The future of news is not an article, nor video, nor particles, nor arbitraging the cost of a page view from advertisers vs the cost of paid distribution on Facebook (yes NYT does this) — it is finding a business model that actually works and that people want to pay for.
Let's go over some of the points brought up with that in mind:
Would you as a reader pay for more for a service that had "enhanced tools for journalists"? No.
Would you as a reader pay more for "summarization and synthesis"? Probably not, Wikipedia and Google already do this really well.
Would you as a reader pay more for "adaptive content"? No.
Newspapers (including the New York Times) are in serious trouble, and instead of playing catch up to look like a mix of every tech service, they should focus on delivering an experience that people actual want to pay for.
There is no future of news without figuring out the next model for news.
- More AMA (and not just with the famous people; I loved the "I'm a Joe Random Starbucks employee, AMA" threads before AMAs went mainstream).
- More ELI5.
- Supporting HN and (parts of) Reddit so that every article is analyzed and dissected by people in the know, who point out all the bullshit the news station put in, and point towards relevant resources.
Oh, and at this point in my life I'm willing to pay quite a bit for a news service that can prove to me they a) don't blatantly lie, and b) have some minimum competence on-board to cover the topics they're writing about. An information source that I could trust to incorporate to my daily decision-making process is something worth paying money for.
> I'm willing to pay quite a bit for a news service that can prove to me they .. don't blatantly lie .. An information source that I could trust to incorporate to my daily decision-making process
Looking for such a single source will only ever result in frustration. Whether a given news source is assembled by a huge corporation with political affiliation, or a single intellectual who answers to nobody and has complete artistic freedom, it's irrelevant - the source has its own incentives, biases and ultimately, an agenda of some sort.
Even though it obviously happens in some instances, they don't even have to 'blatantly lie', just select and present facts in a way which supports their narrative, and as such even if you could somehow cut out all sources that simply lie, you'd still have a similar problem. How can you routinely trust a single source for your decision-making when you know that source must have its own independent agenda that may not always align with yours?
The answer is you have to do the hard work of reading several sources with different agendas and incentives, getting different perspectives, and making up your own mind about what's really going on with a particular issue based on that. There's no way around it, no shortcut, in fact a source which would charge to provide willing customers with such a shortcut is probably the type of source more inclined to shape their stories to suit what the most well-paying customers, or at least the section of the market they've cornered off, want to hear.
Doesn't trust factor into this? I have friends that I would trust with asking for fitness related information/suggestions. I may end up doing more research on my own, but I trust those friends to leave out doing a lot of the work myself, even if their agendas don't align with my own.
And when I don't have friends to ask about a particular subject, I might end up going to an online community like HN or a subreddit to ask individuals or groups of individuals those questions.
I tend to trust people who don't have a profit motive more than I do a big company which has an incentive on pushing their product.
> Supporting HN and (parts of) Reddit so that every article is analyzed and dissected by people in the know, who point out all the bullshit the news station put in, and point towards relevant resources.
This is what I've wanted to build for a while; some kind of annotation site, like RapGenius for normal webpages.
Tangential, but my favorite annotation ever is Asimov's Gilbert and Sullivan, which I'm fortunate enough to own.
First of all, NYT has over million paid online subscribers. It's not like NOBODY wants to pay for NYT. Second, I think it's short sighted to say "They should build something people would want to pay for". It's like going back in time when Facebook was just getting started, or Google was getting started, and telling them "You should build a product that users will pay for". Here's what I think: "enhanced tools for journalists", "summarization and synthesis", "adaptive content", all of them will contribute to create value. When there's more value, there will be many ways to translate that into revenue. The reason newspapers are in danger is NOT because they are not monetizing enough. It's because they are not providing as significant value as they used to in their good old days.
I agree that the NYT is in a better position than most papers, but the reality is advertisers would rather put their spend into Facebook or something like Buzzfeed which get have a much larger audience and way more page views than the New York Times. Not only that, the tools are self-serve and the interactions they get are much more clear.
The New York Times is already a large corporation, with lots of employees, and tied to revenue streams from advertisers that are waning. I don't seehow it's like going back to Facebook or Google in that regard, because their head counts were minuscule.
You say media companies should figure out the right business model but you yourself seem to be stuck thinking inside the old business model box. In the short term it is true all the new media sites seem to be crushing it with all the eyeballs they have since the dominant revenue model for our age is advertising, but things always change. Even this online ad model was laughed at a decade ago. And it is increasingly becoming less lucrative as more and more people can publish stuff online. The only way to ensure you survive is to make sure you create a unique value. And page view is not one of them.
Impressive work on Beacon. Definitely not "old business model" :)
That said I think you're undervaluing the potential of the OP. You say at  that one of the key things you've learned is that readers fund journalism because they care about having an impact. If successful, the approaches they're discussing could significantly increase the impact of journalists' work -- reusing the same Particles in different contexts, being able to provide multiple tailored versions of the same post that could resonate with different audiences, etc. And it also may point to ways for publishers to participate in and leverage the Buzzfeed/Facebook ecosystems while still providing additional value on their own sites/apps/publications.
So, agreed that it by itself isn't a business model solution, but don't write it off so quickly ...
Maybe, but maybe lots of solutions like this already exist! Tweets, genius for annotations, facebook, youtube... I agree certain backers might care more about having an article published in x ways, but I think they are overestimating their usefulness and things like tweet embeds, youtube embeds, or using phantom js to render custom twitter cards with text PLUS the full length article do the same job more or less.
I would spend money on a wikipedia-like topics engine with nicely written articles on those topics.
I'll be an average user for the site. I look at the frontpage/feed and see recent news about "The Syrian Crisis" the link would aim towards an article about the event specifically ("Violence in Syria Spurs a Huge Surge in Civilian Flight"). The article itself would focus on the specific event without having to rehash what the Syrian crisis is. There could be a very clear link (Maybe the subheader of "Syrian Conflict") to what topic this event relates to.
I could click on this link and be taken to the broad topic of the Syrian Crisis, which would feature a well-written summary of the topic as it is currently, a ticker of the most recent events (weighted for more significant events), an easy way to filter by country ("Germany and the Refugee Crisis", which would also include a well-written summary and Germany-specific statistics), along with any article tagged with that topic. There's still a focus on well written articles, but augmented by live data and focusing on how specific countries or global leaders/groups are handling events (complete with interviews and smaller local stories). If the article contains important events to the global stage, they can be pushed up to higher topics in the tree (From "Refugee Crisis in Germany" to "Refugee Crisis" for example) Following those topics can give you notifications on recent updates with them. I could glance through each topic, featuring longer/higher-quality articles towards the top (interviews, op-ed, etc.), while it just takes a bit of scrolling down to get to easier-to-consume pictures, videos, quick quotes, or graphs below.
It's all about linking great journalism together into cohesive topics. Articles and op-ed is still created and promoted on the "front page", but photographs, videos, statistics, audio interviews, quotes/tweets, and smaller interest pieces can all be provided in a sort of live stream for somebody passing the time or augmenting the topic's page.
>Would you as a reader pay more for "summarization and synthesis"? Probably not, Wikipedia and Google already do this really well.
Actually they don't. Wikipedia's long article format is very poor at creating a news archive that can be filtered, sorted and searched like a database. OTOH, Google has a lot of tools for searching, sorting and filtering, but they can only do those actions on existing articles, which are part of the problem. Simply curating existing articles doesn't create a news database. You end up with Google news which has 2000 versions of the same news. To make a news database work, the articles themselves have to be in a format that can work in a database (shorter, fact based etc).
And yet some are fighting the invisible hand in the name of good content.
News is not just about « delivering experience » or « a business model worth paying for », everything is. It has solid social objectives and uf people, if our society, deems newspapers or news not worth anything then it will disappear and it'll be sad but it'll be fine because it will regrow somewhere else.
A great way to make money has recently been "introducing VIP services to the middle class".
What used to be exclusive due to scarcity, labour costs and lack of relevant technology is being made more an more accessible.
To apply this process to "news" as a means of getting relevant information (as opposed to such journalism which is at least equal part entertainment), you need to look at executive briefings, the news delivered to the president, a congressman's morning file prepped by assistants.
Summly and Circa have tried, but picking 5-10 of THE things you need to see out of a ~million stories or even ~100 main news stories is very difficult.
But I bet Facebook, Google and Apple are very well positioned to solve this, eventually making media an ever-lower margin business.
I wouldn't pay for Facebook, but it's worth hundreds of billions of dollars, so I'm not sure this logic entirely computes. Turns out you don't have to pay for something in order for it to be valuable.
A lot of news organizations online are doing fine, and many are making a bunch of money. Granted, they're not making what they used to (because they're the text equivalent of record labels) and the Internet leveled the playing field, but news + ads definitely makes money.
Thanks! Yeah I'm launching a startup in a few weeks so I had to suspend work on it, but I'll go back and finish it up in a couple years if no one else creates a suitable implementation before then. (And if someone else wants to run with it, all the better!)
Because of how fragmented the hair industry is. In this case, Mayvenn is not into piece meal distribution—they are the "Atlantic Records" of hair and are concerned with distribution. And then, because the hair comes from India, they are flying it over the Atlantic Ocean as well.
Hmm this seems like a waste of time. Very nebulous. You should focus on building your product and users instead. If you do that and succeed at it you'll be able to get a meeting with whoever you want.
Most investments come from warm referrals or investors you meet and build a relationship with. I would be surprised if this got you a serious meeting with a partner who can make a decision.
How is this different than YC you ask? YC makes their terms clear and upfront (120k for x%) and has a whole process for reviewing all the applications you send in. Not only that, it is in YC's best interest to introduce you to other investors.
"More" doesn't necessarily mean "more successful". It's not unreasonable that government intervention creates more entrepreneurs - as a Canadian I know I can go and get tens of thousands to start my own company along with some nice tax breaks - but it doesn't mean they would produce much value or amount to anything more than a barely afloat small business.
Personally I believe anything you decide to call art is art.
I appreciate what you are saying with regards to brilliance, but experiences and emotional responses to software, code, products and anything else really don't necessitate art -- the act of declaring it art definitely does though.
You don't use auth and capture -- you create a customer (with the card/token) in stripe and then create a charge against the customer.
Having a customer allows you to charge the user without entering in their info each time.
EDIT: I built beaconreader.com which is a crowdfunding site and we use stripe. One thing to note about creating customers is that on the backend Stripe (and other payment providers) tells the banks that it's a recurring charge, even if only charged once, which I believe allows them not to deal with the auth and capture step. I could be wrong, but there's something like that lets processors get away with it.
Hi zmitri: Do you have any more details on how Stripe and banks signal recurring charges. What you're describing sounds interesting, but with our app we see decent churn from the use of debit visa/mastercards
No details whatsoever but I can across this because customers at certain banks asked why their one time charges were showing up as recurring in their bank statements. I emailed in to stripe asking what was up and they let me know it was standard practice to do that, and it would do so if I used a stripe customer.