How big is a nugget of news? Dave has an answer. It’s about 185 characters. But to be safe you’d need about 250.
Jay: what is the status of the loosely coupled 140-character message network? Dave: kind of stalled, waiting for other players, especially the makers of Twitter client apps. “If they want to offer their users independence from Twitter…” then it will happen.
Jay: The arc of an idea like that is long, and broken. It stops and starts and disappears and returns.
Here’s another case of audience atomization overcome. For the next few months, Jake Tapper is hosting ABC’s This Week on Sunday morning. He began live tweeting the show this week, and he was also very active in soliciting ideas and suggestions for the program. You can see some of it at this feed. “Bit by bit the interactive system is becoming overlaid on the old one-to-many system.”
Dave: A good example is Robert Gibbs tweeting immediately after Vice President Joe Biden was heard whispering to Obama, “this is a big f*cking deal” about the health care bill getting signed. Gibbs: “And yes Mr. Vice President, you’re right.”
A question Jay posed went viral on Twitter: The Wall Street Journal will charge $17.99 a month for the Journal on the iPad. That’s $215 a year. For the print edition delivered to your home or office plus online access to wsj.com, the yearly rate is $140. Does anyone understand this pricing?
Dave: “It’s what we call in the tech industry the Steve Jobs reality distortion field.” Doc Searls explained in 1997. Sure people will pay for convenience, but “what they pay a lot for is lust.” And the iPad is right now an object of lust.
Dave: what the newspaper firms should do is get Apple to bundle their content in for free with the iPad. “The one that gets installed first is going to have a huge advantage over the ones that come second or third. A newspaper is an advertising platform, and the iPad probably will be a hot reading platform, and the apps (ads) will seek out the hot newspaper the same way guys like me bet on PC-DOS and ignored CP/M and UCSD. So the best price for a newspaper on the iPad is $0. (Sorry. I know this isn’t what the news guys want to hear.)”
Jay: Across the ocean, the Times of London announced recently that their paywall will go up in June. I had a visitor from the Times of London in my office last week. Based on my conversation with her, the staff is not ready for what this will shift to a pay site means. They don’t realize that they will have to produce way more value.
Dave: It kind of reminds me of when I started DaveNet in 1994-95. Everyone thought I would turn it into a paid subscriber product. But my goal was to have influence, so why would I do that?
Jay: Lots of people don’t understand the logic of the gift economy.
Dave: Is that what I’m doing? I don’t see it as the gift economy.
Dave: “Why am I interested in news?…. So that I can base my view of the world on something that’s accurate.”
Jay: “Part of the reason I love news is I was raised in a chaotic household where you could never establish ‘what happened’… It is very important to me that there is some force in the world that can say, No, this is what happened.”
Dave: “I couldn’t agree more.”
Here’s the show; please listen and, if you feel like it, comment.