Hindsight

Today is the last day that the Seattle Post-Intelligencer is publishing its print edition. It will reduce its staff of 140 down to 20-25 employees as it moves to an online only newspaper. Three years ago I received the letter below from the Seattle Post-Intelligencer. (click the image below to view the letter). It notified me that I didn't get accepted to their internship program. Around this time, I got the same types of letters from editors at Newsweek, the St. Louis Post Dispatch, and many other daily newspapers and magazines. Hindsight has allowed me to realize that I applied to these types of internship programs for the wrong reasons. I had no vision; I didn't know what I wanted to do or become. I was denying the fact that newspapers were a dying industry, even though the writing was on the wall. I was applying because it was safe. I had worked at magazine for 4-5 months and was a J-school student. In retrospect, I was glad I caught on at a startup company called BuySelf Realty, and had the opportunity to change the way people sold their homes. This was in May 2006, around the time that flat-fee real estate services were becoming popular, and the housing bubble was in full swing.  I learned more about business there than I would have doing fact-checking at the P-I.  The takeaway When you don't get what you were hoping for, try to remember why you wanted it in the first place. Is it truly what you were looking for, or were  you trying to convince yourself it was what...

The numbers don’t lie – Print is dying – Hooray for Online Ads

The newspaper industry has experienced the worst drop in advertising revenue in more than 50 years, according to the Newspaper Association of America. Read the full article on Editor and Publisher. Some Stats from the Article: Print Advertising Total print advertising revenue in 2007 plunged 9.4% to $42 billion Classified plunged 16.5% to $14.1 billion. Internet Advertising Internet ad revenue in 2007 grew 18.8% to $3.2 billion compared to 2006. Advertising as a whole Total advertising revenue in 2007 — including online revenue — decreased 7.9% to $45.3 billion compared to the prior year. Newspapers earning more of their money online The NAA reported that online revenue now represents 7.5% of total newspaper ad revenue in 2007 compared to 5.7% in 2006. Tip of the Hat to The Cycle for pointing out the article. Google, whose stock was trading at over $740 per share in Nov. 2007, had  no...

The Week of the Underdog?

Could this be the week of the underdog? The Giants rallied past the Patriots. Now, could Barack rally past Hilary?Could McCain get the bid that was unforeseen only months ago? Time, maybe even hours, will tell. I think undecided Americans like rooting for the underdog.  It is a more compelling story than rooting for the favorite. The question is, will they show up and support the underdog? A compelling story can get people talking. But, talk is one thing; action is another. Here’s an update on Super Tuesday’s...

Opening Up

At the Consumer Electronics Show (CES), Comcast announced its plans to release a device called "AnyPlay", a portable DVD/CD Player that will allow users to record and playback up to 60 hours of footage from cable TV using DVR technology via a docking station of sorts. (see right for a picture of the AnyPlay from CNet, click to enlarge) The device is being co-developed by both Panasonic and Comcast. More on the AnyPlay device from CNet  and Reuters.    PC World has Comcast’s chief executive Brian Roberts quoted as saying, "The era of closed cable is over and the era of open cable is here." Talk about a (great) shift in mindset. After Verizon announced its plans to open its networks to other cell phones later this year there is a definite shift in thinking taking place amongst executives at cable and cellular companies. Rethinking your strategy, leveraging your assets and trying to serve your customers better is a great way to get ahead of the competition. More of the same is usually a losing...

Social Media and the Presidential Race

Ten republican hopefuls take the stage tonight for their first debate in New Hampshire. With the upcoming presidential election in mind, I decided to do a little social network research on Facebook. Here are a few things that I found. 1). Barack Obama has over 87,600 supporters on Facebook. He also has nine photos and some basic personal information posted on his profile. (education, personal interests, websites, etc.) 2). John McCain has over 3,000 supporters on Facebook. He also has basic personal information and 31 photos posted on his profile. He seems to use his profile more blatantly as a marketing tool than Barack Obama. For example, he has events posted for supporters to attend. Unlike Obama, Mccain’s profile isn’t written in first person so its easy to see that someone else is managing it for him. 3). There are tons of Anti-Hilary Clinton groups on Facebook, some with over 1,000 members. Also, Hilary Clinton does not have a profile on Facebook. The Big Deal: Social media allows major political hopefuls a chance to position themselves to the public and those that usually don’t turn out to vote, such as college-aged individuals. By utilizing social media and engaging constituents, a candidate can entrench an image of themselves among hard-to-reach groups. Also, social media provides a cheap, easy method for unlikely candidates to gain exposure and momentum. I wouldn’t be surprised if all potential candidates utilize social media throughout their long-lasting...