srcolor.jpgIn an article on Wordyard, writer/editor Scott Rosenberg, pictured at the left, says:

Why do people love getting their news online? It’s timely, it’s convenient, it’s fast — all that matters. Murdoch’s tablet could match that (though it sounds like it may drop the ball on “timely” and “fast”). But even more important than that, online news is connected: it’s news that you can respond to, link to, share with friends. It is part of a back-and-forth that you are also a part of.

Murdoch’s tablet thingie will be something else — a throwback to the isolation of pre-Web publications. Like a paywalled website, this tablet “paper” will discourage us from talking about its contents because we can’t link to it. In other words, like a paywalled site, it expects us to pay for something that is actually less useful and valuable than the free competitio



  1. These are good points — sharing, etc — but it depends how it is implemented. Murdoch’s Wall Street Journal is a successful paywall site. Paying users can use social media netorkwing tools — Facebook, Twitter, etc — to share content outside the paywall.

    So, it depends on how the details are handled. It could be one daily edition but with hourly breaking news updates. I wouldn’t write this off till its been in the market for a while. The Murdoch team have generated successful ventures before.

  2. The subscription feature could be very interesting if implemented with imagination. I am imagining a slider that lets me choose the duration of my subscription linked to the display of total and per issue cost. It would also have to handle extending my subscription and let me know when there were special promotion rates for doing so.

  3. Alexander is right and I really think Rosenberg is just giving us the usual knee jerk ‘scoff’ journalism that we expect now from these ‘pundits’. They are so rarely right that it is getting tediously tiresome to find myself encountering their articles sprinkled so liberally around the net on a daily basis.

    Firstly I nearly choked on his preteen oxymoronic joke … I knew at that point things would go down hill 🙂

    As another commentor on a previous article here this week pointed out, people spend a lot of money on bottled water, despite them having a free flowing tap delivering hundreds of litres of it in their home 24/7. People will pay for things that are available elsewhere for free. It all depends on it’s packaging, presentation and quality. Rosenberg doesn’t know anything about any of these three things yet.

    Another think that really annoys me about Rosenberg and so many online pundits is their bizarre misrepresentation of the “walled garden” concept. What on earth are they banging on about and why is “walled garden” used as a pejorative ? It clearly is a good thing in many many circumstances.

    I am an Apple user and my Apple OS is walled garden. Windows doesn’t run Mac apps and the MacOS doesn’t run Windows apps. Windows is a walled garden too ! Is this a major problem ? of course it isn’t.

    The most recent outbreak of walled gardenitis was a bunch of nerds railing at the iPhone iOS walled garden. Then the Android arrived and we saw what a free for all resulted in – banking apps that leaked personal information all over the planet. Crap apps with no quality control. Widespread malware infection. Flash slowing androids to a crawl. Apple’s quality control and tight restrictions over apps coding brings iPhone users a fantastic, secure, easy to use smooth experience. I’ll take ‘walled garden’ any day of the week.

    On to this iPad newspaper. I read news all through the day and evening when I am not working. I visit about 10 sites mostly. I don’t pay for the news. When I am travelling to work I buy a newspaper every day for about $2 a day. This iPad newspaper is going to cost only 99c a day ? I cannot see the big problem. If people can subscribe easily with a once off registration/payment then I see no real pay wall problem. Most people find the pay walls a problem because there is a need to go though a payment process with each and every visit. This is different.
    Thats not saying that I believe it will be a success. It might be pitiful. But I see no major drawbacks as yet and I don’t believe Rosenberg has any grounds to scoff yet.
    Rosenberg also talks about the financials. This is a red herring. Murdoch is a smart guy. His decision to put his Times newspapers behind a pay wall failed. He is a patient guy. He is clearly testing this new iPad thing and will see how it goes. His $30M is an investment in exploring the market and medium, and from what I read about it the weekly overheads will be quite small considering the news resources available to his organisation world wide.

    So let’s welcome new innovative ideas and products and see what they are like before we dismiss it out of hand.

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