News websites should be more like American Idol

Inspiration for today’s tip hit me with one of those “d’uh!” (slap yourself on the head) moments. The short version is: Online news publishers can learn a lot from TV’s American Idol. If you read yesterday’s tip, you’ll remember that I was advocating for a “pro-am” form of “citizen journalism.” Pure grassroots or user content,…

Save the Business section! (Or not)

There’s no shortage of bad news coming out of the newspaper industry these days. The latest disturbing headline is from Ad Age: “Biz Sections Dying Off for Lack of Ad Revenue.” Summary: As newspapers continue to make cuts due to declining circulation and ad revenue, some of them are finding their print-edition stand-alone business sections…

Get over yourself and offer useful services

So often I see Internet entrepreneurs doing things that traditional news companies should be doing, but don’t most likely due to cultural issues that prevent thinking and acting outside the box. An example comes from Outside.in, which collects, filters and publishes links to local news from a variety of sources (including but not limited to…

Talk it up, outside of your own place

In line with recommendations for news publishers to publish outside of their own website, it’s also important to engage on the “outside.” Here’s what I mean: If you have a news operation, you probably (I hope!) have reporters engage in comment threads and conversations on your site. If you’re an independent blogger, you no doubt…