Thursday, April 27, 2006

A short letter to The Economist magazine

I've enjoyed reading The Economist magazine for many years, and in last Friday's edition there was a Survey of New Media covering topics such as blogging, wikis, online journalism, and so on. So in a change to the usual kind of stuff that I write here, I'm posting the short letter that I've sent to them today. Although it seems somehow inappropriate to send them a serious letter from my Gay Banker identity, it's the only blogging identity I've got so I guess they're stuck with it. It'll be interesting to see whether it gets published.

Sir, as a blogger myself, I found your Survey of New Media fascinating. However, your interpretation of the statistics on the growth of the blogosphere is misleading. The number of blogs that technocati tracks is bound to grow because they continue to track dead and inactive blogs. A better statistic to follow is the Daily Posting Volume. On that basis the technorati statistics suggests no growth over the last 6-9 months. The valid point is that 1,200,000 posts a day is already a force to be reckoned with.

Having been a subscriber to The Economist for many years, I hope that it will be able to make the transition successfully from Old Media to New Media. At present though, only a fraction of The Economist’s articles are freely available online, and this must surely be hampering the transition. Ironically, only existing subscribers have online access to the New Media Survey article which discusses whether newspapers should make all online content free or not. The Rough Guides are prospering even though the content of their travel guides are free online. If The Economist were to do the same, I’m sure I’m not the only one who would continue to pay for a hard copy.

Gay Banker xxx

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Whilst I enjoyed reading the survey over my Sunday morning breakfast I did find it rather superficial. Crossing over into the online world for print media successfully, and viably in financial terms, is probably a difficult trick to pull off, specially as most of us (me anyway) try our hardest to keep pop-up advertsising off our computer screens. I like your letter and hope it gets published.