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« Community Newspapers vs. Wal-Mart: Publisher Responds | Main | Changing Minds at Blog Conference »

January 24, 2005


Bob Rosenberg

"It will open the archives to the public -- free of charge but with keyword-based advertising at the margins."

Seems to me that this model may be the ONLY way many newspapers can survive. With internet, blogging, etc., the old revenue models may be moving into an inexorable decline.

Francis Hwang

I just wrote a reply to this discussion on my own blog. Just because open archives are good for the public as a whole doesn't guarantee that they're good for publishers; my post goes through some specifics about publishing and tries to come up with areas of possible progress. The first point worth noting is that free news and paid archives are essentially different products serving different audiences, and many publishers just might have the luxury of caring if walling off archives hurts public discourse.

Todd Lekan

We've been publishing our archives for free for years now. The ad revenue and audience boost are of exponentially greater benefit than the revenue we once received from paid archives. Ancillary benefits include tremendous and instantaneous good-will from our audience as well as extra credibility amongst the cognoscenti who normally laugh at newspapers' attempts to put walls around their content.

Francis Hwang

Todd, are you referring to I wonder if that sort of newspaper would have different sorts of economies than, say, the New York Times, which aims to be a national newspaper and won't proportionally benefit from locally targeted ads the way that will. Conversely I would imagine that a site like would have a significantly worse history with a single-site paid archive system than a site like Now, of course, there's no reason that this conversation has to focus on the Times, you could make the case that the edges are just as important as the center ... but I think the center definitely has its own sorts of business pressures to deal with.

Todd Lekan

Yes, I'm referring to I agree that our success with an ad-supported model does not necessarily transfer to a national site like We have seen similar success in our smaller publications ( but I can't really speak to how the model translates to national sites. Were it ever applied, I would be very optimistic about the impending results.

Francis Hwang

I think that the significant distinction isn't so much national vs. local, as it is broadcast vs. narrowcast. You could have a national zine all about, say, classic cars, and get pretty good returns from selling ads, because then you've got a well-defined market. But the Times is both mainstream in topic and national (or global) in scope, so it might be harder for them to find well-defined markets for highly targeted ads. I'm sure the Times gets lots of clickthroughs from their Google ads, but I suspect that the difference isn't commensurate to how much more it costs the Times to produce content than it costs, say, somebody blogging about PVRs.

Basically, I think the "long tail" is probably good for the little guys and bad for the big guys. And maybe that's okay. Regardless, I wouldn't expect the Times to extrapolate for their results based on the results of anybody significantly smaller than them.

Richard Silverstein

I'm distressed to hear that NYT may be contemplating moving to a subscription based model, though if the fee was reasonable then it might not be too onerous esp. if it gave you unlimited access to articles.

In the meantime, if you're looking for specific articles online I suggest google searches using the title as the keyword search surrounded by quotation marks. I often find articles I'm seeking that have been published in local papers which have affiliation agreements with NYT; or I'll find that another website or blogger has uploaded the article to their own server. Almost every NYT article I link to in my blog uses the RSS Userland permanent NYT link so articles at my site are permanently available (or at least they're available until the NYT shuts down this agreement w. Userland). For more on this, see Joe Clark's link above.

Jozef Imrich

Article of note recently placed on Romenesko:

Rick Edmonds : Not so long ago -- three or four years -- online operations were a business afterthought at newspapers. Revenues from the sites were tiny, one percent or less of the total... An Online Rescue for Newpapers?

Andrew Jankowich

One unusual aspect of the Times' policy is that two sections of the paper's archives that would seem to have the longest shelf life, movie reviews and travel, have extensive free offerings: 10,000 movie reviews here at and the Destination and Interest Guides that organize travel articles by location and theme at

Robert C Worstell

Just recently reading The Magic Cauldron, by Eric Raymond. This classic work predicts the economics of opening up the "source code" will make far more revenue than closing them up.


Most leading national newspapers in India (Times of India, The Hindu, etc) have provided searchable archives. As a consumer of media, I know how much of a benefit it is.


"economics of opening up the "source code" will make far more revenue than closing them up"

Or as Doc Searls put it here - "...The Web obeys new structural and economic laws that seem to have more in common with the mathematics of loaves and fishes than with the traditional economics of scarce resources and diminishing returns..."


Google indexing (monthly) Yes/No.
If Yes then what is the specify date to crawl the website.

Welcome to, your comprehensive and safe online pharmacy for obtaining generic medications. Our online medical store supplies only top-quality generic drugs that are exact equivalent of the brand name drugs.

bill cosby

Low cost high quality Manufactures of Hydraulic and stainless steel hose assemblies


newspaper open your archives!

bill cosby

specialized in worldwide distribution of electronic components with emphasis on obsolete and hard to find devices


inevitable, yes it is

Manon Manon

We are computer Hardware and Software traders. We are specialized in Computer AMC, Professional Project.


Newspapers need to open up their content to te web!
I think alike Dan Gillmor.

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