Trawling through the web, and just a comment on an old posting from Jeff Jarvis about the time-value of news:
The half-life of news
“Reuters still gets high value out of its news in stages, turning this tidbit into a headline and a story and selling it as part of its financial data services and then its wires. It finally lands on Reuters’ web site, visible to consumers, where Reuters collects ad revenue directly. That, Glocer said, is about 2% of Reuters’ revenue.
Of course, one can’t view this timeline in isolation. The news is being spread in all kinds of vectors: other news organizations get it and it’s masticated and repeated in print (slow), on broadcast (faster), on websites (faster), by aggregators (faster), by conversation (aka Twitter – getting faster all the time). The faster that distribution is, the quicker news becomes knowledge and thus a commodity, the faster it loses its unique, saleable value. And that chain is getting only faster.
And that, ladies and gentlemen, is one reason why trying to lock up the value of news behind a wall won’t work, in my estimation. “
Not to single out Jeff, because others do the same thing, but he misses the point by confounding “news” with journalism. Yes, there’s a lot of stuff that’s valuable the moment it comes out, and Reuters specializes in a lot of that. But there’s also potentially a lot of value in information over time – databases, archives, etc – that hasn’t yet been extracted.
As long as we focus on “news” as “immediate information about breaking events” we’re forcing ourselves into a cycle of faster-and-faster, and trying to derive value only from the short window when it’s exclusive. We should instead be focusing on how to extend the shelf-life – or “persistence” – of information, so we can spread the costs of content creation over that time, and its appeal to a broader base of users.