On Sunday, Martin Varsavsky, an Argentine/Spanish entrepreneur, and his global wireless network,FON, were featured in the business section of the New York Times. That got him musing about the differences between old media and new media:
Even though the Sunday New York Times has a circulation of 2.3 million papers and is arguably the best newspaper in the world the cover article only added 200 additional uniques to this website. Instead when I heard from Michael Dell that he used Ubuntu I blogged it, my post was picked up by Digg and I got over 50,000 additional unique visitors to my blog!
But while there is a big disconnect between old media and new media and old media does not send visitors to new media, the impact of an old media paper article far exceeds that of an internet article. Michael Arrington may send you a lot of visitors but it is rare that I will go somewhere and people will remember what Techcrunch wrote a year ago. With paper this is not the case. People will cite the Erika Brown Forbes a year later. And yesterday I was getting many emails from long time friends and even a former university professor about the New York Times article and this does not happen to me when blogs who send me tons of visitors write about me or Fon.
He concludes “paper is more credible than pixels.” I think it might have more to do with brand reputation than pixels or paper, which leads me to wonder whether Michael Arrington and TechCrunch and others developing audiences now based on quality of their coverage or writing will an Old Media-like brand credibility over time? I think so. It just takes time.
Can the same be said of Digg? I think not, but that does not deter, as Varsavsky notes, its ability to firehose a Web site with traffic.
Bonus fun: Muddy Waters with James Cotton: “Got My MoJo Working.”