Monday, November 22, 2010

Retweet: Tablet newspapers need their Orson Welles

Horface Dediu, founder and managing director of Asymco, has an interesting take on iPad publications and newspapers, in particular. He argues that the medium (tablet newspapers) "needs its Orson Welles" -- a reference to the dramatically new way at looking at film and story telling by the young director when he made Citizen Kane.

You can read the whole post here.

But I'd like to point out one very minor thing said and highlight it. Dediu repeats the oft said opinion that Craig's List has killed off classified advertising for newspapers. I am an former CAM (classified advertising manager) and have always contended that no entity could kill off a whole category, that it would take an industry wide screw-up to accomplish such a thing -- and that is precisely what the newspaper industry did.

Between uncompetitive pricing, failing to combat specialty print products (think 'auto traders' and real estate tabloids), a failure to move their classifieds to the web themselves, and then giving up and buying other web properties (and staffing them with people who did not get either the web or classified advertising), newspapers accomplished the seemingly impossible: they threw away a major portion of their revenue.

But Craig's List isn't the end of classified advertising. Take a look at the sites -- they are holdovers from the late nineties. Classified advertising isn't as dead as everyone makes it out to be. And the rise of the tablet publication could be a great opportunity to rethink the whole category.