In my new job in Savannah, I'm responsible for print as well as digital audience. It's been awhile since I last dealt with print -- I've been working on the digital side since 1994. A lot has changed since then. Today Sean Ruth, our production chief, gave me a look at this:
I wish I could find it -- someone quipped earlier today in my Twitter stream that "there is no business model" for killing print. That's right.
I'm cleaning out my office in prep for a move to Savannah, and finding stuff, as usual.
In the pile: A folder labeled "charging for content." And inside, printouts headlined "Web sites going free-to-fee," "Media General to charge for newspaper web sites; CEO calls free access 'dumb'," "Turning surfers into subscribers" and "If you post it, will they pay?"
The dates? 2000 and 2001.
This is exciting on both personal and professional levels: After more than a decade at Morris Communications' corporate headquarters in Augusta, Ga., I'm moving on to a new challenge as vice president of audience for the Savannah-Bluffton media portfolio.
I don't know whether to be appalled or just amused at the reported quote from AP's Liz Sidoti that social media is a "time suck" threatening young journalists' understanding of reporting basics.
I didn't hear it myself; I think that comment came while I was across the street from the Seigenthaler Center, in the parking lot dealing with Vanderbilt police about vandalism and burglary of my truck (which is another story).
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?
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.
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 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.
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: