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An interesting debate I had in LinkedIn on this blog post:

Reggie Middleton
Are Blogs Truly Competitive With the Mainstream Media in Terms of Quality of Content? boombustblog.com


Richard Antille • Mainstream media.... it used to be the source for information about our surroundings and further. it used to be about researching an idea and developing a report in the form of an article.

Today it is more about the size of the headline and its wording. It is about showbiz and the latest furor in Hollywood. Besides specific media (industry centric) the mainstream media as well as TV media have lost touch with their core.

Blogs are the result of the individual desire to be heard. Serious bloggers can be found after examining their background, their writings and affiliations. The most difficult is to find the few bloggers who are true professional and discuss what they know.

Eventually mainstream media and blogs reputations will converge if it hasn't already done so. Based on the amount of mainstream media vehicles and articles added to TV News 'shows' compared to the amount of truly followed blogs we can almost conclude without looking at raw data that both are providing an amount of, from bad to good, identical type of information.

Sincerely,
2 hours ago

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Reggie Middleton

Reggie Middleton • To quote you: "Besides specific media (industry centric) the mainstream media as well as TV media have lost touch with their core."

The mainstream is not industry specific, but general in nature. To get the mainstream and vertical channels back on course, we need to adopt a subscription model wherein the reader is the customer, and not the advertiser. In order for this to work, readers need to acknowledge the inferiority of the ad model and pony up some cash for the stuff they deem worthy.
2 hours ago

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Richard Antille

RichardStop Following Follow Richard

Richard Antille • agree on the 'pony up' but then everyone turns up to any online sources free of charge. In this age the subscription model is 'old' and useless in this Internet age. Plus I will not pay for 99% of any media because their content is not worth it. Once the public is faced with paying to access information they will reduce their access, limit their knowledge and increase a state of impunity. Also the subscription model would leave out a large portion of the population, which needs it the most.

With the Internet connection rate per capita in industrialized countries we could almost say that paper media can disappear easily and leave place to an all virtualized media industry. Keeping 'ads' as the main source of revenue allows a news company to provide free content and alleviating disparities between household income.

Current model is ok. But the lack of oversight on the quality and type of information relayed is less than acceptable. Maybe we need to focus on the core of the issue and not its outcome.

As for Blogs, they are not meant to be lucrative and should remain free for all in the future.

So if we make internet access to media information based on a subscription model we will see more people turning towards reading a blog than paying for somewhat good quality information.

Sincerely,
2 hours ago

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Reggie Middleton

Reggie Middleton • I run a blog with both thousands of pay articles and hundreds of subscription articles, so I am communicating from experience. It takes expertise and resources to create authoritative and/or quality content. Those resources are usually backed by money. Publishers will follow the money because that is what they need to publish. There are very few households that are too poor to pony up for subscription content. Look at the satellite and cable TV industries They were predated by free, ad based TV, yet they flourish with higher margins because they cater to the viewer as the end user and not the advertiser. As pay TV services expand, ad-driven media is driven to bankruptcy.

If you offer truly quality info that is unique, it will not - actually, cannot be offered for free on the web. No one with the means has an incentive to offer my product for free and those with the incentive don't have the means.
2 hours ago

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Richard Antille

RichardStop Following Follow Richard

Richard Antille • Pay TV is not going to replace subscription model. It is deployed to take on dvd rental market and capitalize on sports events. It is a niche market.

It is good that you have such a following who pays but you are in a niche market not mainstream.

Internet is killing the TV market not Pay TV. Half the documentary, shows and movies I watch is on the Internet, free and the exact same ones you can watch on TV. No low income household will spend its hard earned money on a per article model subscription. What article do you choose to pay for? And while we pay for cable/dish, etc.... we pay for more than just the content, which is usually supported by advertisers.

Yes household prefer to pay for cable because they have hundreds of choice. They won't pay for hundreds of subscriptions to newspaper/magazines et al. Most people watch tv to relax and tv is available to many persons under the same roof. 1 subscription for all.
17 minutes ago

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Reggie Middleton

Reggie Middleton • Yes, I have a niche market, but the mainstream is nothing but a congregation of niche markets. The reason why people don't pay for stuff on the internet is because an alternative is always offered for free. You cannot give away quality content for free because it takes capital to create it. Only the top 1 to 3 entities will thrive off of ad revenue in the mainstream (ex. Google), the rest will starve. If unique content was created, you would not have the threat of free replication, or that is only the purview of commodity content.

Internet is killing TV because TV execs took too long to recognize the models that worked on the web and adopt them. I cancelled all TV, cable and satellite 7 years ago and have been strictly web-based ever since.

Actually, content is all you pay for. Just look at the financial condition of the pure ad supported businesses. Most are either in, just emerged from, or going into bankruptcy. That should tell you how well that midel has been working.

The reason why they are going bust is because the ad model was able to work with high barriers to entry and high friction business models. The Web changed all of that and now that almost anybody can be a publisher and replicate commodity content in a flash, you actually need something worthwhile to make money. The more you rely on ad driven models, the more commoditized your content becomes and the more likely you will follow those other companies into bankruptcy. true, there are a few ad driven leaders, but that will simply make monopolies who will then dictate the content you consume versus the other way around.

There really is no way around it, it takes money to create quality and ads in a friction-free environment simply doesn't offer enough money. Even if it did, the content companies will be offering the content that makes the advertisers content, not the media consumer, hence we are right back at the quality issues again.