It’s not delivery…Posted: May 12, 2009
I got a really interesting question a few weeks ago from a student at Boston College about the future of paid-online content. I stick by my answer: there isn’t a walled garden of news that could survive on a paid-model because, generally, there will still be a place to get it. It’s supply and demand. There’s a high supply of information. Unless you are providing something unique, it won’t work, and, to be honest, a lot of news just isn’t that unique.
And, like clockwork, along comes the announcement from the Times that it has updated its desktop client to utilize the powerful Adobe Air. It looks pretty, less ad content and a bigger space to read. Clearly, its a bridge between a browser-based read and the physical version. I like how it looks, its pretty easy to use and it is really a clean space:
But that’s not enough for me to say the Times gets it (even though Lifehacker is giving a modicum amount of credit for trying). I have it installed on my computer. After my tests playing around with it, I doubt I use it much more than that. Why? Because the information is the exact same as NYTimes.com where things are more accessible on my terms. And, I think a little more importantly for the participatory world: I can link to those articles and comments. I can’t do that in TimesReader. I’m going to end up at the site anyway.
I’ve been reading the Times since I started at school in the northeast in 2002. I’m not stopping now. But I don’t need a fancy application to do it. I just need it to continue producing content that is good.
Delivery doesn’t matter. Good pizza does.