The Old Lady Sings

Many people have written off magazines and newspaper publishers as ante-diluvian and Waiting for Godot. Watch it. There is more to publishing on the Web than the technology – it also call for great editorial skills and a feel for good stories or story telling – a business that newspapers and magazines have been in for an awful longtime and have gotten very good at.

Some current examples of print publishers that are doing interesting things on the Web  are Business Week [be sure to see the Business Exchange], the Atlantic Monthly, The New Yorker among others. But the best example of an old line newspaper or magazine taking to the new Web 2.0 technology is the New York Times which lately has been proving that the Old Lady can truly sing with the best of the Online Websites.

How so some readers will say if they go to the NYTimes Home page as linked here? At first glance there appears to be nothing on the page that a good website could not use easily. But take another look. There are Web 2 widgets like tabbed panels, carousel displays, drop down menus, video players,  accordion  widgets and links every where["All the Links fit to Click" is the new NYTimes motto?]. And the Times has taken to blogging big time – these are WordPress  MU  blogs that range from BitsBlog thru Intransit to TierneyLab. Finally for a bit of the spectacular take a look at the following chart of trends in the stock market here - wow!

NYTimes Wow Widgets

The Stock Trends chart is not the only widget used in the news paper. Here are two more examples.

The following is taken from the Finance pages where the NYTimes Business section is now putting even Google or such business heavyweights as Morningstar to shame for the prowess of its Financial Stock tracking tools. These tools are so good that I do most of my investing investigations at the NYTimes and not at my online brokers website [okay,  TDWaterhouse].

The next example shows how the Times is taking advanatge of the Google’s ever widening APIs:

This Google spreadsheet is taken from the Bats blog in the NYTimes Sports section. The discussion is about what National League teams have the best pro-forma record for wining entry into the 2009 World Series. The story is proof once agian that Statistics love Baseball … or is that vice versa. But of even more important impact is the NYTimes is taking advanatge of the newly enriched Google Apps API very early – this is the first time I have seen an embedded Google APP on a major website.

Summary

A lot of people are saying that printed media are in for a Googling. Not so. The magazines and newspapers are fighting back by giving their online sites all the trappings of Web 2.0 and as noted above out-Googling the masters in some critical widget and display technologies. Leading that parade is the NYTimes. In short the “have-not-a-chance” printed media are becoming great information and entertainment franchises themeselves with the advertising revenues that enables.

But I fully expect some of the companies to step out into the education, seminars/presentations, and even travel+purpose businesses in expanding scope. If Michael Moore can do an infotainment movie like Capitalism:A Love Story and garner millions every couple of years – what should the Old Lady be able to do?

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