Web Publishing Roll-Up: Micropayments, RSS and Women's Whims

3 minute read
Marisa Peacock avatar

This week, the newspaper industry tries to solve its crisis with micropayments and syndicated feeds, while iVillage.com continues to evolve to keep up with what women want.

Magazines and Newspapers Consider Micropayments

When The Economist moves to charge users for access to content, people pay attention. In the next six months, online readers of the weekly magazine can expect to pay for content in some capacity, as it not yet known which type of payment option they will consider. Rumors point to a micropayment system like iTunes.

Currently, The Economist offers its readers free access to news content on the site, but requires to pay for archived content (older than 2007). Print subscribers receive a complimentary web account.

Speaking of micropayments, Google is in the process of rolling out a system of micropayments within the next year in hopes that newspapers will use it as they look for new ways to charge users for content. The micropayment system will be an extension of Google Checkout, Google's payment system thatdebuted in 2006.

The idea is that newspapers might use Google Checkout to charge for subscriptions and other payment options. Google has submitted its formal proposal to Newspaper Association of America in response to a request for paid content proposals that the association sent to several technology companies.

The Newspaper You Always Wanted

FeedJournal is an RSS syndicated publication that allows readers to consume or publish the content they want.FeedJournal serves as a content deliverer and presents information from the sources users want in a traditional format.

Learning Opportunities

In an effort to push their solution more actively, while newspapers continue to struggle, FeedJournal is highlighting Liberty Newsprint, a site heralded as "America's News Archive powered by Feedjournal.com's publisher."Liberty Newsprint produces an internet news archive that captures a compelling mix of English language news feeds from around the world.

What iVillage Thinks Women Want

iVillage.com in its continued pursuit to cater to the whims of the women folk is undergoing a face lift. Although site stats indicate an increase in unique users, iVillageis still trying to position itself as a hip and savvy resource to moms and women in general.

Notoriously, sites that cater to women have tried to downplay news and promote beauty and health as their primary content. An enhanced iVillage site will try to incorporate more "newsy" articles and user-generated content and comments, as well as user-created personalized profiles.

The new approach seems a little late in the making, as women have long been an evolving and driving force on the web for years.

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