Newspaper circulation drop accelerates

It’s the largest drop recorded so far during the past decade’s steady decline in paid readership — a span that has coincided with an explosion of online news sources that don’t charge readers for access. Many newspapers also have been reducing delivery to far-flung locales and increasing prices to get more money out of their remaining sales. Source: Newspaper circulation drop accelerates April-Sept – Yahoo! News.

Newspapers are trying to recover from a steep drop in advertising revenue — traditionally their main source of money. The worst U.S. recession since World War II and the lure of the Internet have combined to make the industry’s annual ad revenue $20 billion less than it was three years ago.

This is another example of the growth of social media and the fall of traditional media. As more (young) people turn to the Internet for news and information, they are more involved, more engaged in the news; users are making the news. This is a sign of times to come – newspapers and news media are an endangered species – the Internet is the new news source and social media is the new printing press. Power to the people.

Ironically, I grabbed this article from an online news source (AP News & Yahoo News). What happens if these sources dry up? Why should they continue to pay people to report news when social media sources do it for free? Stay tuned. Those questions haven’t been answered yet.

Twitter in the news again and not in a good way

Is it just me or is it a slow news day? When the top trend on Twitter is about a dispelled rumor it’s time to take the day off. The top trend has been ‘RIP Kanye West’ for the past 24 hours. It was disputed more than 12 hours ago, but it has a life of it’s own now. Worst of all it (the Twitter trending topic) made national news.

Would a dead man have time to haunt the world by posting pictures of supermodel Gabriela Barros online? Rapper Kanye West, of course, is not dead, although “RIP Kanye West” is still the hottest-trending topic on Twitter (Pop & Hiss advises against clicking on it, unless you’re ready for a stream of baiting links to random sites).
Source: Amber Rose debunks ‘RIP Kanye West’ Twitter topic | Pop & Hiss | Los Angeles Times | October 21, 2009 | Los Angeles Times.

Actually, there is something significant about trending topics – not just RIP Kanye West – because they invoke reactions. Twitter users that continue the trend are either curious or opinionated. If a user clicks on a trending topic it receives more hits or has more weight in the trend. If a user comments (or retweets) on the topic it receives more weight. Both actions keep the momentum going – the snowball effect. More importantly than the whole world talking about you (publicity) the whole world is making its own news; trivial as it may be.

The Twitter effect is included in my soon-to-be-released review of the book, Socialnomics: How social media transforms our lives and the way we do business.)