Clay Shirky has an intriguing idea on how newspapers might adapt to the net – threshold paywall. You pay for over a certain number of page views – Newspapers, Paywalls, and Core Users
Underlying issue is the traditional newspaper model is a bundle – some local news generated by the paper, purchased national news, sports, comics, horoscope, Ann Landers, coupons, and classifieds.
People will pay a little for the bundle. Bad experiences by several papers show that few people will pay to get through a paywall for the bundle. The likely reason is that if you want just the horoscopes, or just national news, or just sports, there is far too much free stuff.
Continue reading “Possible financial model for on-line newspapers?”
Even without social media, we face a flood of information.
Just in terms of blogs, I have about 50 set up on my RSS feeder so I can quickly browse all the authors I want to read.
Social media multiplies the flood.
One reason I’ve been slow to jump into the Twitter world is because merely following a handful of active Tweeters produces a few hundred tweets a day when you include all the people who reply to their posts. I don’t have time to sort through that much background discussion.
Schumpeter’s column, Too much buzz in The Economist discusses the difficulty companies are going to have in sorting through the volume of stuff in social media. One of the challenges in responding to complaining tweeters is missing the mass of people who are unhappy but not voicing their discontent in social media.
His closing comment is great: Continue reading “We need better filters to sort through the overwhelming information”
The Bakken field is producing tremendous amounts of energy. Mark Perry at Carpe Diem pointed out a cool visual on the rapid increase in production in the northwest corner of North Dakota.
Check out this link at Today In Energy for a quarterly visual on production from 1995 through 2010.
Continue reading “Visual of the radical increase in oil and gas production in the North Dakota Bakken field”
We are in the middle of a major structural change in the economy that is having radical impact on jobs.
Another superb article describing this transition is What If Middle-Class Jobs Disappear?, by Arnold Kling.
He suggests that the explanation for current high unemployment and turmoil is a major structural change in the whole economy. A one sentence summary:
The economy is in a state of transition, in which the middle-class jobs that emerged after World War II have begun to decline.
Continue reading “Major structural change in the economy is similar to previous round of systemic transition”
The Wall Street Journal has been running a series of posts on how technology can be used for censorship and surveillance of government critics. They call their series CENSOR
Today’s article, Life Under the Gaze of Gadhafi’s Spies, continues a discussion of how not-so-nice governments can track dissidents in real-time.
This long-running series is showing the downside to the cool, nifty technology that we enjoy today. That same stuff used to make your web browsing so wonderful and allows me the platform to pontificate in this blog, can also be used by dictators to suppress dissent. From today’s article discussing the experiences of Mr. Khaled Mehiri, a human-rights advocate:
Continue reading “Cool internet capabilities can be used for censorship and suppression of dissent”
That’s the number showing up at the Euromold trade fair in Frankfurt, from a report from The Economist, The shape of things to come. From the article:
It was here that 300 or so exhibitors working in three-dimensional printing (or “additive manufacturing” as they prefer to call it) were gathered.
The range of items that can be printed today include shoes and dresses, which is very nice. Even better are the exhaust manifolds and artificial legs. Cool!
Consider an artificial hip. Continue reading “How many exhibitors of 3D printing showed up at a big trade fair? 300.”
Previous post discussed the huge impact from having zero cost to produce and distribute one more item.
On a long-term basis, what does this do? I think several entire industries of delivering mass content are in serious trouble. If those industries don’t figure out a new business model, the overwhelming change that is taking place will sink them.
Think about this:
Continue reading “What does radical change in technology and mass media mean to those of us who are undiscovered, unpublished, or small fry wanting to follow our own path?”
A: The world changes.
Zero marginal cost changes the economics of many things. Radically.
I’ve commented previously on the issue of zero marginal cost – Reflections on the zero cost and inconsequential time to deliver a 2500 page book.
If you want to get your arms around the radical change that is in progress at this moment, you really should be reading Seth Godin’s blog and books.
I have published three books in hard copy. I plan to write several more books and will go with electronic format in the future. May do a few print-on-demand copies but won’t have a big inventory like I did for my first three books.
It will take as much time, energy, and cost to get an e-book ready to go as a hard copy book. What will change is the hard costs for production. There was a lot of cost for the hard copies but there will be nothing for e-books. Since I will be distributing through Amazon and the other online stores, there will be distribution costs but there are costs to do fulfillment myself. Will have to see if the costs are the same. For a big outfit who could bring the web sales in-house or who wants to distribute resources for free, the costs would be even lower.
Overall? Cost will drop radically. I looked at the hard costs for my three books. Physical production was about 70% of my total hard costs.
Anyone can take the path I did. Anyone.
Continue reading “Q: What happens when the marginal cost of producing and delivering one more item is zero?”
Bruce Schneier is writing a new book, Liars and Outliers. He has been posting updates all year on the project. First comment on his blog was in February.
He’s had several updates since then. All of them provide a view of the publishing world from the author’s perspective. His update this week, Status Report: Liars and Outliers, summarizes where he’s been and what the next few months will hold.
For me, as a microscopic part of the publishing world, it’s been fun to watch the progress. Here is a recap: Continue reading “Insight to the publishing world from the author’s perspective”
The rapid change affecting other areas of the economy is hitting primary and secondary education.
The Wall Street Journal had a long article recently: My Teacher Is an App
Nationwide, an estimated 250,000 students are enrolled in full-time virtual schools, up 40% in the last three years, according to Evergreen Education Group, a consulting firm that works with online schools. More than two million pupils take at least one class online, according to the International Association for K-12 Online Learning, a trade group.
Continue reading “Radical change on the near horizon for education”
Not than anyone reading my blogs could do anything to influence what happens in China. However, we should pay attention because what happens there will affect all of us elsewhere.
Walter Russell Mead, at Via Meadia, is watching China, so it would be good to look at his blog, including a recent post, IMF: China Isn’t Ten Feet Tall.
The rapid growth of the Chinese economy, reported to be running at 9% for many years combined with the massive migration of people from farms to cities is astounding. If, or rather when, that massive growth slows the adjustments will be painful. Continue reading “Continue to pay attention to China”
(cross-posted from my other blog, Nonprofit Update.)
A: Doing more with less. In other words, increased productivity.
On one hand, the unemployment rate continues very high, which means there are lots fewer people working. On the other hand, GDP has just passed the peak from before the recession, which means the size or value of the economy has recovered.
Check out this picture – Continue reading “Q: Why does it feel like the economy hasn’t recovered, yet the stats say it has?”
Bushels of corn produced on 1 acre of land has increased from about 26 in 1939 to 165 in 2009. Productivity has dropped in 2010.
A graph is better than the raw numbers.
Continue reading “Visual illustration of increased productivity of corn production in U.S.”
That is the opener of a superb post from Tom Hood, CEO of Maryland Association of CPAs.
By the way, his comments may be tailored to an audience of CPAs, but everything he says applies across the board to anyone in business, the nonprofit world, and even government.
If you want a curriculum of things to read and watch so you can get started on dealing with the radical change in the work world, check out his post Are you future ready? And other reflections & resources from the CCH User Conference
Continue reading “Are you future ready?”
The radical rate of change around us is compounded by the power of artificial intelligence. The Economist magazine had an article last week on point: Difference Engine: Luddite Legacy.
For a long time, like since the start of the industrial revolution, mechanical tools have displaced muscle power. In recent decades and especially quite recently, we have seen lots of manufacturing move from higher-wage countries to lower-wage countries.
The disruption is spreading. (Hey, that’s the point of this and many other blogs.) The Economist article points towards the spread to knowledge workers. Continue reading “Another view of the radical change that will hit us down the road”