June 24, 2009

Keep Cutting: Online Hard Going for Newspapers

by tolles at 2:07 PM

Peter Kafka of AllthingsD, got Mark Josephson, CEO of Outside.in to project what the "online newspaper for tomorrow" might look like.

Mark posited that with 40MM monthly pageviews, and $560k of revenue (half is which is from a network of blogs or some Outside.in like stuff, not part of the core site), a reasonably sized city paper could afford a staff of around 20 people.

Two problems.

Only a handful of newspapers have the 40MM pageviews. like less than 20.

newspaper_death_spiral.png

And, next, you are estimating a $7.00 eCPM sitewide, and a pretty healthy eCPm for your 3rd party network revenue. Now, I'm rooting for those guys at Outside.in to deliver on this kind of revenue, but we have used every single ad network on the web here at Topix, and let me tell you, getting $7.00 sitewide eCPM on news is really really tough.

So, what's the solutuion? Personally, after talking to Tim Redmond at the Bay Guardian and Billy Jensen at Village Voice Media, I think the alt weeklies have a pretty good balance of print and online and a sales effort that makes sense for a locality, and those publications are in fact right in line with the staffing that Mark is talking about, have a good shot at selling lcoal advertising and seem to be doing ok.

But.

There's no way that your typical midtier local newspaper is getting to 40MM monthly pageviews any time soon, and that means a staff of 20 is probably going to be pushing it for a local online only publication.

June 10, 2009

Topix is going shopping

by amy at 12:26 PM

You know what the Internet is good for? Shopping. Researching the best deal. Sleuthing quality through reviews. And shopping.

And I'm not talking about e-commerce (although I'm as big a fan of Zappos as anyone). I'm talking about finding out the best deals on products in my town.

Since Topix has news & community for every city and town in the U.S., it makes a lot of sense for us to partner with services looking to leverage the growing, national footprint of local audiences we've built.

But as with the news we aggregate, it can be a challenge to present these myriad partnerships in a way that's compelling and clear to visitors. In an effort to accomplish that -- for every city in the U.S. no less -- we've built a new shopping page, which gathers together our commercial partnerships in one, handy place.

san_mateo_shopping.png

This example for San Mateo, California, offers electronics and appliances from Krillion.com, clothes and accessories from Nearbynow.com, useful product reviews from Wize.com, yellow page listings, and coupons from local businesses.

Looking for a car, place to live, a pet or a date? This new page also helps visitors find our existing classified partnerships with SimplyHired.com, Cars.com, Apartments.com, Trulia.com, Oodle.com, and Match.com.

Happy shopping.