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Author Topic:   What Is Australia's Problem With News in Google and Facebook
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 16 of 58 (884489)
02-22-2021 11:04 AM
Reply to: Message 13 by PaulK
02-21-2021 2:00 PM


PaulK writes:

The newspapers generally don’t want to rely on visitors arriving via links.

Sure, they'd like to think of themselves as destination sites, but many of their sites are deficient in certain ways, such as their site organization or search facility. WaPo is a good example. Something like what happened last week is a frequent occurrence at WaPo. Early in the day at the WaPo home page I saw a headline about Fauci that looked like an article I wanted to read, but I didn't have time right at that moment, so I made a mental note to return to it later.

Later in the day the headline about Fauci was no longer on the home page, so I did a search for Fauci organized by date and could not find the article, one that had been on the home page just a few hours before. I found the article by doing a search at Google News.

The news websites have other minor but very annoying problems. The WaPo site refreshes their home page every five minutes. I have two browser windows open side-by-side. In one is the WaPo home page, and I drag/drop articles from it to the other. After scrolling down a bit five minutes will have passed, and the WaPo home page reloads and repositions at the top. I have to scroll down to get back to where I was, very annoying. Sometimes the content has changed and I have trouble finding where I was, and even worse, sometimes headlines I have seen but haven't clicked on yet have disappeared, which is especially annoying.

Even more annoying is when I'm reading the news but have to go off to do a chore or run an errand. When I return I look at the WaPo homepage which is still positioned where it was if it wasn't active, I scroll down to an article I want to read, I click on it, the WaPo page immediately becomes active and reloads and repositions to the top. I have to scroll down again looking for the article I want to read, which because of the passage of time sometimes isn't even on the home page anymore. I rate this very annoying.

The NYT has its own little foibles. The big one is that you can't drag/drop an article to another tab or browser page. You either click on it in the current browser page, or you right click on it and select to display it in a new tab or new browser window. On the plus side the NYT search facility is excellent. I once searched for an article from the Civil War and had little trouble finding it.

Whether or not it's true that news media websites would prefer direct access rather than access via link, I don't think that's a realistic expectation, not for something like news. Being able to search for news via Google News and get a list of links to a variety of news media outlets is a feature I greatly like. I can click on a WaPo link and get their perspective, then click on a Fox News link and get the lies, er, I mean the opposite perspective.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 13 by PaulK, posted 02-21-2021 2:00 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 19 by PaulK, posted 02-22-2021 2:30 PM Percy has responded
 Message 33 by hooah212002, posted 02-24-2021 1:02 PM Percy has responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5838
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.9


(1)
Message 17 of 58 (884494)
02-22-2021 1:15 PM


That's it! Enough!

I swore decades ago that if I ever caught another page designer using blink on a site again I was going to shoot the insidiously evil cur.

Up against the wall with you, Percy!


Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

Replies to this message:
 Message 18 by Percy, posted 02-22-2021 2:21 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 18 of 58 (884496)
02-22-2021 2:21 PM
Reply to: Message 17 by AZPaul3
02-22-2021 1:15 PM


I agree. Most websites use some form of a red flag now to indicate something that needs attention or that hasn't been read yet, and I'll probably move in that direction. The only thing that blinks now are links to unread announcements.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 17 by AZPaul3, posted 02-22-2021 1:15 PM AZPaul3 has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16858
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 19 of 58 (884497)
02-22-2021 2:30 PM
Reply to: Message 16 by Percy
02-22-2021 11:04 AM


That is largely a diversion. That the newspaper’s sites have problems doesn’t change the financial situation. It seems that subscriptions pay better than views from links - whether those links are found via search or Facebook postings. (The question of how Google News fits into it is also important.)

This message is a reply to:
 Message 16 by Percy, posted 02-22-2021 11:04 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 02-22-2021 6:09 PM PaulK has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 20 of 58 (884507)
02-22-2021 6:09 PM
Reply to: Message 19 by PaulK
02-22-2021 2:30 PM


PaulK writes:

That the newspaper’s sites have problems doesn’t change the financial situation.

Agreed, but their inability to build high quality sites argues against any likely success at turning them into destination sites, which is the issue you raised that I was responding to. The NYT has made impressive but occasional efforts at innovation, but I think most people would agree that while impressive they were superficial and inconsequential ("Whooee, animation in a news article, if that don't beat all" - sorry for the sarcasm).

I don't pretend to have the answers, but I wonder how many people are like me in that if given a choice between a hardcopy newspaper and the website would choose the hardcopy. At least I wouldn't see a lot of the same headlines I saw in yesterday's paper and the day before's, which happens a lot at the NYT and WaPo websites. I get the hardcopy National Geographic but can also read it online if I choose. I tried the online version for a few months, but it was just too much work to read compared to the hardcopy.

I think creating websites that are as good as hardcopy newspaper and magazines is proving to be a very challenging problem, and the news media is not alone in this as books are also proving very difficult to duplicate online. An online text-only book that is fiction or just relates events or history is an easy read online, unless you need to find an earlier passage or need to bounce back and forth between parts of the book. I'm reading the online version of the da Vinci biography by Isaacson right now and it's incredibly difficult because getting in and out of the images is taxing, and the text about an image often isn't near the image. Maneuvering back and forth is as annoying as all hell. When you encounter text that says, "If you compare this drawing to the one of the madonna in chapter two...", you just throw up your hands and give up. I won't try reading a digital book that has images again. Online versions of reference works like programming language reference manuals are incredibly annoying because the "bookmark" facility is so incredibly cumbersome.

So I think the news media hope to mold their online outlets into destination sites is doomed to failure, at least at present. I don't know how they solve their financial problems, but I don't think "Hey, look, they've got money, let's make up a reason and go after them" is a real solution.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 19 by PaulK, posted 02-22-2021 2:30 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 21 by PaulK, posted 02-22-2021 6:22 PM Percy has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16858
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 21 of 58 (884508)
02-22-2021 6:22 PM
Reply to: Message 20 by Percy
02-22-2021 6:09 PM


quote:
Agreed, but their inability to build high quality sites argues against any likely success at turning them into destination sites, which is the issue you raised that I was responding to

No, the issue I raised was that newspapers didn’t seem to find adequate benefit from link referrals.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 20 by Percy, posted 02-22-2021 6:09 PM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 22 by AZPaul3, posted 02-22-2021 6:32 PM PaulK has not yet responded
 Message 24 by Percy, posted 02-23-2021 8:57 AM PaulK has responded

  
AZPaul3
Member
Posts: 5838
From: Phoenix
Joined: 11-06-2006
Member Rating: 3.9


Message 22 of 58 (884511)
02-22-2021 6:32 PM
Reply to: Message 21 by PaulK
02-22-2021 6:22 PM


I don't think it matters to Murdoch and company. Their industry is taking a hit and this is a stopgap funding source until they can figure ways to find more.

Eschew obfuscation. Habituate elucidation.

This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by PaulK, posted 02-22-2021 6:22 PM PaulK has not yet responded

  
LamarkNewAge
Member
Posts: 1838
Joined: 12-22-2015


Message 23 of 58 (884520)
02-22-2021 9:53 PM


We need a worldwide "First Amendment" in a truly universal fundamental unrevokable co
The first right for every human is to have the right to live in a world where the government must preserve all information and make sure that every view and fact for every event is investigated and made public. The government must be responsible for funding research and making the work public. Every document ever produced must be made public and accessible - both in public and electronically. The government must be able to guarantee every serious, non fiction, work already existing ANd POTENTIAL be financed to the extent that the work is never lost.

(Continued)

The right to every human is that the government protects the public's right to have complete access to information in a way that is not limited by time and place. The right to have information that is never forgotten or deleted. Every printed work is public domain, with the individual having the right to be properly compensated for the enabling of future research and providing of information.

The right of society to be protected from a government that deletes information or refuses to record electronic communication. The recording of all information shall always take place. Conversations shall be made public no later than 20 years after the event, and made accessible in electronic media that is the most readily available for the general public for all future research.

The public has the right to hear all views, uncensored, and the government has the right to provide a platform that is readily accessible.

The public has the right to read and listen to all information and views, and to promote any view that any individual sees fit, so long as the promoted view does not advocate the unconstitutional crime of censorship, deletion, and the view to criminalise free speech . The public has the right to advocate for commentary and annotation, promoting any view, so long as the notations and opinions are not advocating deletion, censorship or criminalizing speech.

The public has the right to live in a society where the ability, of an individual or organization,to pay for information is not a barrier to the reading or researching of the information, and the government must ensure the public right is implemented via the laws governing funding to ensure the universal free speech unalienable right.

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.

Edited by LamarkNewAge, : No reason given.


Replies to this message:
 Message 25 by Percy, posted 02-23-2021 9:01 AM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 24 of 58 (884527)
02-23-2021 8:57 AM
Reply to: Message 21 by PaulK
02-22-2021 6:22 PM


PaulK writes:

No, the issue I raised was that newspapers didn’t seem to find adequate benefit from link referrals.

I agree that the news media are experiencing financial pressures while adapting to the Internet world, but disagree that it is Google's and Facebook's responsibility to solve them since they are not responsible for them and already provide a net benefit to the news media anyway.

The issue you raised that captured most of my interest was where you said the news media wanted their websites to be destination sites, so I quoted you saying that and then responded to it, explaining why I don't think that's in the cards anywhere in the near future.

In response to Facebook's Australian news quarantine the government has amended the proposed law (see Facebook Restores News Content After Brokering Deal With Australian Regulators and Additional amendments to News Media and Digital Platforms Mandatory Bargaining Code | Treasury Ministers), but it's full of the kind of ambiguity lawmakers love. Facebook has agreed to it (and says they will restore news media access soon), but I think they're only agreeing because the ambiguity gives them enough wiggle room to negotiate low-cost and no-cost deals, or perhaps they're just kicking the disagreement down the road to be dealt with again in the future.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 21 by PaulK, posted 02-22-2021 6:22 PM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 26 by PaulK, posted 02-23-2021 9:21 AM Percy has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 25 of 58 (884528)
02-23-2021 9:01 AM
Reply to: Message 23 by LamarkNewAge
02-22-2021 9:53 PM


Re: We need a worldwide "First Amendment" in a truly universal fundamental unrevokable co
LamarkNewAge writes:

The recording of all information shall always take place. Conversations shall be made public no later than 20 years after the event, and made accessible in electronic media that is the most readily available for the general public for all future research.

Gee, this sounds great. What could possibly go wrong? "Congratulation on your 50th wedding anniversary. To celebrate let us play this recording of a conversation with your paramour 40 years ago."

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 23 by LamarkNewAge, posted 02-22-2021 9:53 PM LamarkNewAge has not yet responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16858
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 26 of 58 (884529)
02-23-2021 9:21 AM
Reply to: Message 24 by Percy
02-23-2021 8:57 AM


quote:
The issue you raised that captured most of my interest was where you said the news media wanted their websites to be destination sites, so I quoted you saying that and then responded to it, explaining why I don't think that's in the cards anywhere in the near future.

I didn’t raise that as an issue. As I have already told you.


This message is a reply to:
 Message 24 by Percy, posted 02-23-2021 8:57 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 9:43 AM PaulK has responded

  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 27 of 58 (884549)
02-24-2021 9:43 AM
Reply to: Message 26 by PaulK
02-23-2021 9:21 AM


PaulK writes:

quote:
The issue you raised that captured most of my interest was where you said the news media wanted their websites to be destination sites, so I quoted you saying that and then responded to it, explaining why I don't think that's in the cards anywhere in the near future.

I didn’t raise that as an issue. As I have already told you.

What you said that I thought was a reference to a news media desire to be destination sites was this: "The newspapers generally don’t want to rely on visitors arriving via links." What was it that you really meant?

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 26 by PaulK, posted 02-23-2021 9:21 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 28 by PaulK, posted 02-24-2021 10:27 AM Percy has responded

  
PaulK
Member
Posts: 16858
Joined: 01-10-2003
Member Rating: 4.0


Message 28 of 58 (884551)
02-24-2021 10:27 AM
Reply to: Message 27 by Percy
02-24-2021 9:43 AM


Percy, my point was about the finances, as should have been clear from the context.

The first sentence of the short paragraph you refer to:

But I will note that the preference for subscriptions argues against links being a major benefit to newspapers

(Message 13)

I also explained this in Message 19 and briefly again in Message 21

Got it?


This message is a reply to:
 Message 27 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 9:43 AM Percy has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 30 by Percy, posted 02-24-2021 11:26 AM PaulK has responded

  
Tangle
Member
Posts: 8149
From: UK
Joined: 10-07-2011
Member Rating: 3.7


Message 29 of 58 (884552)
02-24-2021 10:59 AM


Word is that visitors to Murdock (and other) sites fell off a cliff when Facebook pulled the plug. Hence hasty compromise.

Je suis Charlie. Je suis Ahmed. Je suis Juif. Je suis Parisien. I am Mancunian. I am Brum. I am London.I am Finland. Soy Barcelona

"Life, don't talk to me about life" - Marvin the Paranoid Android

"Science adjusts it's views based on what's observed.
Faith is the denial of observation so that Belief can be preserved."
- Tim Minchin, in his beat poem, Storm.


  
Percy
Member
Posts: 20101
From: New Hampshire
Joined: 12-23-2000
Member Rating: 4.2


Message 30 of 58 (884554)
02-24-2021 11:26 AM
Reply to: Message 28 by PaulK
02-24-2021 10:27 AM


PaulK writes:

Percy, my point was about the finances, as should have been clear from the context.

PaulK, I agreed with your point about finances, as should have been clear when I said, "Agreed."

The first sentence of the short paragraph you refer to:

But I will note that the preference for subscriptions argues against links being a major benefit to newspapers

(Message 13)

I also explained this in Message 19 and briefly again in Message 21

Got it?

I understand but don't agree that there's a "preference for subscriptions" because requiring subscriptions has a mixed record of success. It works best for Goliaths like WaPo, NYT and WSJ, and for those that offer unique content, but not so much for many smaller and/or less prestigious outlets.

A not uncommon result of raising a paywall is a precipitous drop in web traffic - our biggest local paper will likely fail in the not too distant future for this reason. Last year they dropped their print edition except for Sunday and then they raised a paywall, not even allowing a few free articles. We used to go to their website regularly (and see their ads), but now we never visit because we're not willing to pay for yet another subscription. There are other smaller local outlets that we now get our local news from.

So if ads aren't enough and subscriptions don't work well for too great a proportion of them, then how are they to survive? Obviously they need to find other revenue streams, but again, going after search engines and social media sites because they have money is not a legitimate answer.

--Percy


This message is a reply to:
 Message 28 by PaulK, posted 02-24-2021 10:27 AM PaulK has responded

Replies to this message:
 Message 31 by PaulK, posted 02-24-2021 11:49 AM Percy has responded

  
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