Online vs Print, and the Evolution of Media

Here are a few random thoughts I’ve had recently about blogging, online media and traditional print media.

Online Ads vs Newspaper Ads

Here’s a promising chart for all online-media folk published by Alley Insider.

Newspaper ads dropping, online ads keep growing… and they it looks like they’ll intersect in a few years. It’s no surprise, but interesting to see in chart form. So, good news for those who depend on online ad revenue.

Blogs vs. Mainstream

Like many, I do vanity-searches on my own name from time to time. One article that I ran across late last year was written by a journalist by the name of Amy Eagleburger. She wrote an article about how the mainstream media has been slow to adopt online and blogs. Nothing particularly groundbreaking but an interesting comment about MacRumors:

One of the many complaints from journalists is that they don’t have time to blog and write stories. So why aren’t newspapers hiring more professional bloggers? is a blog Dr. Arnold Kim started as a hobby. It was so successful that he gave up his medical career to blog full time. He’s not just a guy in his pajamas but someone with a knack for news gathering. Why did that blog not start at a newspaper? I’ll admit that when I wanted to read about the new iPhone, I went to Kim’s blog before other publications.

That’s the million dollar question. Why wasn’t MacRumors (or any major blog) started by a newspaper? Or another mainstream media source?

In some ways, it seems absurd. Indeed, if you had asked the same question 5 years ago, the answer would have been simple: there’s no money in a “blogs” like MacRumors. In 2009, however, the answer is entirely different. There’s an enormous amount of money in online media which is becoming increasingly dominated by blog-like publications. And as a result, money is now being invested in these markets.

But besides money, however, I think a site like MacRumors succeeded because it was started by someone who was a genuine enthusiast of the topic and not just going for a paycheck. Especially then, there was no incentive for a traditional journalist to stay up late at night to report on the latest news and rumors. Those stories, if deemed news-worthy, would be published the following day. That fact wasn’t lost on the audience either, and MacRumors generated a reputation of frequently being the first source for news and also the place to connect with others.

Of course, there’s a million other reasons why traditional media was slow to adapt. It’s just the nature of the beast. People stick with what they know. Blog-style news simply didn’t fit into their belief system. Meanwhile, those without traditional journalism training just made it up as they went along.

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18 Responses to Online vs Print, and the Evolution of Media

  1. Pingback: The passion of publishing, or why some bloggers are journalists | Technovia

  2. Tubby Bartles says:

    The chart shows (correctly) that newspaper ad revenue + online revenue has stayed pretty constant at just shy of $60 Billion.

    However, online add revenue has grown by about $12 billion. All blogs in existence wouldn’t ad up to more than $250 million a year.

    While blogs may be the “content” portion of newspapers, it’s clear the “business” portion of newspapers is being replaced by search, not blogs.

  3. Arn says:

    True about search traffic making up a large portion of the revenue, though part of that does go to blogs in the form of adsense.


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  11. Cindy Kern says:

    online business is the future of making money. the rising number of internet users would mean that there would be more online transactions and online business oppurtunities.

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