Waiting for my next Kindle….

On my trip to the US last month, I picked up my Kindle 2, – and having prepaid for a few downloads I was able to instantly buy quite a few books just before boarding the flight back to Norway.

Now, back home, I have already read two of the books purchased,  and have become a true Kindle fan. Of course – living outside  the US, – with no connection to the Sprint network which Amazon is linked to exclusively, my Kindle is not as userfriendly as it can be.  I have to download books via my PC, and charging it to my “american” Amazon account , – to which I have to donate a “gift”card from my valid “non-american” Amazon account. Complicated – and silly, – but there are allways ways to get around proprietary systems.

What I really miss though, is the userfriendliness in being connected 24/7 – as I then definitely would be subscribing to a few publications, – both magazines and newspapers. Imagine when the Times reader 2.0 will be  available on future generations of Kindle DX – with the next generations of e-ink in full color – and connected through 3-4G networks globally.

Oh well, I’ll have to do with the shortcomings of the present generation Kindle, wait eagerly for the DX coming in a few weeks – and then see how fast the market will demand better systems..

(- and read this story about Amazon’s Jeff Bezos and the Kindle from Fortune )


How to charge for on-line content ?

Earlier today I have posted a blog about Kachingle, – a proposed model for building a prepaid subscription model for on-line content, – where the subscription fee would be shared between the different publishers, based upon the stories that the subscriber has clicked on.

Here I will direct you to an interesting blog from Alan Mutter, (the Newsosaur) who was invited to participate in the (so called) secret meeting between some of the top US publishers at a meeting in New York, as they were trying to find  a way to get around US competition regulations by establishing a common system whereupon they all could establish a wall around their on-line content.

As this “secret” meeting of course quickly  became public, bloggers started commenting – and criticising the publishers.  Some of the critics based their criticism upon their conviction that all on-line content has to be free.

As the “secret” no longer was secret – the invited participant Alan Mutter decided to comment on his presence in the meeting – and in his blog explains his model of a potential way of monetizing on-line content.  Read his blog;  Reflections of a Newsosaur.



PS:  The illustration used in the heading was orginally published in the New Yorker  Dec.22. 2008 issue, artist: Christoph Niemann. I have asked for permission to use the illustration permanently, – but will remove it if permission is denied

Splurging Politicians selling lots of newspapers….

After weeks of exclusive reporting on numerous Members of Parliaments expense accounts, the Telegraph has succeeded in reversing the circulation decline – at least for the time being.

Yesterday the Guardian had a fascinating story about the Telegraph’  scoop – showing that daily sales the last month has increased by 87 000 .  The online figures are expected to show substantial increases as well…

Read the story here

Kachingle; – will it work…?

Over time, we have heard about the trouble the news media industry experiences; Readers are abandoning the traditional news media – as they are able to get the news and information needed for free – whether it is online – or even in print. Many publishers are dreaming of the day when they are able to limit access to their websites to the ones willing to pay for it; and some (e.g. Murdoch and Brian Tierney et al) have announced the timeline for when they will “close” their websites. New York Times  and many others are planning to limit access to some of their content, – and many Norwegian publishers do still hope that they one day will be able to charge for their content online.

Many different models have been discussed as one need to have very userfriendly payment models if one will be able to succeed, – it be prepaid subscription models, micropayments, charged to mobile accounts and so on.

Here is more updated information on one of the models that have been in the works for quite a time: Kachingle.  This system is based upon a prepaid (via PayPal) monthly subscription of 5$ – which will then be shared by the different participating newssites that the subscriber visits during the month based upon the number of visits to each site..:  Read about Kachingle.


Will it work ?   I would like to believe in a system like this, – but remain sceptical……..



PS: Here is an interesting piece from Poynter about the inconsistent strategies at Wall Street Journal..

The Online News Factory:

Yesterday, a former colleague of mine;

Arne H Krumsvik, defended his PhD thesis;

The Online News Factory: A Multi-Lens investigation of the Strategy, Structure, and Process of Online News Production at CNN and NRK. 

 at the University of Oslo.

According to the tearsheet from the University (in Norwegian), his thesis discusses how slowly traditional media companies have adjusted to the new opportunities in the age of the Internet when developing their online versions. His thesis examines the correlation between business and editorial strategies – and asserts that both traditional journalistic as well as business considerations are slowing down a natural development of the new online journalism. 

As this is one of the  important  issues in the discussions raging in a media industry in search for the future business – and journalism – models in the online world, I was yesterday interested in trying to get hold of Krumsvik’s thesis.  However; at the Institute for Media and Communication –  Krumsvik’s thesis was already out of print, – and not available i digital form……….


Outlook; Mobile advertising looks promising in turbulent times. . .

In turbulent media markets – where overall marketing spend is expected to fall 7 % in 2009 – the mobile marketing budgets are estimated to grow 26% this year – in the US.

This is according to Online Media Daily as of June 4. – Interesting, – and indicates a willingness to test the potential future marketing platforms to be, – as mobile marketing at present only accounts for |1,8 % of total ad spend.


Read the story in Online Media Daily

Newspager: – Here we go !

Today is the Day; – after receiving invaluable help from younger (far younger) colleagues – I am about to launch my second generation media blog.

For a few years I have been writing and commenting on developments in the media industry; primarily by linking to fascinating (well, alas; not allways) news stories from all over the world. As I have  fortunately been able to spend more time following the evolution in the news-media industry than most of my colleagues – I have tried to give updates on important – as well as  irrelevant – developments in the industry – and in the way media consumption changes in today’s digital world. My blog(nysgjerrigper/Medieklipp) has been an internal one in the Schbsted group, accessible only to a limited group of colleagues – familiar with the Scandinavian languages.

As I am now getting closer to retirement, it is my intention stay curious and  continue to stay updated on developments within the media industry. I will of course continue to share most of this – and my comments about what is happening  – with my “old” followers – as well as colleagues , and (old – and new ) friends interested in the fascinating (and turbulent) world of media.

Having worked for more than 40 years with news-media , on many platforms, – I have been privileged to get to know fascinating media personalities around the world – and  to learn about interesting media developments on five continents. One of the most important lessons learned during all these years have been realizing that there really are lessons to be learned everywhere; – the news-media are only relevant and important when the audience is there….

In this new media environment we all have to understand – and use – the new media platforms that makes us be in tune with ( and part of ) the audience we strive to serve. 

So – looking forward to the new update of the Kindle (the DX will ship in a few weeks) – I will try to stay updated on media developments – and try to share experiences and comments with those that may be interested… 


I will be grateful for comments, suggestions and reactions.


Eivind Thomsen


PS:  The illustration used in the heading was orginally published in the New Yorker  Dec.22. 2008 issue, artist: Christoph Niemann. I have asked for permission to use the illustration permanently, – but will remove it if permission is denied.