Posts about Business

Another dull blow to newspaper kidneys

Microsoft is now going into the free classifieds business.

Amaziki

The Customer Evangelists report that Amazon is experimenting with product-information wikis (more here) so we the customers can share and update information on products for sale. Damned smart. The evangelists also make some good suggestions.

: Rob Hof has more.

The Limited is evil

I have loved life under the do-not-call list. I hate those who play the loopholes. I just got a recorded message from Limited Too announding some stupid alleged sale. I called the number to yell at them for calling me so I could enjoy telling them that they had just lost us as a customer because they did not respect our wishes not to be called. But there I get no human being, only more recordings and a chance to supposedly opt out of future calls that requires me to enter my number, which I don’t trust. Retail rats.

Don’t they need new blood?

The American Press Institute puts $2 million into a project to find new business models for newspapers but I think they make a few mistakes: First, it’s not about new models for newspapers; it’s about new models for news. Second, the august group they gather for the task, though smart and experienced, are all from the big companies and the old ways. The newspaper industry’s worst fault is that it is insular and rejects new blood. This would have been a chance to find new people (and no, I don’t mean me) who are doing new things in new ways. That, ladies and gentlemen, is where the new models are going to come from, not from the old ways.

: Rafat Ali’s take here. And Rafat’s just the kind of person who should be in this thing.

: LATER: Nancy Wang says:

… the project goals also entail an “assessment of the threat to newspapers, including emerging competition”. Call it semantics, but this line of thinking continues to be insular. Instead of thinking about threats to newspapers, they should be thinking about learning (maybe even partnering) with the emerging competition that seems to be taking away their audiences.

Right. It’s not about the threats to newspapers.

It’s about the opportunties for journalism.

The smarter way

Cat leaves bag: Yahoo does a deal with with Nick Denton to distribute some of his blogs. Staci at Paid Content has the details:

In an interview, Scott Moore, head of news and finance for Yahoo, said the Gawker move is part of the strategy with Yahoo News to become “more blog aware and blogcentric.” … It’s not an exclusive deal, something Yahoo shies away from when it comes to licensing content….

Why not just buy Gawker? “For one thing, Nick wants to be independent. That’s important to him,” says Moore. Beyond that, “at this point, we’re not in the mode of acquiring blog content. We would rather work with as many as we can.” In fact, Yahoo wants to go broader and deeper, eventually working with smaller blogs “empowering people who don’t buy ink by the barrel.”

My emphasis above: This is the smarter way to jump on the blog train. AOL buys a handful. Yahoo wants to have relationships with many more.

You can’t buy enough blogs. And you shouldn’t want to. Part of the value of blogs is their independence. And in a medium that is doubling every five months, owning 50 or 100 or even 1,000 blogs is nothing. Having a relationship with thousands more will be worth more.

Buy high

Jim Cramer says:

My only regret, of course, is that I didn’t buy a lot more of it at $3.

Dumb and dumber money

Good grief: There’s now a friggin’ stampede to invest in AOL.

Yahoo Inc. is in early talks about buying a stake in Time Warner Inc.’s America Online unit, according to people familiar with the situation.

Yahoo joins a long list of suitors who have expressed an interest in AOL, including Microsoft Corp., Google Inc. and Comcast Corp. A person close to the situation says that Yahoo is interested in luring AOL users to its search engine.

I shouldn’t say this because I’m a disgruntled Time Warner stockholder and anybody buying this lemon is a good thing. But I feel morally bound to remind the world that AOL is a nightmare from which there is no waking up.

Another deal: Moreover sold

Moreover, the news feed company founded by Nick Denton, David Galbraith, and Angus Bankes — where I sat on the board — has been sold to Verisign. Rafat has the story — and, I’m sure, he’s pissed I couldn’t comment when he almost had the scoop a few weeks ago.