Friday, 14 December 2007

International Herald Tribune .com or

There is a great deal more news appearing on the International Herald Tribune's website than in the print edition, but where is it coming from?

Doing an advanced search on, under the section Europe between December 8 and December 13, the International Herald Tribune's journalists were the source of 18 stories. The New York Times provided a further 19.

The Associated Press provided 288 stories during this period, in the Europe section alone.

That's right:

AP: 288
NYT: 19
IHT: 18

As we know, is not resourced to be a 24/7 rolling news site. What its editors are doing are relying on the wire services: 'sifting' it's called in the MSM; in the blog world it's called, by the MSM, 'riffing off genuine content providers' according to Mr. Oreskes, exec. editor of the IHT.

But what is not doing, in the vast majority of cases is TRULY CREATING CONTENT and that apparently is what newspapers should be doing, again according to the IHT's own exec. editor.

What will be interesting to see is whether, in the light of the Reuters/IHT content deal, AP might seek a similar ad revenue share deal with the IHT, which could be more profitable for AP, and more expensive for the IHT, than remaining in their largely unacknowledged 'grunt' role for

As I understand it, is getting 5 million visitors per month.

What I don't know is why they are coming, when so much of the content is coming from AP.

My guess is that the vast majority are searching on topics of interest to them, and duly arrive not through the front door but via Google or A.N. Other search engine (and a search of blogs about the IHT shows this at work - about 300 blogs a day reference the IHT).

What fascinates me is, of these 5 million monthly visitors, how many are unique visitors, and how many have the IHT as either their home page or visit the iht home page daily or more than 3-4 times per week.

And of those who do fall into the above sub-category of visitors, how many come for the IHT's uniquely created content or for its capacities as a reliable news filter of, we have to assume, reliable content providers, a role they have largely outsourced to AP in the news category, and Bloomberg, soon to be Reuters in the business section.

Ultimately, might the IHT get out of the expensive content generation business altogether and make its key brand offering doing the due dilligence on who is and who isn't a reliable content provider and then sifting and filtering those outsourced services' content into a manageable daily information packet?

This is one business they are in, but at the same time, they have invested in original content generation of their own.

But for now, they are still much more in the former business than the latter one.

As the figures show.

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