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Reminders of why I wound down Small Initiatives

The past several days had a way of reminding me why I wound down the types of part-time consulting I did most often as part of Small Initiatives. My Scripps job keeps me hopping, now more than ever, as we rethink what it means to be a local news media company from this point forward. […]

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Areas of strategic focus for news media

A friend from a newspaper industry association asked this morning what I thought were the most important problems, issues and opportunities facing our ragtag fleet. Here's what I said — all aimed at the whole U.S. newspaper industry, not any company in particular: We need to organize ourselves in ways that emphasize journalists and salespeople […]

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What in all this would make me click?

The adjacent image shows what can happen when weak news subject matter leads to a disjointed report, and a worse promotional link. The headline plays up how respondents to a new poll say Wal-Mart is the institution that best symbolizes America. The text below, which we newsies call a “teaser,” cites two completely different poll […]

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Blogress report

It takes a while to move around several years of blog posts and several more of static documents. I managed to install a bit more of a design on JaySmall.com, notify Google of the changes, get server redirects working to preserve the old Small Initiatives content, get Ka's blog going on its own, and install […]

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After SI: The next phase

Early this year Ka and I incorporated Small Initiatives. She was engaged in long-term consulting to modernize an insurance agency, and I had accepted a couple of new clients for Web development work. We wanted the structure and protection of a corporation, and felt we would need it for the long haul. Since then, we […]

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Papers and paid content: Watch your headlines

Headlines and snippets popped up in blogland yesterday that seemed to say just more than half of American newspaper publishers are gunning to implement paid content strategies on the Web. For example: Alan Mutter: Only 51% of pubs think pay walls will fly Lost Remote: 51% of the newspaper publishers in the United States believe […]

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Link bucket: More on this whole Internet thing

Links with longer shelf life and less cholesterol than fried butter, as if that's hard: Bakersfield paper may shutter community sites: Or may not, depending on which local executive you believe, and which lines you read between, in this PaidContent report. For e-book readers, the price is not right: Eight years ago, I was a […]

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After the sale, deliver the promise

I sat in stunned amazement last week following a service call with an agency management system sales rep. The call pertained to billing, technical support, and user group experience issues for a recently converted insurance agency. After outlining the issues, the rep shared his concerns about the inability to empower customers with access to the […]

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Collusion for pay wall/collision with brick wall

First, Tim Rutten makes the case that saving “premium” journalism means an act of Congress — specifically, an antitrust exemption so papers can collude on paid content pricing on their Web sites. Then, the reaction. Steve Outing, for example: “He's joking, right? U.S. newspapers, many with a history of profit margins in the 20-30% range […]

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Innovation's more than a chip shot

I love this line of reasoning from Jeffrey Phillips. He remarks how his four-times-a-year golf game belies very low expectations of performance, then this: “The comparison I want to make to my very part-time golf game is to the part-time efforts most firms put into innovation. If you want to be good at golf, you'll […]