Every newspaper’s killer app is going to be different

This is pretty basic, but it’s something I’ve been trying to get at recently:

Every newspaper’s push into online innovation (Multimedia, Interactivity, Data) is going to be different, based on its resources (time, money, staff) and community (size, age, attitude).

That should be obvious enough, right?

What might work for a national paper like the NYT or Washington Post, whether we’re talking about video or blogs or Flash-y infographics, isn’t necessarily going to solve the online riddle for a 25,000-circ daily in Nebraska.

And a national paper probably won’t be able to create a local community site that gets as much attention as one in a smaller town.

Again, overstating the obvious, but the folks tasked with creating innovative journalism at newspapers should craft their approach to the resources and community they have on hand.

The only way we’re going to find the right answer, the killer app, the takeoff point, and the critical mass is by dancing on the floor that’s laid out in front of us.

3 Replies to “Every newspaper’s killer app is going to be different”

  1. You got a problem with Nebraska? We expatriate flatlanders are forgiving, but that’s the Promised Land you’re talking about there.

    Just kidding. You’re 100 percent right. I would even go so far as to say that a lot of newspapers decisions are being driven by a scarcity of resources, i.e. we have someone who knows Flash but no one who knows interactive databases. Or we have servers that can do this but not that. You can have plenty of resources and still not have the right ones.

    And, to feed your example: a 25k circ paper in Nebraska would be the third largest daily in the state, about 5,000 copies ahead of the Grand Island Independent. We build them small out there on the plains.

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