How the New York Times can be saved

by John Einar Sandvand on November 25, 2008 · 0 comments

The New York Times is fading away, claims marketing guru Seth Godin. And he offers six suggestions for how big newspaper companies can ensure they have a strong future online as well.


“Great people on an important mission, but their footprint is shrinking and the company is losing stock value and cash and power and the ability to have the impact that they might”, writes Godin.

New York Times – and most other similar media companies around the world – must redefine its role.  And to do that, companies cannot continue to be run by managers who want to protect the old business and not develop new models.

Here are Seth Godins six suggestions for what New York Times should do to act forwardly, and not only defend its past:

  1. 1 Use their influence and brand to enable users to spread their content. Why did not New York Times build Wikipedia or start Yelp.com?
  2. Leverage the op-ed page and spread important ideas Why does New York Times not hire great columnists in much larger numbers?
  3. Build a permission asset Build thousands of small silos or micro sites.
  4. Keep score The New York Times bestseller list for books used to matter. Used to. But it is no longer trusted referee in the digital world. Why not?
  5. Stringers Hire many more semi-pro freelances, each with a blog.
  6. Create new platforms for advertisers

Is it to late for New York Times and similar media companies? I don’t believe so. NYT still has unique content and the power and skills to collect and present information in a professional and sophisticated way. Yet it it dangerous times. The position of many newspaper houses is weakening by the day.

Many media bloggers, like Mathew Ingram, have commented on Seth Godin’s article, mostly in praise of his thoughts.

Canadian technology writer Mark Evans presents the following suggestion:

This may be a crazy thought but what about the NYT acquiring Twitter now that Twitter appears to be in play? With three million unique users and a growing reputation as a tool to distribute and consume content, could there be a fit between the NYT and Twitter?

Steven Hodson at The Inquisitr agrees that the old media is loosing ground, and he adds:

It is safe to say though that without these two cornerstones – reputation and authority – no one will last; new media or old. It is the loss of those two things that I think is the greater failure. A failure that we in the world of new media must always remember or we too shall find ourselves replaced by something newer and better.

Markets change. Innovate or die, concludes the blog Eat Sleep Publish.

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