Today’s Watch List: 9 May 2006

· I’m a former Reuter staffer who knows the possibilities of ‘citizen journalism.’, Nevertheless, I can’t understand Reuters jumping on the ‘citizen journalism’ bandwagon and its deal with Global Voices. Perhaps Reuters is doing it for the publicity? Reuters might get some story ideas from Global Voices and Global Voices might get objective source material from Reuters, but it all seems like log rolling (would blogrolling be a better term) for both parties. Mark Glaser of PBS MarketShift reports on the alliance. [By the way, lest anyone think that Reuter without the s is a typographical error, please note that Reuter company policy was that Reuters is the name of the company but that Reuter was its adjectival name. A former Reuter staffer is thus someone who had worked for Reuters in the Reuter Building. Go figure.]

· Speaking of Glaser, he published a good interview with I Want Media Publisher & Editor Patrick Phillips last week.

· Also last week, Brier Dudley of the Seattle Times coined an apt analogy:

But I wasn’t so sure after seeing Google and Microsoft address the newspaper industry’s top leaders last week at the American Society of Newspaper Editors conference in Seattle. It was like watching the Incas greet the Spanish conquistadors in 1528 — the leaders of a proud, ancient civilization were dazzled by the technology of newcomers, who were coming to haul off their gold and silver.

The galleons are coming for advertising that Internet companies are using to build their empires.

Google News product manager Nathan Stoll and Bill Gates played the part of priests who came along to enlighten the savages. “We’re trying to be technologists who help publishing online be a better business model,” Stoll said.

Display tools that Gates demonstrated may be key to newspapers’ future success. He also told editors that Microsoft technology can protect their content from unauthorized copying and distribution.

Not mentioned were Microsoft’s plans to scoop up a huge piece of the advertising pie. One floor down at the Seattle Westin, planning was under way for a far bigger conference this week, when Microsoft is bringing major advertisers to town to learn about its new advertising platform.

Newspaper baron Dean Singleton played the role of optimistic Incan nobleman, saying it will all work out if his people can get their hands on a musket. Or maybe cut a deal with the invaders.

· Not in Incan lands, but the northern reaches of what used to be Aztec territory, business-to-business magazine and trade journal publishers were having their own confrontation with new-media. the trade association American Business Media’s spring meeting was underway in Scottsdale, Arizona. Said incoming chairman of ABM and president-CEO of VNU Business Media Michael Marchesano said:

“We are truly at a crossroads. … As an industry, we can resist these changes and let our editors play the role of ‘parent knows best’ by dictating content. … Or we can empower them to think differently and to be part of the process of creating communities and building networks.”

· Finally, we’re glad to see that the Cellular Telecommunications & Internet Association, the trade association of U.S. wireless network carriers, has launched the Common Short Code Administration site. The CSCA site registers U.S. mobile phone short codes much as Network Solutions has for Internet domain registrations. If you’re a publisher or broadcaster who wants provide consumers with mobile phone short codes that work with all U.S. mobile carriers, get the codes from CSCA. It even has a nifty lookup function to see availability.

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