Elephant Diaries: Why solving “the Web problem” does not solve the problem

From today’s NYTimes article about the San Francisco Chronicle:

The Chronicle’s Web site, SFGate.com, draws an unusually large audience for a paper its size, three million to four million people monthly, according to Nielsen Online, but generates a fraction of the paper’s revenue.

If serving readers on the Internet is your measure, the Chronicle has been fabulously successful, and it’s going down the tubes. This is another example of the problem with the railroad metaphor. Far from making the mistake of thinking it was in the paper business rather than the news business, the Chron thought it was in the news business and used the Internet to do a bangup job of reaching readers that way.

One Comment

  1. So, take a look at my comment in an earlier thread.

    During the minicomputer=>micro crunch-time, there were minicomputer companies who *did* see it coming, and *did* try to convert to micros, with varying degrees of success. Some tried to ignore it, but many didn’t … and they still mostly went away, due to the value chain issues I mentioned there.

    For instance, the business model of many such companies depended on recurring service revenues, and having skilled people come out, diagnose the problem, replace boards, etc. [Not as much as mainframes, but far less than micros.] Tht changed from a being a competitive advantage to being a disadvantage, compared to micro-only companies that didn’t need to do that.

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