The Media Oxpecker: Bursting the Tablet-as-Savior Bubble

Every week we round up media news you may have missed.

  • Why did News Corp’s tablet publication The Daily fail? Felix Salmon says it’s the medium: “Tablets in general, and the iPad in particular, are actually much less powerful and revolutionary than many of us had hoped.”

    When the iPad launched, it allowed people to do things they could never do with a print publication: watch videos, say. But at the same time the experience was still inferior to what you could get on the web, which iterates and improves incrementally every day. The iPad then stayed still — the technology behind iPad publications is basically the same as it was two years ago — even as the web, in its manner, predictably got better and better.

    Jeff Jarvis says making The Daily a tablet-only publication doomed it from the start:
    A news organization should have a strategy built around relationships with individuals, serving them wherever, whenever, and on whatever platform they like. My needs don’t change just because the device in my hands does.

    Not to mention that the project was also way too expensive, notes John Gruber:

    They set up an operation with $25 million a year in expenses. But there’s no reason why a daily iPad newspaper needs that sort of budget. A daily iPad newspaper of the scope of The Daily might (but I doubt it), but that simply means the scope of The Daily was ill-conceived. News Corporation went no further than taking the newspaper as we know it — the newspaper as defined by the pre-Internet 20th century — and cramming it into an iPad wrapper. You can’t tell me a good daily iPad newspaper couldn’t be run profitably for $5 million a year.

  • “I wish I had been smarter,” says John Robinson looking back on his 27 years at the News & Record in Greensboro, NC. “After a year as a civilian newspaper reader, I realize how often I worked on the wrong things.”

    Stories and art must be compelling. Too often we wrote the sorts of process-oriented government stories that are a time-honored tradition with newspapers. But for many papers, that time has run out. In short, we spent time and precious resources on stories that didn’t matter much to most readers. We should have been writing stories that compelled people to read them. We didn’t do enough investigative pieces. We didn’t do enough good reads. We didn’t do enough of what readers valued.

  • Matt Thompson on why journalists should explore the business side of news:

    When you dig into innovations in revenue around journalism and media today, you find that more and more of it involves making products out of the skills, tools and sensibilities of journalism itself. For years, journalists have left the industry to find that their skills fetch higher prices in the public relations world. Now, with the people formerly known as the advertisers increasingly trying to build audiences of their own, these skills are at an even higher premium.

  • Here are some data security tips for journalists.

  • Does the quality of your website affect purchase intent in users? A survey says yes.

  • Gawker Media has acquired Guanabee Media and its portfolio of websites focused on Latino news and culture

  • Some businesses are suing customers for writing bad Yelp reviews.

  • On the importance of good editing for online success.

  • The future of advertising will be hyper-localized.

  • Bubble alert! A rising inventory of pre-roll video ads is bringing rates slightly down.

  • And finally, remember the study we mentioned last week, which said 82 percent of all sharing on the web is done via copy-and-paste? Turns out the study was put out by a firm selling a service which “inserts a page URL when copied content is pasted into emails and social sites” and helps publishers blah, blah, disrupt, monetization, etc.

    In other words, turns out we shouldn’t have copy-and-pasted that link to AdWeek‘s story.