Cycled and fished instead – not regretting it either
And my prediction for the week…
UPDATE: Via Steven Pearlstein…
Since last June, we’ve seen a fairly consistent pattern to the economic mood swings. Every three months or so, there’s a round of bad news about housing, followed by warnings of more bank write-offs and then a string of disappointing corporate earnings reports.
Let’s not forget the government announcements of salvation immediately thereafter. Me thinks Mr. Pearlstein is spot on, and you should read the whole thing.
Well just about everyone. But it depends on where you look.
Newspapers are crying “Craigslist, Craigslist!” Mags just blame blogs (I think). But no matter where you turn in the print media realm, some entrenched someone is blaming the internet for their woes. Personally, I think the above mentioned problems stem from piss poor content. A recently lobotomized chimpanzee could probably still reason that much of what they are reading, otherwise passed off as “news”, is really some journo’s half-baked attempt to skew the issue of the day to their fancy (while they wait for their contract buyout). Plainly and simply, it’s primarily bunk.
There are, however, a few good tithings within. Plenty of publications are getting bought out by guys who think Google is stealing their content. This levels the playing field by letting a few shareholders save face, and it keeps Google somewhat in check (baseless lawsuits notwithstanding). And there are plenty of blogs out there that get to opine endlessly about the need for print publications to adapt – some of these folks will eventually succumb to gainful employment as the VP’s of Internet Strategy for these dinosaurs, and many developers will make a few bucks setting up in-house blogging networks. Additionally, a few feed aggregators get bought, and some twenty-something MBA school dropouts get to pay Mom, Dad, and J.P. Morgan Chase back. Several years from now mainstream print publications will figure out whether their desperate attempts worked. I suspect many won’t last that long.
Meanwhile, those three-inch thick books that wind up on your doorstep (i.e. yellow pages)? Well, they’re print – pretty much newsprint, just bound. They take up a lot of paper and press time. They’re given away. There are few internet-oriented barriers to entry. Time to dig another grave?
Uh, nope. They seem to be thriving. Maybe it is because they whine less.
UPDATE/ADDITIONAL: Peter Kafka says the economic downturn is making magazines bleed. A comparison of rate cards to home prices? Very original.
Latest newspaper circulation report:
The Audit Bureau of Circulations released circulation numbers for more than 700 daily newspapers this morning for the six-month period ending September 2007…According to an analysis of ABC figures, for 538 daily U.S. newspapers, circulation declined 2.5% to 40,689,617. For 609 papers that filed on Sunday, overall circulation dropped 3.5% to 46,771,486. The percentages are based on comparisons from the same period a year ago.
Uglier for some of the bigger papers, and I suspect some of the numbers are downright bogus as well.
UPDATE: Unaudited circulation disaster details here.
A bit of a rant (and you’ll have to read between the lines to find any inferred solutions), but an interesting read nonetheless.
Maybe newspapers had reason to be paranoid after all. Let’s file this under “one foot in the grave.”
The last line of the second comment here should provoke a lot of whining.