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The fragmentation of Internet news is finally underway, as users begin progression from Google News to Yahoo News to Blog & Social-Networking models 10/8/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in Fragmentation.
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Just as consumers naturally prefer custom-tailored to one-size-fits-all clothing, they prefer custom-tailored to one-size-fits-all news. But because of the regulation of broadcast technology, the economies of printing press technology, the collusive and anti-competitive behavior of AP members, and 20th century journalism dogma, news consumers have suffered for decades with one-size-fits-all, “mass” media. By giving everyone both a communications and delivery platform, might the Internet break-up mass media into fragmented media, finally giving us only the news that we, as individuals, want — news that reflects our worldviews, our interests, our parochial concerns, our preferences, and our tastes?

The Internet-driven progression from mass media news to custom news finally became apparent this week. Forbes tells us that Yahoo News, and not Google News, is now even more solidly the top news web site. The reason is that despite all the fanfare it has received, Google News is nothing more than an Internet version of the old mass media model, publishing the same, tired, government-centric, center-left, AP/NYTimes/WaPost voice that all mass media have been feeding us for decades. On the other hand, while Yahoo News is also one-size-fits-all news, at least it has the right audience in the fitting room — real human editors are tailoring the stories for what real readers, not AP/NYTimes/WaPost editors, want.

Now today, this AP story tells us that large portals like Yahoo, AOL, and MSN-Windows Live are seeing their total time spent per user decline as visitors migrate to blogs, social-networking, and other user-generated sites, which presumably provide news more customized to individuals’ interests. Now that news is flowing to more fragmented sites, will advertising dollars follow? Stay tuned…

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