About Me

  • I've spent more than 25 years at the intersection of traditional and digital journalism. I've helped to invent ways to read and interact with the news and advertising on computer screens and iPads, and before that, I wrote news stories on typewriters and six-ply paper. I co-founded WashingtonPost.com and hyperlocal pioneers Backfence.com and GrowthSpur; served as editor of Philly.com; taught media entrepreneurship at the University of Maryland; and have done product-development and strategy consulting for all sorts of media and Internet companies and startups. You can read more about me here.

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« And Never is Heard a Discouraging Word... | Main | That Loud Yelp You Hear is Newspapers Being Squeezed—Again »

June 06, 2009


Howard Owens

I say, "Go for it, man." Sail off that cliff. To me, and other entrepreneur types, it smells like opportunity.

Perry Gaskill

Thanks for passing along the Temple comments, Mark. Truly outstanding stuff; it's nice to hear journalism voices who are starting to actually get it. My own immediate reaction to the API white paper can be summed up in the word "pathetic."

On the other hand, I tend to disagree with Temple's notion that it's not possible to compete Craigslist. As a database driven system, CL is not perfect and can be outdone at a technical level. The same goes for the dominance of the MLS database in Real Estate. That CL and MLS are not challenged is probably because most publishers have not a clue about how databases work.

Mark Potts

Perry: Trying to compete with craigslist at this point is roughly like trying to boil the ocean. Classifieds is a critical-mass game, and craigslist has successfully won over that critical audience of buyers and sellers. More importantly, craigslist is (mostly) free and incredibly easy to use--something that can't be said of newspaper online classifieds, for the most part. There's really no point in newspapers trying to retake classifieds unless they can make money at it, and "free" ain't a moneymaker.

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