Facing Arianna

Phil Rosenthal from the Chicago Tribune asked me the right question: If you were a newspaper in Chicago, how would you react to the invasion of Arianna (see the post below). My response:

The old way would be to treat her as a competitor and try to do what she does.

The new way would be to find ways to work with her in a network: Sell her local ads and get a piece of her revenue as a result. Take feeds of the good blogs and bloggers she finds and put that in your site, taking the advantage of her curation and relationships. Start lots of blogs that crosspost in her product and yours so you use her to promote those blogs to a new audience. Provide her with feeds of your news so she can deliver it to her audience and you can get links from them to your content. Start to curate blogs on your own and include her in that collection so you can deliver the best of the larger network of local content to your audience. You no longer own the market; you are now part of a larger network and the larger that network is — if you’ve put yourself in the right position — the better it is for you.

  • Amen. What newspapers need are people who can recreate interest and excitement in the news. If it has to be outsourced to HuffingtonPost, then fine. News doesn’t have to be boring. The public can be served by more than hefty servings of journalistic veggies.

  • That’s what Google does, eh? They catch people on the way through — not as a destination.

  • Agreed – expanding and cultivating your network will lead to much more longer term benefits than short term head-to-head competition with the HuffPo. I think that’s the way the Chicago Tribune and others will survive. By working with HuffPo, working with local bloggers, and delivering news as a connected team. I would start by getting these guys involved. Great local Chicago news site. http://www.beachwoodreporter.com/