Personalized newspapers – the Niiu project

October 14th, 2009 Suzie Posted in Media, News media 1 Comment »

This week saw the launch of the first personalized newspaper in Berlin. Dubbed as the Niiu project, it enables readers to mash-up their own content from national and local sources – online and print – to create their own individual printed paper.

Like the theblogpaper, as reported in PSFK, the Niiu project is set up by young people for a young audience. Although the former is a pure user-generated and crowdsource initiative, the latter is guided by the user, perhaps taking note from successful product customisation ideas, such as NikeID.

Nevertheless, it puts the consumer/audience in control, right where they want to be, whilst tapping into the all important co-creation trend.

It will be interesting to see how successful the venture is. The company behind this, InterTi certainly have ambitions to take it global. With the growth of e-readers, it’s perhaps easy to see how this might also work in digital form. Watch this space.


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Will people pay for online media content?

October 8th, 2009 Suzie Posted in Advertising, Digital media, Media, News media, Research, Uncategorized 2 Comments »

Media companies are shifting back to establishing ‘paid walls’ around their online content. Structural change has caught up with them, forcing titles across the board to bite the bullet and look to charge.

But will people pay? It’s a big, big question. News Corp. thinks so, but so many aren’t convinced.

One of the strategies launched this week by The Times is a membership club. Not a new concept by any means. Other concepts being banded around include charging for apps, micro-payments and aggregated content across various publications.

I’m a trends researcher so naturally I pay for content that I deem worthy and insightful. Ad Age, Wall Street Journal, FT, Contagious, Wired, New Media Age are a few of the sources I’ll pay for. The big difference is this is a business agenda and pretty niche content in the scheme of things. But I get a combination of print and online for both and I quite like that.

Will Joe public pay for their daily dose of the Guardian, Mail or Sun online? I think, if I’m paying for something, I’d sooner get something tangible. Maybe what we’ll see is people seeing more value in print? But then, that could be the idea.

Another thing I wonder in all this. Will Twitter become less effective for media companies once paid walls are inserted? There’s nothing more irritating than clicking on a link and not being able to access the article.

Newspapers have been some of the most prolific users on Twitter, directing a lot of traffic to websites. Such a strategy could make Twitter more of a redundant tool if links do not work…?

If you’re as intrigued as I on this subject, I’d recommend reading Paul Bradshaw’s Online Journalism Blog and Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard, where you’ll be dazzled by brilliant minds, such as Clay Shirky and Jeff Howe.

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