Web.

A congratulatory quack to Mr. Shafer for this write up. Read at once. Now think about a similar fate for motion picture outfits confident of their brilliance after a strong 2008. The party’s not over for that crowd. More about this in my forthcoming Google and Publishing monograph.

Stephen Arnold, January 7, 2009


2 Responses to “Newspapers: Another Analysis of Failure”

  1. Colbenson WebLog » » Los errores de la prensa en su conversión a Internet on January 7th, 2009 9:03 am

    […] entrada de Steve Arnold de Beyond Search, me dirige a un gran articulo “how the newspaper industry […]

  2. Today’s Headlines: January 7, 2009 « SIGNONORAMA on January 7th, 2009 4:55 pm

    […] Newspapers: Another Analysis of Failure […]

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta