Where does local media site traffic come from, anyway?

A group of German publishers is lobbying for a law that would require search engines to pay copyright fees to websites that are indexed. The general Internet cognoscenti reaction is "cut them off and let those arrogant fossils doom themselves," but it begs the question: How important is search traffic to news sites, anyway?

Vacation's over

I didn't actually intend to take such a long vacation from blogging, but it happened. Perhaps it was a good thing to spare the world from hearing me repeat myself. I took a real-world vacation, too, and spent a couple of weeks in Bangkok and Phuket, Thailand, with my youngest daughter, now a high school senior. But the summer is over, the kids are back in school, and I intend to return to the keyboard.

Anatomy of a #fail

I was on Facebook. It was the day after it went public and everybody on the inside became gazillionaires. I saw this "trending" story:

I clicked.

I muttered something under my breath and clicked "cancel."

Holy crap. So I went to Google News. Nothing about a plane crash.

So I ran a search.

Skeuomorphism, e-editions, and tablets

I remember the first time I saw one of those Flash-based "page turning" interfaces. I was sitting in a conference room in Minneapolis and an excited sales guy was pitching his company's tool, which could take newspaper pages and put them online as a print replica, saving us from all that messy Web stuff. He was so earnest and proud.

I was horrified. The Web isn't print. The Internet is a new medium with unique strengths. The whole idea was just ... sacrilege.

I've changed my point of view somewhat over the years, for several reasons:

How to fail backward

The Harvard guys have been telling us that failing forward can be a good thing -- learning, adapting, all that innovation stuff. But there's another kind of failure: failing backward. Here's a how-to guide:

"Audience first" and new leadership openings

Today six of the largest Morris Publishing Group newspapers are posting new senior management positions: vice president of audience. Internal and external candidates are welcome to apply.

This is a major step forward in the "audience first" program that Derek May described last week.

People's journalism isn't 'citizen journalism'

In the past week we've seen an uprising of angry people, mostly women, offended by the Susan G. Komen Foundation cutting off funding for breast cancer exams at Planned Parenthood clinics. It's just the latest example of how the global news conversation is in the hands of people, not just "the media." And it's what I had in mind over a dozen years ago when I talked about the rise of a new kind of people's journalism.