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A place to share stuff that isn't at all fintec related but is amusing, absurd or scary.

Are Online Papers Playing Whack-a-Mole With Readers?

03 May 2009  |  2193 views  |  0

I like to read. Videos take too long. People talk too slowly in online videos. I don't have the time to listen to endless bleating to garner a gem or two. That's why I like to read. I read very quickly, it's a gift. I don't always remember what I read but I generally remember where to find what I've previously read if it suddenly becomes relevant.

Online versions of newspapers are great. The thought of shipping hordes of printed dead trees around just to read newspapers is scary. Online I can read as fast as I want and don't have to wait for that talented speaker to ease me into their conclusion with the line they spent all night perfecting, and aren't going to give up too easily.

I read like a vacuum cleaner and I really like to know what's going on locally. That's why I read the Chinese paper in Chinese, the New York Times local edition, the London edition of the FT. I like to read the local paper because they used to have more of a clue about what was going on, and if they didn't you could draw all sots of mistaken assumptions about why they did or didn't cover a local story I might have heard about elsewhere. The different spin angles gives insight. Vanilla is worthless. What is even more worthless is the NYTimes imagining that they could have any better local insight about somewhere else like Shanghai or Dublin.

I read blogs in India and in Guandong and London and Russia and newspapers across the world because they have local knowledge. I don't think the NYTimes coverage of Mongolia will ever be better than the Mongolian daily at business-mongolia.com or eurasianet.org/resource/mongolia/

See what I mean? For me, local flavour is important, and while the FT/NYT/whatever have great resources, they are better at local and in most case so is someone else locally(for them). That is why I read the New York edition of the New York Times, not the New York edition of the Sunday Mail or Financial Times.

What I'm trying to say is IF I GO TO YOUR HOME PAGE ASSUME THAT IS WHERE I WANT TO BE, give me some choice to go somewhere afterward, don't assume that because I'm in Hong Kong today that I want to read about the London view of what someone in Hong Kong might want to read in the FT in London. If you want to get smart make it simple. http//nytimes.com/hongkong or http://ft.com/asia - not automatically send me there when I type in ft.com or ft.co.uk ok?

It's the information equivalent of being the mole in Whack-a-Mole, try and pop your head up in New York and they whack you back to Asia, or London, 'stay where you are and swallow our perspective of where we anticipate we think you want to be'.

I can just imagine what that milkshake would taste like and I already know the quality of information it doesn't provide.

 

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