Myspace, brand volatility, and the future of newspapers

Scott Karp asks: Has the Myspace downturn begun? He has charts and graphs, too.

Many of us believe brands are much more volatile today than a generation ago. Great brands are still hard (and expensive) to build, but the amplified word of mouth that's made possible by the Internet allows the almost-overnight creation of Myspace as a $580 million brand. What happens next? Is it a lasting brand? Don't forget that "easy come" is often followed by "easy go."

Raising the moss curtain on a participative website

Awhile back I mentioned a project that we had in the works. The curtain has been lifted, partially, with the "preview" launch at of an all-new community website associated with the Savannah Morning News. In a matter of weeks, the site will be completed and will replace

Reporting on rumors (10 "facts" on immigration)

I grew up in a world where editors could make the rules. "We don't report rumors" was one of them.

Those days are gone now, and reporting on rumors is one of the major shifts for professional journalism. No, we shouldn't repeat them -- at least not unchallenged. We have a responsibility to correct them. It's part of that "guides, not gatekeepers" thing.

Some science on the registration question

Kudos to Jay Small for sharing discoveries from a carefully test of registration models at Scripps newspaper sites.

In a test at 13 newspaper sites, Scripps modified the so-called threshhold -- the number of "free" pageviews a visitor is allowed before being challenged for registration or login -- and carefully measured the results.

Pulitzers still stuck in a bygone era

E&P's Joe Strupp has a wrapup of how online components figured in the Pulitzer Prizes announced yesterday. While online elements were included in many of the winning entries, they were limited to text and still photographs -- no audio, no video, no interaction.

Strupp quoted Sig Gissler, prize administrator: "There are others to consider down the road," Gissler noted. "We will be making other change as circumstances change."

Circumstances changed last century.

Rob Runett, duct tape

Rob Runett has announced his departure from the Newspaper Association of America to become new product development manager for the Motley Fool. In the world of newspaper new-media efforts, Rob is duct tape, the universal put-it-together guy, and he'll be sorely missed. He created and mostly wrote the Online Publishing Update newsletter, drove the Connections conference planning process, and wrote countless reports.