There’s always something to howl about

The Odysseus Medal competition will be postponed this week

We’re busy with real estate stuff, and I’m grinding on all gears to push engenu out the door. Plus which, there were only 65 nominations, suggesting, perhaps, that the rest of the world has Teri’s Spring fever.

In the mean time, here’s a blog post from Mark Steyn illustrating why a reactive, me-too, catch-up strategy is likely to fail in the

Old media dinosaurs looking to the Internet to make up for declining print sales will find this analysis disquieting:

In the first three months of this year, the average amount of time visitors spent on newspaper sites fell by 2.9% to 44 minutes and 18 seconds per month, or less than 1½ minutes per day. In the same period, the average number of pages viewed per unique site visitor dropped by 6.6% to 47.2 per month…

The decline in the average duration of sessions at newspaper web pages suggests that visitors are not utilizing the industry’s sites as primary destinations, but, rather, as places to episodically view individual articles highlighted by Google News, Drudge, Digg, blogs or any of the thousands of other places they might be.

So, if you happen to see a link at, say, NRO to something in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune, you’ll click and read it, and then go away and not return to the paper until you click another link that tickles your fancy. That’s a hard model to sell to advertisers.

American newspapers have only themselves to blame. Instead of recognizing the necessity to reinvent their approach online, for the most part they simply transferred their old dullness to the new technology. Their print drabness derived mostly from the complacency of their local monopoly, and that’s the one thing you can’t transfer to the Internet. It will take more than the web to save these sclerotic franchises.

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2 Comments so far

  1. Vance Shutes April 20th, 2008 3:44 pm


    Spring fever has struck BIG TIME here in the midwest!

  2. Greg Swann April 20th, 2008 5:16 pm

    > Spring fever has struck BIG TIME here in the midwest!

    Same here. We were at open house earlier. The fountain was looking a little green, so I went to get a chlorine tab. The parking lot at the strip mall I want to, normally packed, was vastly empty. Can’t imagine where the people were, but it was like a game seven playoff game, that kind of empty.