New Media Business Course Syllabi

For the past four years, I’ve been teaching a New Media Business for media course at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications. It was originally open just to postgraduate students, but a few years ago we opened it to select upperclassmen, too. Some 250 students have taken the course. Approximately half were from the Newhouse School’s Media Management masters degree program, in which taking the course is a requirement. However the rest of the students have been from the school’s Arts Journalism, Broadcast Journalism, Communications, Graphic Design, Magazine, Newspaper, Photography, Public Diplomacy, Public Relations, and Television/Radio/Film departments. Students […]

OK, So What Will Be A Good Use of RSS for News Publishers?

[UPDATE: Some blogs which have linked to this item call it my vision of the newspaper of 2010. Calling it that is inaccurate. I believe that e-paper devices will be in common use by 2010 and that consumers will use these device for reading books, magazines, business reports, grocery lists, homework, etc. But whether or not the newspapers industry will take advantage of this by 2010 and make newspapers available on these devices is very much an intangible. Perhaps a few individual newspapers will, but I now don’t see much concerted work by the majority of the newspaper industry or […]

AOPUK Discussion of RSS

Since writing my posting earlier today about RSS, I’ve chanced to read the UK Association of Online Publishers’ story about its forum last Friday entitled ‘Making a success of RSS‘. That story is unfortunately an example of the hype and reportorial dynamics that I mentioned in my earlier posting. It’s headlined ‘Email is dead: long live RSS!’, probably because it quotes Drew Cullen, editor of the tech news site The Register, saying:

A Short List of Newspaper RSS

Tom Biro of has compiled a list of U.S. ‘newspapers’ that offer RSS feeds. It contains: 42 daily general-interest newspapers. 54 college or university newspapers. 32 business journals or weekly newspapers. One online publishing industry commentator yesterday called it a “long” list and headlined his posting “Newspapers Have Gotten the RSS Message”. I disagree. If only… 42 of the more than 1,400 daily general-interest newspapers, 54 of the more than 900 college or university newspapers, and 32 of the more than 6,000 business journals and weekly newspapers …published in the U.S. are offering RSS feeds, then it reinforces what […]

Bloggers Blew It: Much Posting, Little Impact

Let’s gore a sacred cow. Or lets let Frank Barnako of CBS MarketWatch’s eponymous Frank Barnako’s Internet Daily do it. The headline above tops the commentary leading his report on Wednesday. “No one reads blogs,” Barnako writes. Yes, Technorati is tracking 4 million blogs, RSS is no longer “a geek secret and now it’s a bolt-on to My Yahoo!”, and Blogads claims to be delivering 100 million banner ad impression per month. “All that may be true. It’s just that after the presidential election, it appears to me that the only readers of blogs … are bloggers! They are a […]

Misconception About Widespead RSS Use By Traditional Online Publishers

Earleir this month, Rich Skrenta of wrote about the misconception about how widespead RSS syndication is among traditional online publishers. “Only 7% of the sources crawls have XML feeds. I’d estimate that only a few hundreds of the top 3,000 newspapers we crawl have RSS support. The rest we obtain with a news crawler which is good about finding articles on news sites, leaving behind the ads and navigation sidebars. It’s low maintenance so we don’t have to change anything everytime a site redesigns its html. “Even for sites which offer feeds, we’ll generally continue to crawl the […]

RSS: The Problem Isn't the Conveyance But What is Conveyed

ClickZ yesterday paraphrases me as saying the argument for growing audience through RSS is dubious. It’s an accurate paraphrase and the ClickZ article does report what I think. I want to fortify it. There is nothing wrong with RSS. Look, I publish a RSS feed myself. I’ve been a speaker at many conferences about how to monetize RSS feeds. I’m proud to say that in early 2000, Editor & Publisher magazine quoted me saying that RDF (as RSS was then known) would revolutionize content syndication. However, just as there is nothing wrong with RSS, there is nothing wrong with Betamax, […]

'Publishers Don't Understand that the Home Page is no longer the Gateway'

That’s online newspaper publishing pioneer Barry Paar’s lament last week at MediaSavvy. … They are desperately afraid of “aggregators” grabbing their headlines and treating them as wire services. Why are they afraid of aggregators? I understand the rationale, but it doesn’t really make any sense. They want you to visit their home page, which they view as the gateway to the rest of their site, every day, whether they have any news for you or not. Barry’s posting is instructive.

Disrupting the News Industry

Disrupting the News Industry: Media Concentration and Participatory Journalism, is a panel next Friday morning at the University of California at Berkeley’s Graduate School of Journalism. Admission is free. Panelists are: Neil Chase, managing editor of CBS MarketWatch. Dan Gillmor, columnist for the San Jose Mercury News and author of the forthcoming book Making the News. Ken Sands, managing editor of online and new media at The Spokesman-Review, Spokane, Washington. Bob Magnuson, lecturer at the graduate school and former CEO of InfoWorld, will moderate the panel. And me. If you’re interested in how the ‘barriers of entry’ (costs, equipment, etc.) […]

Good Use of Blog by NY Times' Kristof

In the printed and online editions, at the end of his opinion column about the North Korean nuclear weapons, The New York Times Nicholas D. Kristof adds: After my reports from Africa about ethnic cleansing in the Darfur region of Sudan, many readers have asked what they can do. I’ve put some possibilities on my blog,, in Posting No. 344. That’s an excellent use of a blog by a newspaper.