I’ve been saying it non-stop for two years; if your business is not online, you are heading for extinction. I don’t care whether you are a butcher, baker or artist, start selling online now. Too difficult or pricey? Check out these guys or these guys.
But more than “normal” business, the move of media online is accelerating all the time. Traditional newspapers across the US are going bust and the Voice group in Ireland couldn’t get traction. Of course it’s still hard to make money online as a media org, particularly with the downturn in advertising revenue. There is a great piece by Nic Brisbourne here on the problems with local advertising online. Hell, I’ve heard the Guardian loses £20m per year on their main site.
But if you can figure it out and can create multiple revenue streams then the opportunities are massive. Local becomes global. Your audience stretches from outside your door to every ex-pat on the planet.
This is the longest lead-in ever to the main point of this post - I’m absolutely thrilled to see the launch of Kilkenny Alive. It is Ireland’s first ever online-only regional newspaper. This is a big deal for local media here. With two fantastic journos as joint-editors and an eager readership looking for an alternative to the same old print warhorses, I think it’s going to be a major success story.
I am a bit of an early adopter for tech and I only buy maybe one newspaper a month. I get all my news online and by mobile. In fact, I think that the opportunity in mobile will eclipse that of “desktop online” in the next few years. The iPhone led the way, Google Android just drives the point home. The old Wap nonsense will fade into history and proper full access to online content on your mobile will be the norm.
I still think the original ireland.com portal model can work at a local level. The main media site in each town and region should the the destination site for anyone looking for any information about that area. The fact that the Bandon Opinion doesn’t have any web-site boggles the mind. The Southern Star has one but it still seems to be in old Unison mode.
With great sites, either of those could be the default home page for every person living in West Cork or interested in it. Every tourist who looks up West Cork should end up there booking accommodation, reading restaurant reviews, finding events, reading the news and watching videos of local games. (Revenue model idea - charge people a few euro to watching streaming video of hurling games internationally and rev-share with the local clubs). They should be the one-stop-shop for everything in the region. My hope is that Kilkenny Alive wants to be that site for the South East.
Well done to Sean, Jim and everyone in Kilkenny Alive, I look forward to getting all the latest from KK in my RSS reader.