Robert Denton

Staggering work of genius from Portland, Maine – Photographer, Designer, Taco Maker, Birder, Biker, Business Owner

Tangentially New media acquisitions: New York Times becomes a dominant web player

“About. com was founded in 1997 with a simple premise, that people are the best Guides to the Internet. We have built on that belief over the past seven years. Today, when you read an article on, you are tapping into a powerful network of 475 Guides — smart, passionate, accomplished people who are experts in their field. Our Guides have written books, appeared on national television and won many awards in their field…

I’ve quoted a quote… anyway! I’d tend to agree…

Likewise, people at Bowdoin will be the best guide to activity and research at Bowdoin. The new news model will be great! Getting people to contribute, and modeling those contributions (what “shape” do they take??), and having some meta-data appended to the contributions are important problems to solve. First let’s introduce the model to faculty and see where they may want to take things.

OK — That NY Times bought is very interesting. The reasons are various but we can learn from all the discussions around their potential strategies. With the purchase they combine a traditional centralized media structure with a decentralized one in About. For the NYTimes even more interesting things start to occur with regard to advertising, placement, and networks. A VC Blogging calls it an edge business model where creativity and advertising happens together on the edges.

For the NYTimes this certainly involves business models we simply do not have in academia. Not to say that it hurts to examine this in similar terms — I take from this that at an institution like Bowdoin where we want the web site to illustrate “an academically and intellectually alive institution”..

Wait, I said “illustrate” when I really mean to say we want the web site to both illustrate (centrally created content) and demonstrate (de-centralized content) that we are an “academically and intellectually alive institution”.

Google is doing some amazing things lately too… and they are likely to be the first company to offer what I sent in an earlier email: the personal media aggregator

Posted: 25.02.2005 in DesignTagged , , , Both comments and pings are currently closed. — RSS 2.0

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