Tuesday, June 01, 2010

What would Jeff Jarvis do?

The Guardian / Observer seems to be quite interested in the Times paywall. It is not that clear that they have a different policy.

Peter Preston seems to think that not only will people subscribe but then rethink their experience of the Web -
So, once I've stumped up cash for access, I don't necessarily look at paywalled paper newspaper sites in the same old digital way. I may read them as I would a print newspaper. I'm not clicking around, adding page view to page view, following a tale that interests me from site to site. Consistency counts. My habits have changed because I've paid good money. The stuff behind the wall looks like a newspaper and basically exists to be read as an electronic newspaper. There's a certain logic here.

Well, time will tell. It is not only Peter Preston but also Media Guardian on a Monday that is on the Murdoch case. Charles Arthur asks whether Facebook is a friend or foe? The assumption seems to be that the media pages are only read by people who work as journalists, probably in print, and that most print journalists see Murdoch as a champion of their views. The suggestion is that Facebook is a bigger threat to newspapers than Google so Murdoch should redirect his "ire". The evidence is muddled because there is a detail in the depths of the story. Google UK directs "21.9% of clicks to news and media sites, compared to 6.72% for Facebook." So the earlier remarks about Facebook compared to Google dotcom do not make a lot of sense except as a base for sweeping claims in the headline.

Anyway, my main point is that this directing of clicks through to news sites is seens as evidence of the terrible danger posed by social media, clearly a bad thing. Apparently Facebook is full of quotes lifted from newspapers. My own impression is that most of Facebook is based on personal experience. Twitter is followed by journalists looking for news.

If the Guardian is taking a different direction then acceptance of social media could be a consequence of an open site. The OhmyNews model welcomes contributions from readers and links to other sites. I realise this is repeating earlier posts but we seem to be going back in time.

I still think Jeff Jarvis is not getting the space in media Guardian that he did last year. I have tried to check this but got no reply. It was never definite but seemed to be every other week at one point. He turns up on the central pages but not as a regular towards where the ABC numbers on newspapers might be.

What would he do if on the Guardian staff with a regular spot? Is there a case for being more direct about the Times paywall? What sort of involvement from readers would be welcome?

James Murdoch recently suggested that the British Library should limit public access to newspaper archives so that there was more of a market for publishers. There is a lot to discuss.

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