What’s New? That’ll Cost Ya…

Your trip to the doctor's offices are never going to be the same. Gone are the days of the oral thermometer (and the rectal one I hope), write it down in the paper chart (designed just to make you wait for the results of the thermometer), and the beeper (designed to let doctors get out of bad dinner parties).

They have been replaced by the temporal thermometer (a swipe across the head), the iPad or laptop, and Blackberry (or smart phone of you choice) and the beeper (if your doctor still has one…  please back yourself out of the examining room)!

But the biggest change will happen even before you make it to the examining room… it will be in the waiting room.  What soon will be  missing is the magazine.  Newsweek announced that it is halting publication at the end of the year.. What's next?  Home & Garden… People…  and (hold your breath) Field & Stream?  If you have not noticed…  magazines and newspapers get thinner and thinner and then disappear (like breeds of endangered animals). RIP Newsweek!

RIP Chicago Tribune Online…

Fast forward to newspapers…  The Chicago Tribune online is now going to charge for access (not the first or the last to try this). “The Chicago Tribune will begin charging for its online content, an editor said Wednesday, making it the third and last Chicago metro area daily newspaper to do so.”.  You may not be able to read this later because the publisher “The Daily Herald”  charges for content also.

It's not like you can't read news anymore….  what's going away is the free community!  My wife Kim is more patient than I.  She would read an article, then spend more time reading the comments to get the pulse of the other readers. I would breeze them but never dig into like she would.  Kim says that… “The real story can often be seen through those who comment on it.”.

Farewell Free Facebook???

So Facebook created Brand Pages…  Then after their failed IPO (failed in the sense that now they have to answer to stockholders and not users anymore), they introduced “Promoted Posts”.  If you want to reach all your fans or potential audience… drop the cost of 1-2 Starbucks lattes and we will remove limits that stop you from communicating to them like you could before?  Now they have added the same feature to everyone's posts.  You can “Promote Posts” to your friends so all of them can see what you ate for dinner.  That get's your post higher up the news feed.

The best comment I got on the above post was someone suggested changing “Promote” to “Donate to Facebook” : )  I am sure that the average person is not going to be willing to pay for what was originally a free service.  They will more than likely ignore that option, or jump on the next train their friends are willing to try (Pintrest, Twitter, etc.).  The #FAIL is not the platform, it's more about the rush to monetization and  forgetting about (or just not understanding) it's customers!

Final Thoughts

In most peoples lives, the only constant is “Change”. Newspapers are trying to stay relevant, but they offer you yesterday's news today.  Magazines offer you last weeks news at best.  It's hard to compete with the immediacy of  Google, Facebook and Twitter.  iPhones and other smart phones are changing the way we communicate.  Most have cameras that take better pictures or videos than your digital camera. iPads, Kindles, and other tablets are portable digital eReaders that let you choose your own content (some free & some paid) and take it with you to let's say… the doctor's office.

The new IOS6 on the iPhone 5 & iPad 3 with integrated Facebook & Twitter, makes sharing and posting so easy, that the amount of content being generated is growing at a rapid pace. Apps like Flipboard, covert your Facebook, Twitter & LinkedIn feeds and more – into your own personalized Digital Magazine (Zite is another good option). Both are Free!

You can feel sorry for Publishers Clearing House, or the solicitors selling magazines, but soon, they are going to have to get a new gig.  It's like when the “Psychic Friends Network” went bankrupt…  Who Saw That Coming???

I would love to hear (or read) your thoughts and comments?

4 Responses to What’s New? That’ll Cost Ya…

  1. Matt Brennan October 20, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    The online transition for the journalism industry has been a painful and tricky one. For one thing, the heaviest news consumers tend to be people who are used to feeling the paper in their hands. On the other hand, that’s news that is at least 24 hours old by the time you read it. A focus on online content makes newspapers a more relative player in the up-to-the-minute news industry. On the flip side, readers have gotten used to free online content. Online subscription fees are going to have to be low, because it’s going to be tough to convince people to pay for something they’ve always had for free.

    Same problem with Facebook. We’ve gotten used to it for free. I’d be curious to see some statistics on how the “promoted posts” feature does, because high visibility in your news feed seems like something Facebook should already be providing.

    It’ll be interesting. Good blog!

  2. B2b October 20, 2012 at 5:36 pm #

    Very good points Matt.. Thanks for your input!

  3. Birnie Harper November 5, 2012 at 8:44 am #

    I proposed something on FB today (one week of no political comments starting Thursday, which is getting lots of responses, based on how much my phone is buzzing) and FB tried to get me to “promote it” which I never considered. I didn’t realize they were going to try to get money from me. I doubt many people will use this.

    • B2b November 5, 2012 at 12:25 pm #

      Birnie… That’s the point. I doubt people want to pay to use a free service! Thanks for the comment!

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