Business Bytes

New High-Tech Magazine

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These are tough times for high-tech magazines. Popular ones such as Yahoo! Internet Life, The Industry Standard, On Magazine, Red Herring and Upside recently closed down, and other established ones like Wired and Business 2.0 have struggled. So it takes a lot of guts to launch a new technology magazine -- and Fred Davis, the former editor of PC Week and PC Magazine, has guts. He's launched a new magazine, DigiT, aimed at the consumer masses. It's meant to be a "digital lifestyle" magazine, with features such as Dean Kamen's Segway Killed My Puppy! The pilot issue is on the newstands now. With its consumer approach and its timing -- as the ad market slowly picks up -- it might just succeed, if it's smart and avoids the excesses of the dot-com era failures.

Why Information Will No Longer Be Free

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With more readers and classified ad dollars moving online, newspaper executives are increasingly looking to the Web to make money, leading to new subscription models, writes Michael Scherer in the Columbia Journalism Review. "The free ride that proved so costly for newspapers is coming to an end," he says. "Online news junkies will increasingly have to give up money or personal information to get their previously free fix."

CJR, Power Reporting Partner

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The Columbia Journalism Review has partnered with Power Reporting, a top-notch research site for journalists that Pulitzer-Prize-winning reporter Bill Dedman has been building since 1997. Power Reporting has a fantastic searchable database of thousands of resources organized by beat (Aging, Agriculture) and by type (phone books, public records). CJR's interns will update the site under his supervision.

Salon's Costly, Controversial Content

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In addition to the troubling financial news, Salon's recent quarterly report including some disconcerting statements claiming that advocacy groups that disagreed with content on Salon had targeted Salon's advertisers to persuade them to pull their ads. In a section titled, "THE CONTROVERSIAL CONTENT OF SALON'S WEBSITES MAY LIMIT ITS REVENUES," the company wrote: "Many of our websites contain, and will continue to contain, content that is politically and culturally controversial. As a result of this content, current and potential advertisers and Salon Premium subscribers may refuse to do business with Salon. Salon's outspoken stance on political issues has and may continue to result in negative reactions from some users, commentators and other media outlets. From time to time, certain advoc...

Red Herring Dies

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Technology magazine Red Herring has folded after 10 years. It's the latest in a string of deaths of technology publications, including Yahoo! Internet Life, Forbes ASAP, The Industry Standard, Upside, Smart Business and Silicon Alley. But Tony Perkins is already onto his next venture, the AlwaysOn Network, a collection of commentary by "celebrity bloggers." "AlwaysOn?s business model is even more significant than its approach to technology and business content. Perkins started the site with nothing more than a $150 blogging software package called pMachine, and put only about $50,000 into the site?s development," he told Fortune. "He has a tiny staff?only three full-time and three part-time employees. But from day one, he claims, his costs have been more than covered by his four paying spo...

Subscription Success

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While the verdict is still out on charging for online content as a business strategy, a promising sign comes from the Financial Times Web site. Previously known for cash guzzling, FT.com has made a profit for the first time. Despite introducing subscriptions last May, the the overall number of people using the site has continued to increase. In January, FT.com had a record 3.5 million users, a 30 percent increase from a year earlier considering the new charges of between ?59 and ?99 a year.

OPA Identifies Web Dayparts

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A new report from the Online Publishers Association concludes that weekdays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. represent the largest "daypart" (an advertising term meaning blocks of time with homogeneous audiences) on the Internet in terms of total audience and total usage minutes. The study, which used data from Nielsen//NetRatings, identified five distinct "dayparts" on the Web: early morning (Mon.-Fri., 6-8 a.m.), daytime (Mon.-Fri., 8 a.m.-5 p.m.), evening (Mon.-Fri., 5-11 p.m.), late night (Mon.-Fri., 11 p.m.-6 a.m.) and weekends (Sat.-Sun., all day).

Dayparts: News Surfers' Changing Habits

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A new study finds that news site surfers' habits change throughout the day, with profound implications for the online news industry. "By morning, our users are almost as interested in news ? breaking, local, national, business and sports ? as they are in e-mail," says Rusty Coats, whose MORI Research conducted the 2002 Online Consumer Study for the Newspaper Association of America. "By afternoon, with the importance of news waning, entertainment-category features such as movie times, maps and directions, and offbeat news are on the rise. In the evening, our ability to connect users with jobs, cars and homes becomes central, along with our ability to facilitate their online-shopping needs ? from researching products to actually purchasing products." Coats points out that the findings could ...

WSJ Online Not Laughing Anymore

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WSJ.com thought it was pretty clever when it launched an ad camapign called Biz-O-Rama mocking its free counterparts. But The New York Times reports that the Journal appeared to have lost its sense of humor when MarketWatch tried to place an ad on The Journal Online that asked, in a preliminary version, "Where does The Wall Street Journal advertise ? when they need to reach the online business audience?" The ad's answer: CBS MarketWatch. Dow Jones not only rejected the ad, but then pulled its Biz-O-Rama ad from MarketWatch.com. The curious will be able to find the ad next week in the online and print editions of Advertising Age.

More Business Bytes entries

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Pay for Content? Whaddya, Nuts? The Irish Times started charging for breaking news, CNN.com is charging for streaming video -- all while a new study finds that 70 percent of Internet-using adults "can't understand why anyone would pay for content." Get the low-down on cutbacks and charging for content in CyberJournalist.net's new Digital Media Business News Round-Up archives. (more…)