Reader Tom Kelley forwarded what sounds like good news for auto journalists. It is Erik Sherman’s BNet report that Google is going to tag content creators – a way to identify content with who created it. Sherman notes that as authors become known and attract followings, it could change the balance of power between those who create and those who publish. Kelley comments: “I’ve never been as militantly against the online outlets as much as some of our print brethren have, but I’ve always agreed that work-for-free vanity sites like HuffPo and About.com, and the quasi-aggregation sites that just grab content without adding value, were problematic for those still trying to practice legitimate journalism. Perhaps this move by Google might shift the scales back in favor of the autowriting pros.”
A powerful push in the direction is the growing need for efficient ways to separate the wheat from chaff on the Internet. A Research Brief citing the growth of raw data inundating the Internet, quotes Steven Rosenbaum, author of Curation Nation, “… (since) the volume of raw data coming at us has increased more than 50% in the past 12 months…(and) as more digital devices and software services proliferate…data and speed of increase will grow exponentially…(and) will be unsustainable.” He goes on to suggest that “…algorithmic solutions, better spam filters, smarter search, and more connected devices will fact-expand the problem…(while) human data management, shared and community filtering, and personal recommendations will allow ‘content’ consumers…(to) consume curated content…(and) surf less.”
Another potential boost from Google is its decision to quit accepting archival material from newspapers. Instead, Fern Siegel reports in The Boston Phoenix, the company will focus its energies on “newer projects that help the industry, such as Google One Pass, a platform that enables publishers to sell content and subscriptions directly from their web sites.
Then there is the sporting approach of improving writers’ compensation introduced by the Johnston Press in England which let go 1,230 editorial staff from its string of community papers in the past year. Those remaining are now allowed to play 40 free games in the Bingo game Johnston Press runs to boost readership. Readers get 30 free games but staffers are barred from winning top prizes. National Union of Journalists negotiator Jenny Lennox was quoted in Media Digest: “It seems that the real lottery for journalists is whether or not they will still have their jobs at the end of the year.” She went onto say, “We are entering a whole new never-never land when we find that the company is now resorting to bingo to keep afloat – and pay massive management salaries – while cuts to its journalistic service to local communities are driving away readers, advertisers and revenue.”
Edmunds.com is starting a “GroupOn“-type channel for new and used vehicles, Karl Greenberg reports in Marketing Daily. He says the company has a pilot program underway in South Florida and plans to be nationwide by mid-summer. Titled “Edmunds Exclusives” the program offers consumers geo-targeted deals after they have done their research and are ready to buy.
Wooden Horse News reports Auto Trader Classics will go out of print after the July issue, and become an online-only brand, according to parent company Cox Enterprises Inc. The website will host all classic car content, photos, features and classified listings at www.AutoTraderClassics.com … Also the newsletter says a consortium of five major publishers formed in 2009 to sell digital editions on their own terms, have made Time, Fortune, The New Yorker, Esquire, Popular Mechanics, Fitness and Parents available singly or by subscription in the “magazines” section of Verizon’s V Cast store on the Samsung Galaxy Tab