There’s never a dull moment for web publishing, especially in 2010.

Google v. China

As you may have heard, Google is reviewing its operations in China -- and may even shut them down -- prompted by a "highly sophisticated and targeted attack on our corporate infrastructure” from China that resulted in the theft of intellectual property.

Google is staying true to its mantra “don’t be evil” and spy attacks on human rights activists went too far. There aren’t many options for either China or Google, who have both their egos and power to protect. A move will be made soon enough, stay tuned.

Stop Trying to Create New Revenue, Already

Robert Niles of the Online Journalism Review has declared that “there is no new revenue model for journalism.” So there.

He says there are only three ways that publishers can make money from their content, including:

  • Direct purchases, such as subscriptions, copy sales and tickets
  • Advertising
  • Donations, including direct contributions and grant funding

It’s settled then. Don’t bother trying new innovative methods. Hang up your hats, Niles has explained it all. And while he makes some valid points, I just don’t know why he couldn’t have told us earlier.

The NYT Will Make You Pay

Speaking of revenue models, it seems that the New York Times is close to announcing that it will soon be charging readers for access to its website.

Learning Opportunities

Though the model chosen has not been made known, NYT is said to have considered three types of pay strategies: a traditional subscription model, a metered system and an NPR-style membership model. It seems that there are many ideas the NYT has considered (like a partnership with Journalism Online), but none seem to have any legs. 

The decision to go paid was no easy decision, ultimately it will capture more circulation revenue, but risk losing significant traffic and with it ad dollars. Time will tell if their decisions will pay off.

Murdoch Blocks News Aggregator

On January 1 eight national UK newspaper publishers, through their Newspaper Licensing Agency (NLA) began requiring license payments from news monitors who copy their articles in order to provide alerts and links to PR firms. Rupert Murdoch has gone one step further, blocking the UK web aggregation service NewsNow from linking to content on his UK paper, Times Online

Rupert Murdoch is on record as saying that such news aggregall operators will no longer get to “steal” its content, and has been linked with prior attempts to leverage Bing as a distributor instead of Google.