paidContent reports that O2 is running a trial of a new mobile payments system in London. Nokia 6131 handsets using Near Field Communications technology will allow 500 lucky people to use their mobiles to pay for up to £10 worth of tube, bus or tram travel, coffees at Coffe Republic, booze at Threshers and a number of other things. The trial ends in May 2008.
Jeff Jarvis reports that he has changed his mind about separation of editorial teams.
I was on the side of separation at the beginning of the web and for good reasons. At Advance, where I used to work, we set up separate online operations to make sure that what was made for the web was appropriate to the web (not just a PDF of a newspaper) and to assure that the web gained its own value (and wasn’t just given away to advertisers as value-added). That worked.
However, pointing to the work that the BBC has done consolidating its newsroom to produce radio, TV and web content, he says now he’s converted. “It’s inevitable”.
There’s a debate brewing on Michael Arrington’s TechCrunch blog about the merits or otherwise of networks rather and websites.
But Glam isn’t really the largest women’s site on the Internet – not by a long stretch. Rather, it’s a collection of a few sites that they own that generate some page views, plus a big ad sales team that sells ads for 600 or so other blogs and websites. In August the company claimed 19 million monthly visitors, but just 3.4% of them (654,000) actually visited Glam.com. The company will lose about $3.7 million this year on $21 million in revenue….says Arrington.
Jeff Jarvis takes issue.
But I’ve been arguing to big media companies that they need to become networks themselves. Google is a network. Who cares how large its site is? What matters is its reach on sites all over the internet.
Google grew by building a network. So did Glam. I say that is a model for survival and growth among media companies. Local newspapers, for example, should be building hyperlocal networks of local blogs; with them, they can expand coverage and reach in ways that were never possible when they depended only on staff.
Food for thought.
Update: Jeff has posted a lot more detail on this argument here.