RSS – The Newspapers Revenge ?

Dont ask me why I like to write about the newspaper industry. Maybe for the same reason I bought the Dallas Mavericks. Everyone else said it was a disaster, I saw that there was no place to go but up. A great challenge that got the juices going and my asking the question of “What would I do”. Its the same thing we saw when Todd Wagner and I bought Landmark Theaters with many people predicting the decline of the theater industry because of technological changes.

In the last couple days, I have read, or had people in the newspaper industry email saying that their papers were going to extend their newsgathering to all platforms. Rather than being deadline driven, they would capture and publish. Every platform, any platform where people want to read, watch or listen. If they had it, they would publish as soon as they got it.

I agree that its a good strategy.

I wrote a couple posts ago that sales should be a core competency and paper and local media outlets should be selling everywhere and anywhere that their customers allow them to. That local media has a local salesforce and thats a huge differentiation that needs to be a focus.

The same applies to local newsgathering. Reporters have recorders for interviews (every one i do these days). Some interviews could easily be expanded to include video. Should the reporters be required to not only write a story, but also edit the audio and even video of an interview ? ABsolutely. I recommend that EVERY reporter or columnist spend a morning with a disc jockey in a radio station. Watch how quickly and easily they edit together audio into a package they turnaround in seconds and put on air. Take a look at how easy it is to use basic video editing equipment.

Once you have packaged the interview or story, a quick fact check, and it should be posted to the net.

Across newsrooms oldschoolers are throwing up, right ? You write, you arent a DJ. You dont do wedding videos. Right ? Well you should probably reconsider . The more you package with multimedia, the less your editors can do to the story…..

Which leads to the question, how do you differentiate the paper from the net ? Its easy. For features, Online is where you put it up first to let people know you are working on it. Online may be where you intentionally overwhelm them with TOO many choices and too much information. Put up a complete 45 minute interview with Mark Cuban with a 400 word summary and you know how many people will listen to the entire interview ? None. People will read the 400 words and make a decision if they want more. Polished ? Absolutely not. And thats what differentiates it. Its your tease for the indepth article where you add context to the interview, write in depth about how wonderful, exciting and exceedingly handsome I am, get quotes from others confirming the same and create a story with such depth that maybe someone will believe it, but many will buy the paper expecting to find and read it.

If Google or Yahoo are immediate gratification for everything and anything globally, Newspapers can be the library for everything and anything locally. The attraction of Youtube isnt the quality of its content, its the breadth. You can find anything and everything. Your website can be the same. Its what we did at broadcast.com . We drowned them with volume and alternatives. We didnt care if it was audio or video of a cat screeching, 2 people playing bridge or a cousin telling jokes. We figured if there was enough choice, people would come back out of curiousity to find out what was there. Only your newspaper can do the same thing locally.

The interview you did with the high school basketball player who went on to the nba, you are idiots if its not posted. The interview with the cheerleader who went on to do Debbie Does Dallas 19, you are an idiot if you dont have it up. Every interview from every high school football game, lacross game, talent contest or 3rd grade recital shoujld be on the net. Who else has the amazing library of great stuff that you have accumulated over the years ? Your editors’ mundane is the high school kid discovering audio or video about their parents and spending all day looking for more and telling all his/her friends and family about the amazing and crazy stuff they found. Every thing that isnt digital needs to get digital and every new piece of information /story/feature/report/editorial needs to be digital an added to the website as its found.

Then you take a page from Youtube and create a “related” or recommended listing of stories in the paper that day or upcoming that would refer people to the paper.

For time sensitive events, like a sporting event, you only have so many teams to cover. Cover them fast and well. Teams have coaches who track everything and anything in a game. We have guys tracking tipped passes, which plays are run, tons of minutiae. If we can process it and cut film from it for a quick turnaround at halftime, so can a newspaper. I would get multiple stringers, former coaches, fans, whatever, who track and compile as much different information as they can, and the beatwriter becomes the editor who takes in all the data and turns it into an indepth story that gives the paper brand as the place to go for information like you cant get anywhere else.

High School kids would kill to be able to do the same thing for any of their school;s sports and publish it to your website or for the big games, to your paper.

And if you are really good at compiling esoteric statistics, not only can you trademark those, but you can create your own fantasy leagues that incorporate that data. High School Fantasy Football anyone ?

Online is fast and overwhelming quantities of minimally packaged and information by reporters. The paper is for indepth, feature stories that encourage people to committ to the paper and the story.

But I digress. This is about RSS.

RSS (if you dont know what it is,this is a good resource) is something few beyond the technically literate have a clue about. Thats a good thing for newspaper. It means you can brand and own it. RSS has expanded to the point where the latest versions of IE and Firefox , the 2 most popular browsers both have icons in the URL bar. Its a little orange burstie thingie . Make it your orange burstie thingie.

The great thing about this RSS Icon, is that when you click on it , it gives the user the ability to bookmark the page they are on and receive continuous headlines from that page right in their browser.

What did I just say in English ?

It means that you can open your readers up to Click and Read, or whatever you want to brand that Icon as. I realize that most newspapers offer RSS Links on their websites so people with RSS readers can subscribe. I do it all the time.

What newspapers, or any entity hasnt done, is take branded ownership of the Live Links that browsers just started offering across IE 7 and Firefox and using it as a marketing tool.

Put in URLs around reporters/columnists/whatevers along with the orangamajiggi, and teach your users that your newspaper is now putting up everything and anything that they do. Get it first, get it best with the Heralds LiveLink. Just go to this webpage, click on the Yellow and then click on Bookmarks Toolbar Folder. The Herald will then automatically send you headlines of every story we put on the net by category. We bring the news to you ! No more having to search through Google News, or searching for the latest stories, we bring it to you !

Of course RSS can do more than send a headline, it can send full articles files, ads, and tea
ses to send people to the paper for more info.
As anyone who uses live bookmarks on firefox knows, its just to easy to use and it works.

I just could never figure out why Live Bookmarks and their IE equivalent havent become an integral part of internet site marketing to consumers.

Maybe this is all just craziness to those in the newspaper industry, but I think there might be an opportunity to take your content, touch it one time, put it on the net, extend the stories into features in the paper, and use RSS to make it easy to alert your customers about new news in a manner that is far less intrusive than email alerts

And writing this of course gives everyone in the sportsjournalists.com forums a chance to support or hate me. Which is always fun to read.

60 thoughts on “RSS – The Newspapers Revenge ?

  1. for all women looking for revenge

    Comment by sally -

  2. I hate this media!!!!!

    Comment by Catalin -

  3. I love rss it keeps e updated with whats going on in the world which is very important. It also gets through email complications, great resource.

    Comment by imutopia -

  4. I’ve learned over the years that CONTENT is KING! People go where they can find the information they want in an organized and entertaining fashion. Newspapers are not cool or organized anymore!

    I love the post about having to SUBSCRIBE online now… I can’t see myself paying for any kind of information I can find somewhere else quicker!

    The only way newspapers or any medium can stay on top of this “gimmie gimmie gimmie gimmie” mentality of consumers/readers/listeners is to have QUALITY (not always QUANTITY like you mentioned in your post) content that only THEY provide. If you love the writing of Michael Wilbon then you might pay the money to pick up a copy of his article…. If you love Pardon the Interruption then you’ll make sure you’re around to watch it when it first runs…

    Just my two cents.. but it’ll be interesting to see everyone adapt!

    Comment by Brewer -

  5. you’re a genius. please buy the paper i work for. the current state of journalism is breaking my heart.

    Comment by christine -

  6. I think that it only guesses.. Already nobody subscribes for it

    Comment by Jenifer -

  7. Hey Mark,

    We have been working on THE product that you are talking about.
    Man, keep this idea QUIET!!!
    go to http://www.yavarsity.com and check us out
    22 high school in a league in York and Adams County Pa.
    we have been working on this for three years.
    Numbers that will BLOW your mind!!!!
    Video clips work, we stream em!!
    also tons of images, blogs, message boards.
    Looking for some HELP from a BIG DADDY on this idea,
    Oh by the way, there are really 5-6-7 web products off this idea.
    anybody out there interested in talking, email us at the site
    http://www.yavarsity.com
    Later
    N. Palumbo

    Comment by Neal Palumbo -

  8. Great post as usual Mark – manual trackback!
    http://www.touchstonelive.com/blog/2006/12/show-me-money-or-pain.html

    Comment by Chris Saad -

  9. As a reporter at a small town paper I think RSS and syndication is the way of the future. It’s where newspapers need to be going if they’re not already.
    Because if not, this is the future: http://news.yahoo.com/you-witness

    Comment by Jonathan Blundell -

  10. I truly don’t know how I lived before RSS, it is so much easier to keep up on world, industry news and anything else of importance.

    Comment by Riley -

  11. As someone working in the news industry as a web developer/programmer, it struck me that not only is the post here dead on, but most of the things mentioned here have been a reality for literally years at various newspaper websites, especially ones where Rob Curley has worked. Rob was Director of New Media at LJ World, which was mentioned in the comments here. Rob and his teams have been doing hyper-local coverage, high school sports like it’s ESPN, SMS, RSS, vodcasts, podcasts and more for as long as he’s worked in the newspaper industry.

    Just thought you’d like to know that others inside the newspaper industry share your thoughts and are actually working to see these ideas, and others like them, become a reality.

    Full disclosure: I work for Rob on his team at WPNI, the .com leg of the Washington Post.

    Comment by Deryck Hodge -

  12. I know you didn’t talk about this in your blog but I have to ask. Mark Stein of ESPN went on record to say that you were in the Allen Iverson sweepstakes. Are we (I say we b/c I am a MFFL) interested in him? I know we could use the scoring but he’s just another Jet. In my opinion, we don’t need him. He’d break our chemistry. And who would they want? Terry? Devin? I say keep both of ’em. I’m just curious as to what’s going through your mind and who they are asking for…thanks Mark aka the greatest NBA franchise owner EVER!

    -tj

    Comment by TJ Long Jr -

  13. 10 years ago, 90% of my marketing was in the newspaper. Now with people wanting instant information and not wanting to wait, 90% of my marketing is on the web. I love RSS feeds, because of how instant the information is and I can scan headlines until something pops. I suscribe to 3 newspapers and i can’t remember the last time I looked at them other then the Sunday morning sales circulars and the TV guide.

    Comment by Chris Dowell -

  14. I’ve noticed that very few journalists have responded to Mark’s view of aquiring and assembling content in this new media world. I won’t get into RSS feeds and all that. But what is important is that the news media are not just court reporters. When working on a big story, I might interview 50 people. I assess what they say, get different viewpoints, and then try to assemble the story in a way that gives the reader an accurate view of what is happening. I try to connect the dots in a way that gives readers what is important.

    Now, according to Cuban, I would put all fifty interview up on line, let the readers wade through all this stuff, and then expect them to go further to the main story. This may work better in the world of sports in which Cuban in more familiar. The sports media ask about three or four questions to fill the third paragagraph of their story ((1) lede, 2)explanation of the story, 3)groin pull quote).

    With all the blogs and instantaneous news coverge, there has to be a place where real news reporting is put in context, and not always in an opinion column. If all we wanted was “court reporting” of only quotes, C-SPAN would be one of the highest rated cable networks. I agree that newspapers need to develop their online content better, but to throw most of your staff out there with recording discs and cameras mounted a helmet, will drive one form of content in favor of the other.

    When I listen to Cuban on the radio here in DFW, there are times he has interesting things to say, and other times when he is just doing his own PR spin. Should the readers decide which is his spin and which is the truth. I guess so. But I also wonder what is the point of throwing so much insignificant content at people already with time contraints.

    One of my favorite subjects is bias in the media. Yes, we have bias. We have bias when we choose which stories to cover based upon staff numbers. We have bias when we choose an angle for a story. We have bias when we decide what platform a story gets run on. And despite focus groups that keep saying they want only facts and un-biased reporting, I think that is the fashionable response. Basing your coverage on focus groups is dicey. People don’t know what they like in news media until they see it. But when covering what is news, you don’t know what it is until it presents itself.

    Everyone likes to point out why newspapers have lost subscribers, and the pundits always point to the many new platforms available. But they are missing a very important point. Content is key. During the past few decades, newspapers have made a marketing decision to run everything right down the middle. Don’t offend. Local columnists who have real opinions (remember when every city had a guy like Royko)have been put out to pasture. Local news coverage with any edge has been sidelined in the name of “fairness.” Newspapers have lost readers because they have lost identity. Think of it this way: how long does it take to read your local newspaper these days? I’m in the business, and I fly through it in about five minutes. There is usually nothing you can really sink your teeth into. The news media seems to think that no one wants to read a story that is long. Well, no I don’t want to read a bad, filler story that is long. But I do make time for a good long story that has some bite to it. That iswhat newspapers have lost, and that is why they have lost readers.

    So maybe newspapers should look at two seperate platforms. Have some young folks running around with their tape recorders and helmet video cameras recording everyhting in their face, and put it up like an extended version of local TV news. But also give readers some stories with deeper content than they do now. Many stories have numerous components: social, political, economic, personalities, etc. Just flying up their quotes does little to connect the dots. And if local media stops doing that — as they are mostly doing these days — they lose pupose and identity.

    Comment by Dan McGraw -

  15. I think it takes a big leap out of your comfort zone for a non-tech person to adopt and use RSS…but once they learn it and use it, they are a happy camper.

    Comment by South Bay -

  16. I believe the newspapers know this and are taking action. Slow and poor action yes, but I do think they know this is where the news is going.

    Let’s take the Dallas Morning News (or the DaMN as we call it). They are equipping their journalists with cameras and recorders and allowing them to post them to the web. (How do I know – my roommate works there). Check out http://dallasnews.com/extra/. This is supposedly what this is for. Do they publicize this? Barely in small print next to some of the stories. Right now they are trying to get their journalists comfortable with this new medium and gauging the public’s interest. Only the public doesn’t really know it’s there and the some journalists are reluctant to adapt.

    As for the RSS. Well, its there too. Oh, but they don’t even know how to properly configure it. They have a little link in the pages on their site that have the “orangie thing” but it isn’t embedded into the page so that someone can just bookmark it easily. I still can’t figure out why they don’t truly understand how to broadcast their feed.

    Sounds like the DaMN and others need to hire some Internet marketers with real experience and skill and maybe actually implement what they suggest.

    Comment by Bad Ass Mo Fo -

  17. now I can read these papers the minute they update online. So I get my news faster.

    Comment by BloggingHaroon -

  18. We have just bought a high definition television for the NCAA bowl season!

    It’s Christmas time and I almost forgot what really mattered in life. I know that there is this awesome concept called the RSS feed and I think it’s really cool that it provides me with information fast. But what we cannot forget is the power of networking with people in REAL LIFE. The RSS feed provides me with interesting conversation topics that I can discuss during the commercials of the million college games that I will ATTEMPT to watch.

    I just love the fact that when I am watching TV, I watch the most vivid display available on the market. Have you seen what the grass looks like when you watch an NFL or NCAAF game on TV? That answer doesn’t really matter since that is about all I watch on television. I just enjoy watching the game with big fans of the game like me.

    Comment by Charles Martin -

  19. Well Mark, Hopefully, YOu will go into the financial media world with your ideas and give three of the largest POS ,no minds fundamentally and technically,,lol,,, being cnBS,Bloomy, and the WSJ some real competition.

    Comment by Ron D -

  20. So from this blog, i summed up that the RSS stream feed is new and cool. we can incorporate it into the large amount of media resources already available to us. it will make our lives richer.

    Shall we now move on to the next discussion?

    Comment by Charles Martin -

  21. I was saying this morning to my wife, that in my business now as opposed to a few years ago, there is practically nothing in ‘files and folders’ anymore – so much so that I am not able to work away from my computer, sit on the couch, go outside to think etc without being away from the information that I need.
    Newspapers are and will probably continue to be integral to humans’ everyday lives. What is important to remember, and that I find gets lost in having customized content pushed to you, is that sometimes the best things in the paper are things you never would have asked for.
    Think about the articles on foreign countries, or exposes on local politicians or people in the community. Things that while reading (or watching a local TV program) you would have never been exposed to if you are only receiving customized content.
    RSS is great. I love my Google homepage, my site/blog has RSS fees and I encourage people to use them to their full advantage. But there is also something to be said for that voice, that reporter making sure that you know something that you didn’t before. After all, how will we know that Mark is such a great looking guy, and that all his friends think so if the only time we’d see the article is if we have a Mark Cuban RSS feed, or go searching for him.

    Comment by bradr -

  22. THe publishing industry will change when economics forces it to. Once the profits start drying up, they’ll be forced to adapt.

    Comment by basketball -

  23. I actually do wedding videos…

    RSS is main way I keep up with news, especially from Digg.com using my google.com/ig page. What I don’t get is RSS stands for really simple. Everyone should be using it as a means of disseminating quick information to seduce people into visiting the whole article.

    Comment by Gavin the photographer -

  24. Of course, of course, of course. But Mr. Cuban, there’s one thing you’ve got to remember. You’re calling out to an established, dinosaur-like industry. And what does that mean? They’re both frightened of change and (ack!) lazy about adopting new technology, because it means more work. And these days, when newsroom staff budgets are being cut, you can’t altogether blame them.

    However, they’ll have to change, whether they like it or not. Craigslist has already axed their classified revenue. Traditional advertising is migrating. Big media companies like the New York Times are making the move, albeit reluctantly. Case in point, they don’t even have a local news blog, despite the fact they have a sprawling staff of local reporters turning out all kinds of news, anecdotes, and possible video, every day. Talk about a hell of a blog. Meanwhile, we’re doing the best we can to cover New York. Surprisingly, the papers are lagging.

    There’s one catch: the reason newspapers are great is because of EDITORS. And editing takes time. You’re right, there turnaround should be quick, and if it’s done correctly, yes, great media can be posted quickly. But there should never be a compromise for quantity over quality.

    Although here in NYC, where stories are just endless (bless you, Gotham!) yes, you’re right, there’s no excuse.

    Get moving.

    The Inquirer

    Comment by Andrew Bast -

  25. Thank you for opening my mind on this topic. Not on RSS but on the newspaper industry. I’ve been in the group of people that thinks newspapers are dead for quite some time. Now I’ve seen the light. If the industry would stop thinking it’s greatest asset is the newspaper and its subscriber base and realize that it’s really the reporters which they keep laying-off, they’d be able to rebuild their business model.

    The print medium is holding them back. The internet is great for telling the whole story…no word limits and various forms of distribution and viewing. Use the internet to find out what the most popular stories are and use them in a shortened version in morning paper with simple URL’s to your web site for people who want the latest information. I’m willing to bet that a model such is this would improve revenues.

    Comment by Chris Wills -

  26. I’d like to see a standard in RSS feeds emerge as the de facto. For now, I have to keep up with RSS, XML, ATOM and a number of other specialized feeds to keep things compatible and current.
    Anything to get people to read my stuff, I guess.

    Comment by Pete Dunn -

  27. Whoa – I got lost somewhere in there. I think I’m going to have to get back to this a little bit later after coffee. Or five.

    Comment by KushCash -

  28. Life is all about knowing your ‘middle’. Through this blog, Mr. Cuban is just outlining a newer way to do the things we do. The only difference is, we still have to do some of the old things we do as well as doing the new things.

    Let me explain. Newspapers have been around since the times of the Romans with their clay tablets. We cannot deny this simple fact. If two thousand years later we still use the written physical way of obtaining news (the newspapers) then they must serve a purpose somehow.

    So instead of writing on this blog, I just need to understand that there are newspapers, Televised broadcasts, and now there are online broadcasts. We can’t take anyone of them for granted. We just have to find our mushy middle. This is the middle where you will understand that you need a little bit of all of these elements to live a more efficient life.

    Comment by Charles Martin -

  29. Who knows blog approximately about the same popularity as this???? I want to know even more about what and as people think!

    Comment by Fokk -

  30. Mark – I’m 100% with you on RSS feeds being the news source for discerning citizens in the 21st century. I also like your idea of branding & marketing them. If the content providers start doing this, the readers will become more geared toward that model as well (much as the blog creation/entry tools have done).

    One picky point, though: content providers need to designate multiple feeds on their site based on category of content. I’m not too interested in a feed from my local paper, as much as I’m interested in a feed about my local events. It sounds like a small difference, but as a practical matter, I only need one news feed, but I’m happy to have dozens of topics/channels within that feed.

    If these things start delivering redundant data, people are going to stop subscribing…

    Comment by Brian Greenberg -

  31. I agree. My ex-wife still calls me up, telling me how did I ever live without my greatnews RSS reader. I have over 800 feeds in there, so that’s probably why she left me in the first place, dammit.

    Comment by Bob King Neverland III -

  32. Mark,

    The fact that I am here is evidence of your ultimate point regarding RSS. I had originally bookmarked your site some time ago but didn’t come back to it because of competing content and tasks. Now that you are in my NewsGator I click, check the header, and scan the content. Today, I was captivated and chose to read the full article.

    Your suggestions about print and broadcast media doing the same thing–put out info as it emerges, draw people into the process–is on the money. It could mean “money or no money” in the future if they don’t figure out the dynamic.

    Comment by Steve Roesler -

  33. A good example of a newspaper that DOES grok this is (IMO) the Lawrence Journal-World, of Lawrence, Kansas. (http://www.ljworld.com/) (Note: I’m not associated in any way, but I am a big fan of theirs). They integrate into the community well, as you note…heck, they create baseball-card like stats for Little Leaguers that are updated weekly on the site!

    Comment by Ken Kennedy -

  34. You couldn’t be more more correct, Mark: I am actually in college right now to study journalism and it’s no longer just Print Journalism 101, it’s Print & Broadcast. We’re working with the college radio station, with video editing equipment/cameras as well as with traditional writing skills.

    The future of journalism – a time when an interview will be a story, a video and an audio transcript – isn’t too far off indeed.

    Comment by Mark Milner -

  35. Great post.

    I am so reliant on RSS now that I pretty much don’t directly view any more than a couple websites. If I don’t get it by RSS, I don’t read it.

    Point 2: I read the Dallas Morning News sports section faithfully, and have for years. I have now concluded that I have exactly no use for the front page general sports columnists (you know who they are) any more — they completely suck all enthusiasm for the game from me. If I got the DMN by RSS, I could choose not to get those columnists, and I’d be a happier camper for it. Give me the story of the game, and the beat writer — I’ll take it from there.

    Comment by rodander -

  36. RSS is an efficient communication medium; I’m surprised it hasn’t caught on more than it has.

    Comment by Brian Boyko -

  37. On how marketing simplified streaming is important not only for the internet but also for our well-being and efficiency in the 21st century society.

    Wow, I can’t believe that so many people were won over by Mark Cuban’s simple, but persuasive blog entry about how he thinks that RSS and concepts similar to RSS are important. I love the power that honest and ethical persuasion has on people.

    Last night I was wondering (about this blog topic) and why Mark Cuban is preaching efficiency and simplicity through widespread usage of the RSS system on a seemingly unpopular blog site that he maintains. He not only maintains it, everything posted on here is copyrighted and owned by Mark Cuban. So then, my next thought was: why is this man spending so much out of his important day to write on a web log in which an average of only 100 posts are left per actual web log.

    So instead of just writing this man off as stupid, I thought about his actions for a second. If he is spending so much time maintaining this web log so that he receives 100 passionate posts, then I realized how important it is for him to receive these 100 messages. Those 100 posts came from 50-100 people who found the web log entry interesting enough to write a comment about it.

    Then maybe someday when someone replies to Blog Maverick and brings up a revolutionary idea that was not thought of before, all the time spent maintaining the blog will reap its rewards. Does the cheesy saying put you off a little? Think about when you planted a tree. How much effort does it take for that tree to grow 25 feet tall with big leaves and big fruits or seeds or acorns? The average person does not know because TO THEM growing a tree isnt that important.

    Comment by Charles Martin -

  38. December 3, 2006

    13:25, revised at 23:30.
    On the purpose of charity driven marketing campaigns and streaming online and frustrations brought on by bandwidth issues.
    Since I believe that I do not suffer from having ADHD, I am completely comfortable by starting this stream of consciousness by saying what happened to me when I was trying to write. Earlier today I was watching the Patriots on TV when I heard something in a commercial that struck me as strange: This holiday season, please donate to the Gazette Holiday Fund.
    My first reaction was WHAT!?!? How does saying something like this make any sense whatsoever? Why is the Gazette going on the television to ask people to donate their own money so that administrators who handle the Gazette Holiday Fund can acquire gifts (in any way) to distribute them to families in need?
    In my life I strive for efficiency; that is why seeing something like this simply baffles me. Instead of paying large sums of money to broadcast the fact that you give presents to little children in December every year, why dont they simply donate that money to an existing charity. As a result, they would not have to pay staff salaries to pay people to buy presents for little children.
    Well I realized, it unfortunately has everything to do with trying to set an image for yourself which is not the right one. I am in NO WAY condemning the Gazette because doesnt almost every single human being do this on a daily basis? I think so.
    From now on when I am presented with a situation where I can give someone the wrong impression, I will try my hardest so that no one accidentally becomes confused. That is a pretty tall order to fill, but if it wasnt it would make it much easier for everyone to act honestly on a constant basis.
    So now, how do you think I can actually relate this to online streaming? Please let me explain.
    (By the way Microsoft word has magically picked up the fact that when I press enter, I want two spaces and not merely one. Streaming? I think so)
    Okay so right now my goal is to become the most efficient person I can be while living an honest life. To do this, mere frustrations of all kinds will have to slowly be taken out of my daily routine. If anyone needs specifics, just ask. So, all of these little frustrations will be taken out of my life okay, so that gives me time to be more efficient.
    Tonight, instead of wasting three hours in hopes that Jay Cutler will choke against Seattle in hopes that the Chiefs will make an AFC Wild Card Playoff spot, I was writing this blog entry on a reduced size window while enjoying the 75 second delay constant live feed. All I need is my imagination, and the http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/live/NFL_20061203_SEA@DEN and I have cut down on time corruption. I know that watching the actual game is better, but seriously if I had my eyes on the television could I be writing this right now? I may be able to but it would have taken me a very long time.
    That is why we need this SLOW METICULOUS change into this online streaming system. Lets strive to make the elements of our lives stream through at the pace of how our brain streams through information. This is impossible, but if we had a sidekick that helped us live a better, more productive life why would we deny it/him/her?

    (sorry for neglecting to bring up bandwidth issues, but if we think about the fact that blogs and the web is still so new, these errors will slowly start to go away. That is why a SOCIAL UTILITY like Facebook is so simple that if used correctly, it could change your life.)

    Comment by Charles Martin -

  39. I wrote a related story on the importance of RSS on the MediaVidea blog.
    http://mediavidea.blogspot.com/2006/12/why-rss-will-rule.html

    Comment by Pramit Singh -

  40. Well let’s up the anti quite a bit. This one should entice Mark Cuban to give me a call. This is not self promotion, but wouldn’t you want to know if there was something that, well just made you stop and say to yourself,”Now that is something special!”, and,”I have to take a look at this because of curiosity.”

    This is no joke what I am about to say, and is relevant to this post you’ve made Mark and to add to, since no one has taken the bait because everybody is looking at the same thing and not seeing the other direction I am introducing here.

    Couple things that go beyond the points in his blog and dovetail with your comments:

    1) RSS is pretty cool, but personalized (recommendations) RSS feeds are way cool — which we can do right now and is in our patent apps.
    2) Another possibility for newspapers, and certainly other print players, is customized publications, potentially down to the personal level. And the personalization can be done based on user behaviors. They will have to convert to digital press technology that is optimized for short print runs, but it can be done.
    Yep — in our patent app portfolio tooπŸ™‚

    As an aside Mark, I have been an avid reader of your blog, any interviews you’ve done et al, and I don’t bullshit, so the short comment to you is that I like the angles and the individuated intelligent thought you take, as well as exercising strength and free will.

    I too have done my homework and I am sitting on something so big that it will excite you. Let’s be clear Mark, I am not begging you to please, please call or write me; on the contrary I chose you and your site to develop this thread and introduce something new to you and your readers, which adds value to your posting.

    Look forward to hearing from you. This will be my last post on the subject. And I will move on with my plans with my partners. We just think that there is a synergy of restlessness between all of us, and that is why I chose you over all the other media meat heads, who like to put you down because you were on to something with your Your Tube Posts and Google.

    Comment by Michael Pokocky -

  41. There’s no question that the web is more efficient. Archived information, searchable databases of information, cross-referencing, multiple sources, no wasted paper, etc. But it shouldn’t be a surprise that “old world” businesses are still in business. Some people don’t have computers. Some people don’t like to read their newspaper on computers. And the old-school businesses can still make money. Maybe not as much as before, but guess what: companies still advertise in newspapers and magazines, and people still subscribe to them

    Comment by wailea -

  42. I just cancelled my subscription to the Chicago Tribune, even though it was the Sunday edition and it was only .99 cents/week. Why? Too much wasted paper that I didn’t read. I can get the sales papers online at those retailers. Also, I subscribe to the Chicago Tribune Top Stories RSS Feed and that serves me well throughout the day since I work from home and am on the Internet most of the day. RSS is great; the print media needs to adjust or become extinct.

    Comment by Wilson -

  43. December 3, 2006

    13:25, revised at 23:30.
    On the purpose of charity driven marketing campaigns and streaming online and frustrations brought on by bandwidth issues.
    Since I believe that I do not suffer from having ADHD, I am completely comfortable by starting this stream of consciousness by saying what happened to me when I was trying to write. Earlier today I was watching the Patriots on TV when I heard something in a commercial that struck me as strange: This holiday season, please donate to the Gazette Holiday Fund.
    My first reaction was WHAT!?!? How does saying something like this make any sense whatsoever? Why is the Gazette going on the television to ask people to donate their own money so that administrators who handle the Gazette Holiday Fund can acquire gifts (in any way) to distribute them to families in need?
    In my life I strive for efficiency; that is why seeing something like this simply baffles me. Instead of paying large sums of money to broadcast the fact that you give presents to little children in December every year, why dont they simply donate that money to an existing charity. As a result, they would not have to pay staff salaries to pay people to buy presents for little children.
    Well I realized, it unfortunately has everything to do with trying to set an image for yourself which is not the right one. I am in NO WAY condemning the Gazette because doesnt almost every single human being do this on a daily basis? I think so.
    From now on when I am presented with a situation where I can give someone the wrong impression, I will try my hardest so that no one accidentally becomes confused. That is a pretty tall order to fill, but if it wasnt it would make it much easier for everyone to act honestly on a constant basis.
    So now, how do you think I can actually relate this to online streaming? Please let me explain.
    (By the way Microsoft word has magically picked up the fact that when I press enter, I want two spaces and not merely one. Streaming? I think so)
    Okay so right now my goal is to become the most efficient person I can be while living an honest life. To do this, mere frustrations of all kinds will have to slowly be taken out of my daily routine. If anyone needs specifics, just ask. So, all of these little frustrations will be taken out of my life okay, so that gives me time to be more efficient.
    Tonight, instead of wasting three hours in hopes that Jay Cutler will choke against Seattle in hopes that the Chiefs will make an AFC Wild Card Playoff spot, I was writing this blog entry on a reduced size window while enjoying the 75 second delay constant live feed. All I need is my imagination, and the http://www.nfl.com/gamecenter/live/NFL_20061203_SEA@DEN and I have cut down on time corruption. I know that watching the actual game is better, but seriously if I had my eyes on the television could I be writing this right now? I may be able to but it would have taken me a very long time.
    That is why we need this SLOW METICULOUS change into this online streaming system. Lets strive to make the elements of our lives stream through at the pace of how our brain streams through information. This is impossible, but if we had a sidekick that helped us live a better, more productive life why would we deny it/him/her?

    Comment by Charles Martin -

  44. I used to buy about 5 newspapers each day. I no longer do. Now I read them all online. Why? For me it’s all about time efficiency.

    For one main thing, I no longer have to drive to the newsstand or go looking for a paper when they were already sold out if it was later in the day. That drive I used to do, though close to home, cost me 10 minutes of my time per day. That’s over 3,650 minutes a year I now have back to do something else more productive with.

    Secondly, now I can read these papers the minute they update online. So I get my news faster.

    Thirdly, now I can read the news much faster because everything is organized better online.

    Fourthly, I don’t have as many ads in my face.

    and finally, no more news ink all over my hands.πŸ™‚

    So Yes, the newspapers have lost a lot of ground to the Net. However, I don’t they’ve actually lost the readership as much as they think, a lot of it has simply migrated to reading online.

    I do still enjoy buying a couple Sunday papers. Just to look at all the shopping specials.

    I also really love the online newspapers like the Sun-Sentinel in South Florida which lets the readers post comments about the articles. You really get to see a great interaction this way between a variety of opinions.

    The news industry is more vibrant than ever. But now instead of being delivered to your house by the neighborhood paper boy, a tiny copper wire is pulling that little red wagon.

    Comment by Kevin -

  45. I love the fact that The Dallas Morning News is creating more blogs, but there are a few things that really bug me. I subscribe to Matt Mosley’s Cowboys RSS feed and if you click on it and want to explore more on the DMN website, they let you go about three pages in and then they want you to subscribe. That just bugs me. Also, the powers that be will not let Mosley link to other blogs from fellow sportswriters. Unbelievable, are they scared I will switch to a competitor. If the quality is great, they have me. Place road blocks up and I take a different route to some other site.

    Comment by Philip Shoffner -

  46. Mark, you’re clearly talking about establishing a (rich) long tail for print on the web.

    The problem is, my local sports rags, The Detroit Free Press and Detroit News aren’t even capable of keeping content from 6 months ago available. This seems par for the clueless print industry which either drops or archives (for pay) old content, not realizing that they can leverage old articles for more page views, and more pageviews for web advertising.

    If content is king, before we worry about old beat writers resisting a move to rich media reporting, the newspapers need to resolve their inability to create value for those archival pieces. I would guess that next to no one is going to pay for articles, at least, not any meaningful amount when you consider the potential PPC earnings available.

    This is really no different than your league’s belief that there will be a PPV audience for old NBA footage, per this article
    http://news.com.com/2100-1025_3-5989364.html

    Digitizing the archive? Great idea. PPVing classic bits? As dead an initiative as the Google NBA Video project. Leveraging that archival footage into broadening brand power and reach? Now we are talking about a net benefit.

    IP is a beach head that I’m not sure any company can defend long term. Even one compromised of Nothing But Attorneys.

    Comment by Anand -

  47. It is the advantage of the web, and technology…instantaneous updates, information pushed out to those who want to see or read it, more choice, etc. Newspapers are old-school and old economy. When was the last time anyone (under the age of 30 probably) looked for a job in the classified ads in a hard-copy newspaper? Why would you. But that being said, I still like picking up the sports page in the morning at reading it. There will always be a market for hard-copy books, papers, etc. But RSS and push information is definitely the future (and present).

    Comment by basketball -

  48. Have you considered starting up a daily newspaper for just this purpose? If this article is still valid (in tone, at least): http://archives.cjr.org/year/99/1/worst.asp

    It should be easy enough to target – find a newspaper with general discontent, high CPM rates, and limited competition, and put your ideas to work.

    Comment by dave -

  49. Alright, you talked me into it….time to set up an rss feed for my website.

    Comment by Hollis -

  50. Mr. Cuban, I was thinking about your blog while i was watching the television today. I realized something very simple: In our day and age, people are becoming more and more demanding.

    Let’s look back 50 years:

    when people went to the grocery store, they got the things they needed, but DAMN the store was really UGLY. People didn’t care because a)the store had what they needed and b)they had no choice. That’s why my grandma is still arguing about how mad she is that Wal-Mart is coming to the town near her. She doesn’t think it’s fair that Wal-Mart can steal away all of the customers of the UGLY old style store that she goes to. My grandma can keep on going to that store because her finances are secured. She can keep going to that store even though it is ugly and overpriced, because for her it’s tradition. But for the 30 year old working man trying to save a buck wherever he goes, Wal-Mart is the BEST way to go.

    Sorry i went on such an outrageous tangent, but I just wanted to prove your point Mr. Cuban. You are so demanding for yourself and society that you will try your hardest to make as many people realize that we cannot stick to watching the news or reading newspapers. We are in a new era of technology and medicine; why aren’t we in a new era of media that doesn’t hide anything from us. And when I read the posts left on your blog, my point was just reinforced. You were able to convince 9 or so people about this idea. If you convinced 4 of those people completely, they will tell all of their friends about this idea, and well the rest is history.

    Thank you for taking 20 minutes out of your very very busy day to try and help society,

    Charles

    (p.s. i really wanted to get into sports like the yankees who think all they need is the biggest payroll ever to win championships; and how that relates to us being demanding about RSS feeds. but that is a tangent best left for another day.)

    Comment by Charles Martin -

  51. there’s a lot of content in there to think about. reporters always ask questions driven toward a certain answer they want to achieve whether they are reporting for a newspaper or a broadcast show. and then, when the editor (whoever gets put in charge of it)splices the part of the quote or video clip that they think will get what (they feel like) they want to get across, it doesn’t really matter what the person actually said. The reason why that is: when people will watch or read any article quote, they only thing they will get from it is what the editor wanted them to hear. and that’s bull crap. it’s bull crap because sometimes people do not realize that what they hear is only a little part of the conversation and they do not get the total scope of a person’s idea.

    I’m a person that wants to get the full story. So i wish that there was a way that when i see a tv report where someones voice gets cut off (because the editor did it) i actually want to hear what this person has to say. when i read a newspaper article, i want to know what each person meant when a quote about them is published. what i mean by that is that i want to see it in the whole context, not just what the editor did.

    Mr. Cuban, i hope i wasn’t redundant in repeating exactly what you are trying to say here, but what you say is the truth (to me). this RSS thing on my firefox has 30 stories featured at this exact moment with each headline not exceeding 5 words. Wow, that’s pretty damn cool, i have all this information at my fingertips and i don’t have to look anywhere! pretty cool, uh? well whoever is doing this RSS thing, i hope they keep working on it and fast because there may be more to exploit out of such concept.

    Comment by Charles Martin -

  52. Great ideas and insight, as usual, Mark.

    Another from a recorded online interview by a WSJ reporter with Jay Walker I came across (sorry, don’t recall where it was), the smart guy who leads Walker Digital and came up with Priceline, when asked what newspapers could do about their curculation and revenue problems; was for them (and other legacy media) to charge $ for the complete interviews with industry leaders and other well-known people (especially applicable for pubs like the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Baron’s, etc.).

    Others in their same industries–competitors especially–would likely pay top dollar for such content…

    Comment by Steve Morsa -

  53. RSS is so much more than a fixed broadcasting tool…it is a listening tool and a search engine…a what? Imagine newspapers that broadcast RSS from their search results? or from their classifieds? not just fixed feeds that can’t possible serve niche customers in the long tail..sorry for the overused cliche’s and comment spam.

    A massively scalable RSS platform for news/videos/products is BounceBase.

    If anyone is interested in hearing more about our project, contact me via email. davida@bounceisfree.com

    Comment by David Armstrong -

  54. The Newspapers revenge is in knowledge networks. Knowledge networks refers to two things. One is the vast network of business thinkers, writers, leaders and sources to which you have (often privileged) access. It also refers to the way sites are organized.
    Knowledge is a fuzzy concept – it is hard to categorize a particular asset (e.g. an article, presentation or for that matter, a human expert) into a specific category. Usually a particular content asset deals with many concepts and may be relevant to many categories.
    Off line print media must create online adaptive knowledge networks, which are organized as a network of assets that have different levels of relevancy to each other. The result is a powerful, context based knowledge base that provides more relevant information to its readers.
    Content consumers are faced with a barrage of information each day. They need a ‘meta-opinion’ of critical thinking that can separate the ‘signal’ from the ‘noise’. This is the entry point for newspapers, cutting into the online world, as Marc points out everywhere it can, driving readers back to the online site, where an a non-hierarchical tree system organized adaptive knowledge network is set up, giving the reader choices and then because they have choices, now, they will be motivated to purchase and read the news-the story, which Marc talks about that is in depth, with background, color, opinion, and commentary are all there to bring the reader all the way from a breaking 5 line story title lead, perhaps in an RSS feed-and I agree this is virgin territory for most readers-to the actual story that may have not been the lead 30 second break online, but is the unique quality story that will be remembered long after it broke because the reader got value for his buck when they purchased the newspaper as a result of finding the lead online.
    Its all a game really, and the clever idea within all of this is to maintain one foot in the online world and back up your real world newspaper, or other print media, by providing the top quality writing that journalists have be known for.
    The net is a place to break a story and if a blogger is first that’s his high and they are off to the next high, but the real value is in the back story, that separates the signal from the noise. The net is all noise and anything on the net can be considered an asset in the sense of social computation, which does not distinguish RSS, from people, or words; its all knowledge. An adaptive knowledge network does not distinguish between the same things as well, but its the way it organizes the knowledge and how it produces enhanced retention of readers, through interaction with the knowledge, that will save the newspapers–and no they are not going extinct–from the quasi geek idea that [sic]”someone is actually going to sit and read a 1500[sic] word story online,” which Mark was quoted in Esquire magazine as saying. And I agree.
    The technology is available, now, and if newspapers were to restructure their online presence in such a way that creates an adaptive knowledge network, instead of representing itself online as an exact copy of the newspaper itself, then they will be maximizing their resources, which includes their knowledge data bases, and maximize their value to advertisers, because at the end of the day if an ad client can say,”Hey, I got the best value for my buck today because I invested in an ad campaign that will continually return an investment to me, while still being associated with a top quality organization in print media; heck I get it now.”
    Can anyone out there say that right now? I doubt it because Marc said it in Esquire that [sic] “newspapers are suffering an identity crisis.” I’ll add to that, “nobody has a clue, but this post if your paying attention just might be the messenger.”

    Comment by Michael Pokocky -

  55. I teach journalism at a community college in Orlando … is there a Mark Cuban Foundation that will fund a conversion to full digital reporting? We’ll need audio recorders, camcorders, new computers, software, cables, etc. Respond to: Ken Carpenter, Professor of Journalism, Valencia Community College, 407-582-1170, kcarpenter2@valenciacc.edu

    Comment by Ken Carpenter -

  56. Unless newspapers are very careful they are likely to lose a great deal of credibility doing this.

    Comment by grant -

  57. Newspapers used to be a natural monopoly for local advertising dollars. No matter how crappy the print was, local business still needed to advertise. The large printing presses served as an effective barrier to entry.

    That is not true anymore, and without a new advertising model newspapers are going to have to do more than simply ape the latest web craze, currently UToob but next week something else.

    Comment by michael webster -

  58. I have found that many website/blog/news owners still just don’t see the tremendous potential of RSS syndication. Sure, most of you know what RSS is, how it works and how easy/simple it is for your end-users to subscribe to your feeds and other favorite places, but this is now what I am referring to…I am referring to MASS RSS Syndication…

    Here is something that will get your creative juices flowing…
    Imagine two fishermen…they both have boats and they are both after the same fish…sardines….except…one has got 1.000 fishing sticks while the other one has got only one net..

    Which fisherman do you think is likely to catch more sardines? Which one do you think is smarter?
    a) The one who throws his 1.000 hooks into the sea….
    b) the one who throws his one net into the sea…

    Yes, I know. What does this have to do with content and RSS you aks? Well, read between the lines…

    Comment by K l e m e n -

  59. RSS definitely is a way to do it. There is no reason for RSS feeders to get more technologically advanced. As far as I see it, they are relatively low tech. There are alot of features that are separately available from communities and such that there’s no reason to combine the existing technologies out there and create an RSS feeder on steroids. News Organizations need to enhance the products that they sell. They need to start investing in technology (programmers) that will create an experience for users to be captured by them. Right now, if Newspapers insist on doing things the old fashioned way, sites like NewsVine.com will eventually out strip them.

    This also brings up the fact that almost all communities out there are pyramidal in nature. These relationships can be enhanced by making them linear pyramids. Personally, if I had the money, I could create a linear pyramidal structured community that would be an invaluable tool for Newspapers, organizations, and anyone who wants to create a Digg-myspace-NewsVine-Blog-Groups-Forum type of site at a cost that is staggeringly low. If people would only think outside the box, this project could actually be done at a low cost and high profit ratio. Technology of today can combine all these features and create a site that is user driven and user paid.

    Comment by Francis -

  60. I read your site on RSS with all my other favorite blogs. It’s how I get my info, and I can’t imagine going back to waiting for the news, when the news comes to me.

    Comment by Walter Lawrence -

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