Ready for the next IT Revolution?

As if we really needed another revolution already……. have we all learn’t to use twitter yet?

So here it is, only news, papers, tv, video etc. Soon the free newspaper versions online are set to become paid. It makes sense in a way, although speaking personally I buy the Telegraph daily and the Times on a Sunday and enjoy reading them. If you try the same thing online it isn’t the same experience. Firstly it involves taking your laptop into the bathroom with you, and secondly you don’t get the same usability that you get with a real paper. It isn’y possible to flick through the pages you want in the order you want. It turns out the people in the real world don’t surf a newspaper in the same way as we do a website.

With a news paper we know where sections are and flip through them randomly. If you download your paper to an ireader then it is a book reading experience and that doesn’t work for the majority.

Monetization is the watch word here, while newspapers were making big bucks selling papers they could be generous in giving away their free online versions, but as less people now buy papers and more go online revenues are falling and something has to change. Whether they will succeed in raising sales is debatable, so much news is currently free online that rather than whip out your card and paying, users will just switch to another source  instead. Will Sky News or the BBC ever charge for online content? If they do then usage will move rapidly away from them to smaller free alternatives that are monetized through adverts whioch appears to be the only reliable method of revenue raising over time. Where Google leads others follow it seems.

Take the examples of Facebook and youtube, both highly successful at attracting people, but both thoroughly useless at making money. Facebook will lose about $150m this year and is considering reducing photo and video quality in some regions that it considers to be unviable economically. Youtube is in an even more parlous state, with ad revenues of £240m this year and costs of $710m. Even from it’s position of dominance with over 40% of the video market and Google as it’s owners it can’t make money.

The next big push is to get us all to buy a Kindle or e-reader or equivalent so we then need to buy the content to go on it. That is all well and good but currently as I have already said, they are not of a good enough quality and don’t offer the user experience. Not only that, but if I am on my iphone surfing the news I know that it’s realtime and contains the latest headlines, downloading old news onto a Kindle seems positively old school by comparison. Why would you do it?

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