Archive for April, 2011

Bye Bye Typewriter!

Mashable reports that the last remaining typewriter factory, interestingly in India, has closed. That makes it official, the typewriter is dead.

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Though the seasoned pros who might still admit to learning their trade on a Smith Corona or Royal may lament the typewriter’s passing, it’s a good thing. The nostalgic few may well be forgetting the horrible clack-clack, correction fluid, and having to pull out a dictionary to spell check. The written word has never been more important and prevalent as it is today. The typewriter was an important part of the evolution of written communication, but just a chapter. The manual typewriter morphed to electric, then to a word processor and thankfully to the modern keyboard of today. Rest in Peace dear typewriter. We wouldn’t be where we are today without you, but the cold hard truth is that you were outdated and its time to move on.

Set the Alarm

Think your business website isn’t large enough to require a Content Management System (CMS) with expiration capabilities? Tempted to skip the expense?  Don’t be tempted to cut that corner. Outdated content is a business killer. Expired offers, outdated listings, services you no longer offer will shout to viewers that you either don’t know what you are doing or don’t understand the importance of our presence on the web. And then there is a little pet peeve – the copyright notice. A © 2008 at the bottom of a site screams AMATEUR.  The best way to avoid stale and dated content is to use a content management system with expiration dates and an alert system that will allow plenty of time to research and author updates.

Setting the alarm to schedule site updates isn’t optional, its mandatory in today’s online business climate.

Should Content be Free?

Should content be free? It depends on what its purpose is. News organizations have been knocked flat as content has gone online and users have become accustomed to not having to pay for news coverage. At some point that is going to have to change. The New York Times recently introduced a paywall that requires users to pay an online subscription fee to access its news coverage. It makes sense. It costs money to provide good journalism. The questions is whether people will see the value and be willing to pay for it.

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The biggest challenge to whether the paywall concept is going to work is the competition The Times will have from dependable sources who will continue to provide the news for free. The model of providing free news in the hopes of capturing enough page views to sell advertising space on the site is a losing battle. This week’s Newsweek magazine includes an interesting article that interviews media man Martin Sorrell. It’s worth a read. Are you ready to pay? Why or why not?