Technology: There’s a dinosaur in the boardroom

This morning 1900 people from Fairfax lost their jobs. Why? Because Fairfax run their business like it’s 1900.

I am unaware of a news service more behind or less relevant than The Age newspaper. This morning I bought The Age paper for the first time in a long time, only because there was a slight article referencing me within the pages. It was $1.70 It was very thin for the price. Not many ads, which I’m sure is a worry for them.

I now read The Age online, actually I mostly just scan the headlines. If something happens, I will learn about it from Twitter before I read it online. It’s also telling that their competitor, The Herald Sun is faster to update their site than The Age.

The news will never make money through a payment gateway, because it’s too easy now to make it accessible for everyone. Like music. Make your news free, like Spotify and then people can upgrade without the ads if they want.

If the papers want to know what to do, I have a few ideas.

  • Don’t have an editor of your paper who isn’t on and using social media regularly. This is not the time for conscientious objecting. Like saying that gramophones are still relevant. Be tweeting at least.
  • Don’t have a payment gateway. Instead offer a tiered service based on no/lesser ads and an app for your ereader.
  • Own your space. Eonline owns celebrity gossip. They are fast and their tweets make me link to their pages, at least once a day. If you offer great financial news, then own it!!!
  • Be relevant. Too many times I see papers writing about something that is weeks old. Be interesting and don’t show me a meme from two months ago. It just makes you look daggy.
  • Have an strategy for communication. Not an ‘online’ strategy. It’s all one and the same now. Online/offline/through the line/ below and above the line. Draw a line FFS and combine how you’re going to talk to your readers/customer etc and then tell them.
  • Have a digital genius or three on your board.

There is a fantastic article from The Guardian that explains how the music industry had to embrace technology. David Bowie predicted it, I guess he is Ziggy Stardust after all.  Read it here.

News should be like music is now. On tap. You choose how much or what you want to consume.

That’s all.

*climbs off old imac/soapbox*

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