GOB!G Quote of the Day

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

The Times daily: Is it piggybacking to gain dear life?

Is it me or is new tabloid, The Times, a hyperactive version of the Sunday Times? I would like to bet that it's not me. I went on to the The Times online yesterday and today several times. As is daily habit that I get morning dose of the news from the Sunday Times online, I was left wondering and surprised when I landed up on The Times online pages.

For a moment I thought it was just my PC with ill-functioning history tool. But I was right. I punched in www.sundaytimes.co.za and was let to The Times. I figured that it must be a launch mis-strategy. But I felt the following during my demand for my Sunday Times morning coffee dose:

  • That the guardians of the Sunday Times brand would permit the confusion between their brand and The Times brand (sisters I know, but different skins)
  • That I, the reader, has to wonder where I'm online -whether The Times or Sunday Times
  • That as an online reader of the Sunday Times, The Times is forced on me
  • That The Times online is in fact nearly or entirely the same as Sunday Times online - the content is the same, the branding is the same, the site structure and navigation is the same, the columnists are the same, the commentators on podcasts are the same.
  • Felt lost in transition when I clicked on the Sunday Times site link and I was still within The Times - kind of in the Sunday Times as the content is the Sunday Times'

Shouldn't you notice any of the above, it means it has been corrected.

I haven't gotten hold of the hardcopy of The Times as yet. And just hoping that it is not, marketing pitch-wise, a hyperactive baby version of the Sunday Times. I must say, I still got to find out, online, where is The Times (content-wise), but the brand of it, the masthead, I'v seen and it looks pretty.

Vincent Maher got hit by surprise when he discovered that: "The web site is also live but, given that it’s the same architecture as the Sunday Times site I am not going to comment until I know whether this is a temporary solution or the real deal."

In the words of one blogger, Uwe Gutschow The Times "...sounds a lot more exciting than it actually is". His views are in concert with mine. He continues to say that: "Their newspaper will definitely interest a slightly more savvy and exciting audience, at least in the beginning".

I'll do long verbatim for once on my blog as Uwe also had some interesting tips for The Times:

  1. let users and bloggers create content
  2. turn everyone with a camera into a journalist and reward them for relevant, valued content
  3. learn from wikipedia
  4. employ content producers, not a newspaper editor to run the show
  5. conceptualise with marketers and companies as to the best way to produce content that will aid in marketing brands
  6. be bold, innovative and pioneering - we've offered to work with them to do some innovative campaigns for clients to become part of their sales tool and case studies
  7. print newspapers based on people's profiles by interest, such as international finance, soccer, etc. - pay only for the content you want
  8. change the business model
  9. advertising will provide the most revenue, but collaborate with innovators to profit from other forms of marketing techniques

I just wish the new daily, and its brand for that matter, had been created; marketed, and launched on the back of its own neo strenghts and weaknesses rather than of a leading weekend paper. I know it would cannibal up a pint of the strength of the Sunday Times, but potential is there. Especially online.

However, I can't wait to get my hands on a different read from the print version of The Times, for as Israel, I love things new.

"Judge of a man by his questions, rather than by his answers." - Voltaire

No comments: