links for 2009-03-02

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 2 March 2009
  • "I have to confess that I was somewhat surprised at the extent to which my CILIP FAIL post generated debate last week and over the weekend; that's the thing with posts - you never really know what's going to hit a nerve or what will sink without a trace. I got many things from the conversations (in Twitter, my blog and Bob's blog) that I've been thinking about over the weekend. Some are positive and some are not. Conversations are increasingly taking place in a wider variety of places, and at different speeds. We no longer have the luxury of being able to spend hours or days crafting responses as we did in a print format."
  • On the one hand, you have an opportunity to make all of your catalogue accessible at a stroke at ZERO cost, and to turn all of your catalogue into talking books at ZERO cost. On the other hand, you could try and protect a model of recording and distributing talking books that is already struggling because they are all over torrent sites. So obviously, you go for the latter. As Ian says: "Looking back at the music and video industries attempts to control how and where people use their products I can't say I rate their chances very highly".
  • "Not that it's anything we think the New York Times Company should do, but we thought it was worth pointing out that it costs the Times about twice as much money to print and deliver the newspaper over a year as it would cost to send each of its subscribers a brand new Amazon Kindle instead". It isn't quite as simple as that, but it did remind me of when someone calculated that it was cheaper for ITV to bus everybody watching Football League matches to the actual games than pay for the OnDigital TV rights.
  • "Opportunity: Do your readers a favour and link to any web pages or sites that you mention in your articles and blog posts". Kevin Sablan with all the hyperlinks that Cale Cowan could have used in his 'Stop the press' follow-up post, along with some of the biographical detail about Jon Slattery and myself that he might also have noticed if he had.
  • "The French town of Eu says it is being bypassed by tourists who can't find it on search engines like Google. A search for the site in English results in many references to the European Union, while a French search will commonly result in a variant of the French verb avoir, to have. According to the Times of London, the town's mayor is hoping to add more syllables to Eu in an effort to increase its search engine optimization".
  • "Phone any regional newspaper title in the country and speak to their ad sales team. The conversation will result in them offering you a rate card for the print edition. Sound sceptical about the costs and benefits. They will offer space online for free. Every time. I know, because I’ve spoken to quite a few ad sales teams in the last year. In essence to secure the advertising for the print edition, they have in the past completely undermined the business they need to survive in the future. They have told every one of their advertisers that online adverts are not worth paying for". [via Sarah Hartley]

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