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Summary:

By Chris Tryhorn: James Harding, the editor of the Times, today gave the clearest indication yet of how News International is going to start…

By Chris Tryhorn: James Harding, the editor of the Times, today gave the clearest indication yet of how News International is going to start charging for its journalism online.

Pledging to “rewrite the economics of newspapers”, Harding said the Times would charge for 24-hour access to that day’s edition of the paper alongside a subscription model, but dismissed the idea of micro-payments for individual articles.

Harding said the newspaper business had to avoid the mistakes of the music industry

This article originally appeared in © Guardian News & Media Ltd..

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  1. Miles Galliford Tuesday, November 17, 2009

    When will they learn!

    The big publishers have had a monopoly on news for so long they think can simply "rewrite the economics of newspapers" and the world will follow.

    Every market condition that allowed news publishers to flourish and print money has changed – news scarcity, high cost production, physical distribution and ability of individuals to contribute news.

    It does not matter how many toys News International throw out of their pram, the world won't change to meet their agenda. Digital editions have never worked. Payment for 24 hours has never worked. This startegy will never work!

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  2. "This strategy will never work!"

    Well, I'd love to have such a clear view of the future. Miles, any other big news in your crystal ball?

    The internet became a cesspool of "free" nonsense and loser-generated BS. Murdoch will clean it up!

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  3. So, instead of serving millions of interested visitors from all over the world with free content, the billionaire chooses to serve only a few pseudo elitist anachronists with paid content that no other website will link to anymore? What an impressive perversion of the original internet idea. FAIL!

    Newspapers which charge more money online than for the oldschool printed paper, are nothin' but a rip-off. Where's the unique content that this newspaper creates, where are "the stories"? I only see a copy&paste; engine replicating content created by news agencies, nothing spectacular that anyone would deeply miss.

    >>The internet became a cesspool of “free” nonsense and loser-generated BS.

    Only losers think so. The times in which "newspapers" were needed to spread knowledge and wisdom are over, totally over.

    Spiegel Online in Germany has failed with paid offline content and had to put it online again and Times Online will do so as well. If they don't comply, they die, maybe not in terms of money but in terms of relevance, they will turn into a local rag. Congratulations!

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  4. @Jeff

    If you use the "free" Google search on "internet + cesspool," you will find that it is… the Google's Schmidt who said that the Internet has become a cesspool.

    Only loser can think that, indeed — a hypocritical loser!

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  5. >>If you use the “free” Google search on “internet + cesspool,” you will find that it is… the Google’s Schmidt who said that the Internet has become a cesspool.

    So what? Internet has become a normal part of our life, which is also full of cesspools. If you want to make the internet a better place, you have to make the world a better place.

    He didn't say '“free” nonsense and loser-generated BS"' by the way, and especially he didn't say that such content had to be "cleaned up". Looks like he has understood that Google's success is the result of the internet being a cesspool, in opposite to Murdoch…

    He also said: "We don't actually want you to be successful…the fundamental way to increase your rank is to increase your relevance."

    And the point is: You cannot raise your relevance by excluding people from your content anymore, in a networked presence and future.

    Murdoch thinks that his online newspapers have a chance to work like his offline newspapers in the past. But they don't, simply because people are not limited to local newspapers anymore and they know the news already because they read it yesterday, in a free specialized blog filled with free content by a free journalist who sells compendiums of his daily work, let's call it "books", because he is relevant. He is relevant because he is linked. He is linked because he does a great job.

    You see, this is the presence and future I prefer. I give a shit about Murdoch, he is irrelevant. Let's give him a chance to bite the dust with even more billions, earned because people buy "The Sun" and consume all his ad-saturated Fox TV trash and then let's move on.

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  6. @Jeff

    Well, Schmidt called the Internet a cesspool and a breeding ground of misinformation. Do you think that he referred to the WSJ or The Economist as the sources of all this nonsense and BS that dominates the Net?

    There are close to 50 billion webpages in the Net; a typical site is by a 14-yrs old schoolgirl that uses the very sophisticated information superhighway to publish her "deep thoughts," upload a few (stolen) tunes or last-night party pictures, and which is read by 4 other people on average. This is what the Net has become.

    For Google it does not matter. The more such sites the better, the bigger need to use a SE to navigate through this cesspool. But what do I have from that Google-created environment? What do you have, Jeff? Do not be naive.

    The so called free or ad-supported model is a business model — one in which YOU pay for the cost of distribution (ISP fees, electricity, hardware etc.; distribution is not free, unless for Google), the content creator and/or publisher pays for the content (or has to give it away for free), and Google gets billions by piggybacking its ads on this "free" and "loser-generated" traffic. You are just a mule, Jeff, helping Google push its highly-profitable schlock: the ads, of course, not the information, as they want you to believe. Google does not create nor publish any information at all; it is a huge ad-network, nothing else.

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  7. >>Do you think that he referred to the WSJ or The Economist as the sources of all this nonsense and BS that dominates the Net?

    Nope, he referred to "The internet is for porn!" of course.

    >>[...] This is what the Net has become.

    Just don't visit these sites as they aren't made for you obviously but for her friends, I guess. I don't see a problem with that. 14-yr-olds have every right to create crappy sites, just like any 78-yr-old like Murdoch has every right to sell his crap if he can find someone who likes it.

    >>What do you have, Jeff? Do not be naive.

    I have many choices to choose from.

    >>The so called free or ad-supported model is a business model — one in which YOU pay for the cost of distribution (ISP fees, electricity, hardware etc.; distribution is not free, unless for Google)

    I would have to pay the same amount of ISP fees, electricity, hardware, etc… if all ads were gone. Murdoch won't pay your electricity bill as well, I guess, with his Times Offline.

    >>the content creator and/or publisher pays for the content (or has to give it away for free), and Google gets billions by piggybacking its ads on this "free" and "loser-generated" traffic.

    Indeed, and as a result, indexed content is found, a classical win-win-situation. If you don't want your site to be indexed, just exclude it and try to attract people in a different way. But don't expect Google to do the index work, send you people for free and on top of that send you a cheque for your content which it needs to do the job.

    >> You are just a mule, Jeff, helping Google push its highly-profitable schlock:

    I am not a mule – whatever that means – I use whatever search engine serves me best, I am not limited to Google.

    >>Google does not create nor publish any information at all; it is a huge ad-network, nothing else.

    Google Maps and Chrome OS are Fata Morganas? What a happy day for TomTom and NavTeq! Still in business at the end of 2010! Hooray!

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  8. You contradict yourself: first you blame Murdoch for being a billionaire and serving only the elites (or "pseudo-elitists anachronists; whatever that means); then, you say that he has every right to publish whatever he wants. So what is it? Aren't Google or Yahoo billion-dollar companies?

    You say that in exchange for being a mule to Search Engines, you have many choices to use, but how do you know that? You depend on their indexes, built according to their (secret) algorithms. Are you sure that the SE engine criteria are built to serve you, and not the interest of those who pay for selected keywords and links? Have you heard about Google's deals with the China's government to exclude certain sites from their indexes? Some people are so naive. I am afraid that had you had to live in communist Russia, you'd believe that it was a Russian who invented a TV and radio and a bicycle too — simply because this is what every Soviet book and even encyclopedia would say.

    If ads were gone you would pay significantly less for ISP, electricity, etc., and your computer would have a lot smaller CO2 footprint. How come? AT least 30% of the net traffic, including broadband usage, storage, etc. is consumed now by advertising — free advertising, you'd say, but there is nothing for free, Jeff. You pay for that extra space and traffic, not Google or Yahoo. That is why you are a mule (a person who carries, often unknowingly, someone else's shady business at his own risk and expense) .

    Please try to understand, I am not talking about content, but paid advertising and links. Each time you open a "free" e-mail, you download kilobites of ads. Each time you open a "free" site, you download tons of ads, links, cookies and temporary Internet files. Now, multiply this "stuff" by billions and billions of such transactions and megabits a day — how much of ADDITIONAL hardware and electricity is needed to handle this? Who pays for that?

    I am not for eliminating or banning online ads, let alone SE. The net is big enough for everyone to enjoy it. But we have to understand what our choice REALLY are. One of these options is to pay a few dollars a day and have the net free of unwanted ads, links, tracking cookies, (including cookie blockers, spayware busters) and all these unnecessary loser-generated BS that only pollutes the Internet. The few dollars a day is roughly an equivalent of what we already pay serving the needs of the Googles of the world. You might not like this choice, but I do.

    And if you are fro choice, let me have it. OK?

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