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2000年,英国作家J·K罗琳出版了哈利波特系列第一部《哈利波特与魔法石》,在书中描写魔法世界的神奇之处时,她写道,小哈利发现魔法报纸《预言家日报》上的图片竟然如同电视屏幕一样是会动的,不由得瞠目结舌。仅仅过去了十余年的时间,这个桥段的含金量就被大大降低,习惯于在地铁上低头从手机上观赏视频新闻的人们,不再会对《预言家日报》保持敬畏和仰视了,将世界资讯装进口袋里的魅力,也比仅仅只是画面会动的报纸要来得更为诱人。

新媒体摧枯拉朽的力量就表现于此,它让想象迅速被现实替代,消费信息的用户,也都同时充当着传统媒体的掘墓人角色。

2012年,沃伦·巴菲特就像赶上超市大降价的家庭主妇,总计用1.42亿美元收购了美国63家报纸,一年之后,美国百年老报《华盛顿邮报》宣布接受亚马逊公司创始人杰夫·贝索斯的2.5亿美元报价,将未来交付给互联网巨头来打理。中国也并未在这场席卷全球的风波中幸免于难,根据媒体报道,2013年北京的报刊亭日均营业额较去年下降超过50%,微薄的利润让大量的报刊亭相继关门,当问到报刊亭惨淡经营的原因时,业主们表示“主要还是受到了网络的冲击,越来越多的人选择在网上获取信息”。

然而,同样作为受益者,美国和中国的新媒体在发展方向上却步入了两条截然不同的轨迹,美国新媒体产品长于模式,侧重产品设计,通过互联网基因进而“颠覆”传统媒体,而中国新媒体产品则优于运营,主推产品功能,通过互联网优势而“取代”传统媒体。这种差别,让中美在新媒体上的商业模式、投资环境、竞争手段等都各具特色,“橘生淮南则为橘,生于淮北则为枳”的效应十分明显。

科技博客:TechCrunch vs 36Kr

TechCrunch是全美影响力第一的科技博客——这个结论经得起任何质疑,其创始人迈克尔·阿灵顿曾被美国《新闻周刊》评选为全球最具影响力互联网意见领袖Top 10,在创办TechCrunch之前,迈克尔·阿灵顿的职业是律师和会计师。

因为热爱科技行业,迈克尔·阿灵顿在2005年自掏腰包购买了博客建站程序WordPress的VIP系统,搭建了Web2.0聚合站点TechCrunch,用于刊发自己和圈内好友所写的科技文章。因为Michael Arringto的人脉关系,加上网站内容确实精致,TechCrunch在半年之内即突破了千万人次的月度访问量,继而趁势成为了美国流量最高的科技博客之一,硅谷的创业项目皆以能够被TechCrunch报道为荣。

2010年,AOL收购了TechCrunch,并在次年因为理念冲突而解雇了继续在TechCrunch担任主编的迈克尔·阿灵顿,不过这并未影响TechCrunch的发展,时至今日,TechCrunch仍是美国科技资讯的第一手发布平台。除了在线广告之外,TechCrunch通过举办展会获取更高的收入,比如由TechCrunch每年举办的Disrupt大会,所有申请出席展会的创业公司都需要向TechCrunch支付一笔不菲的费用,才可换来在大会上向投资者展示自己项目的机会,由于TechCrunch的明星效应,每年用于出售的席位总是供不应求。

作为TechCrunch的忠实学徒,中国科技博客36氪一度叫做“TC中文站”,域名也是TechCrunchChina.com,后因过分山寨遭遇风险而于2010年改名为36氪,但是在内容来源上仍广泛“摘录”TechCrunch等美国科技博客的文章。2012年,36氪宣称与TechCrunch有着“合作关系”,不过TechCrunch在中国的合作伙伴始终是动点科技,2013年更是授权后者代理成立了正版的Techcrunch中文站点,所以36氪始终被人诟病未经授权转译他人文章。

不过,36氪的创始人之一、北京邮电大学毕业的刘成城曾表示36氪的运营思路“更加偏向于互联网,而非媒体”,所以内容更新只是36氪吸引流量的方式,当流量足以支撑36氪的品牌之后,一个在线融资服务平台则成为了36氪桥接创业者与投资者的杀手锏。36氪有着专业的融资顾问作为雇员,对站内提交的创业项目进行甄别和筛选,然后选择合适的风险投资商进行接洽,向成功投资案例收取佣金成为了36氪的主要盈利模式。

回头再看TechCrunch,它一向秉承“只报道,不介入”的原则,在AOL尚未收购它时,迈克尔·阿灵顿曾以私人身份投资过不少创业团队,而TechCrunch出于“避险”,会主动降低这些创业团队的曝光几率,即使报道,也会特意标注“该项目已获得迈克尔·阿灵顿投资”,避免可能有损TechCrunch公信力的事件发生。

社交问答:Quora vs 知乎

2008年,当Facebook CTO亚当·安捷罗决定辞职创业时,各大风投机构都纷纷表示希望能够成为他的第一位资本靠山,其创业产品Quora还未上线时,投资者就给出了8000万美元的估值。

Quora是一个社交问答平台,与传统问答平台(例如Yahoo Answer、百度知道)不同的是,Quora提倡实名参与,并在初期通过邀请制来发展硅谷精英与社会名流,鼓励他们回应位于自己职业领域中擅长的提问。有投资人在Quora回答问题时说:“我宁愿从1000个高质量的内容来源那里获取信息,也不愿从来源更多的整合性渠道获取信息。”

贡献智慧并帮助他人改善问题,是Quora广受好评的重要原因。很长一段时间里,Quora的首页文案都是“不断改进的问题和答案——来自每一个使用Quora创造、编辑和组织问答内容的用户——的集锦”,亚当·安捷罗也承认Quora在一定程度上有着维基百科的色彩,很多人拥有知识,而这些知识却没有共享给有需要的人,Quora的诞生就是为了解决这一矛盾。除此之外,一些并不在规划范围之内的效果也在Quora上被一一发掘:马克·休斯,一名业余编剧,因为在Quora上撰写了一篇极为优秀的回答,而被福布斯录用。

2012年,Quora完成心B轮5000万美元融资,估值达到4亿美元,这些资金被用于人才招聘、基础设施采购以及风险储备上,但是在关键的商业模式的建立上,Quora显得较为迟钝,亚当·安捷罗亦表示Quora会尝试广告、有偿订阅或者专家咨询等收费模式,但是“扩大规模远比盈利重要”。

“之乎者也”,本是用来讽刺对方说话咬文嚼字的描述,被出身Meta搜索项目和创新工场的三名联合创始人取了前两个字改为“知乎”,作为中国最大一家类Quora网站的命名。几乎与Quora一模一样,知乎也采取了严格的邀请制度来发展早期用户,也正是因此,知乎也重蹈覆辙了Quora曾经遇到过的瓶颈:由于创始团队的人脉局限于科技行业,导致话题大多集中在科技这个小众圈子里,难以“大众化”,严重限制了用户数字的增长。

在知乎上,有一条名为“知乎和Quora的差距在哪”的问题,吸引了23个回答,其中大部分用户反应知乎在专业性上远不如Quora,卖弄观点的居多,真正贡献知识的偏少。与Quora不同,知乎有时也会呈现出较为另类的媒体属性,尤其是在一些热点事件产生时,知乎会涌现出许多围绕事件话题征集看法的提问,时机性很强,却不如Quora那样对知识沉淀有着上佳的处理方式。

或许也是为了突出优质内容的存在感,知乎在2013年推出了移动应用产品“知乎日报”,由编辑精选问答案例来满足用户的求知欲,同时也邀请了部分用户开通了“知乎专栏”,塑造明星作者的标杆形象。

在盈利问题上,知乎也不着急,曾经传出“因为无法盈利而遭投资方创新工场撤资的消息”,知乎联合创始人之一成远也否认了消息,并表示在不伤害用户体验的前提下,通过广告来实现盈利是最妥当的模式。

移动新闻:The Daily vs 今日头条

2011年1月,默多克旗下的新闻集团与苹果公司公开宣布,iPad上将推出由双方共同合作开发的移动新闻阅读应用The Daily,并将成为“未来发展的潮流”。不到两年,由于The Daily持续亏损,默多克宣布停止The Daily的运作。

乔布斯生前与默多克私交不错,The Daily方案亦由乔布斯过目,属于新闻集团与苹果公司都高度看好的项目,赶在纸媒哀鸿遍野的时刻,祭出媲美《纽约时报》的内容产品,并且正好搭乘上了移动互联网的顺风车,无论从哪个角度看起来,这都是一笔稳赚不赔的买卖。

然而,The Daily死得悄无声息,在App Store中收取40美元年费的The Daily,巅峰时期的付费用户只有10万人,一年400万美元的收入,相比3000万美元的年度亏损额度,显得过于恐怖。不过问题在于,The Daily已经是App Store中收入最高的新闻类应用,这显然意味着要么The Dail的运营成本超标,要么新闻类应用就不应该走上收费的道路,因为它注定无法盈利。

The Daily尝试过削减自己的运营成本,在关闭前半年,默多克从The Daily的170名员工中裁员了50人,但是没有删减内容,即使如此,亏损依旧没有止步,而默多克发现再继续裁员的话,The Daily则将面临无人可用的困局。当The Daily这种新媒体陷入危机时,美国正在转型中的传统媒体却纷纷加大了竞争力度,《纽约时报》、《华尔街日报》在移动端的投入逐渐增大,在读者流失加剧的情况下,The Daily被迫选择黯然退出了历史舞台。

那么,新闻类应用就应该免费——而依靠其他方式的盈利吗?在大洋彼岸的中国,一匹黑马给出了肯定的答案。

“今日头条”是2012年异军突起的一款移动新闻应用,这是一个几十人规模的创业团队的作品,如今已有4000万注册用户,其下载热度在App Stroe资讯类应用排行榜中与“腾讯新闻”、“搜狐新闻客户端”不相伯仲。

“今日头条”不仅奉行中国市场上一贯的免费策略,而且它做得更为彻底——连记者和编辑都不需要,其团队仅仅提供技术支持,在用户通过微博等社交网站帐号登录“今日头条”之后,“今日头条”将迅速咀嚼用户的信息兴趣并预判需求,最终向不同的用户提供不同的头条资讯,与传统媒体“千人一面”的阅读体验全然不同。同时,“今日头条”所提供的资讯全都来源于新闻门户,用户点击标题之后则会跳转到对方页面阅读,“今日头条”不仅没有版权顾虑,由于能够给内容源带去流量,也免于被封杀和禁止抓取的待遇。

“一张再好的报纸也只有一个封面,一名再牛的主编也只能照顾一种风格。移动互联网时代的大数据,让我们可以根据用户的行为,来挖掘他们的兴趣所在和价值取向,有价值的信息就会推荐,有兴趣的内容就能看到,这就是用户至上的最好体现。”抱着这样的态度,曾供职于酷讯、微软、饭否的工程师张一鸣在选择创业时做了“今日头条”这款产品,当重金打造的The Daily遭遇滑铁卢时,更为轻巧和安全的“今日头条”却另辟蹊径,取得了不俗的成绩,这或许也是中美互联网的环境差异使然。

只是,“今日头条”投机于技术处理,却难以对门户巨头们对移动新闻重拾重视而产生足够的防御壁垒。2013年,四大门户(新浪、搜狐、网易、腾讯)均对移动新闻市场投入血本,试图挽回失地、创造入口,其中搜狐和网易更是在移动新闻应用产品上先后宣告突破1亿用户规模,这让“今日头条”失色不少。利用自主订阅的设计,门户的移动新闻应用同样实现了个性化的推送和更为集中化的阅读体验,在此冲击之下,做二手采编工作的“今日头条”未免有些单薄和被动。

未来,媒体产品之间的“新旧”边界将变得愈加模糊,投资及并购交易亦成为资本巨头整合媒体资源的重要战略组成部分,除了前文提及到的TechCrunch之外,AOL近年来还接连收购了Engadget(美国电子科技主题博客)、Huffington Post(美国新闻博客)等新媒体,而在中国,浙报传媒投资虎嗅网(商业科技博客)、入股华奥星空(有着国家体育总局官方背景的体育门户网站)都是类似的案例,从这个角度来看,中美的生意经倒是颇为“殊途同归”。

—————

iDoNews 长期招聘有志于从事互联网科技媒体行业、并愿意不断提高自己的层次和档次的记者/编辑/运营,我们会花很长时间物色真正具有一流水平的小伙伴加入。有意者投简历至:xiaoo.sem@gmail.com。


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  59. Have you ever thought about adding a little bit more than just your articles? I mean, what you say is valuable and all. Nevertheless think about if you added some great visuals or videos to give your posts more, “pop”! Your content is excellent but with images and videos, this website could certainly be one of the greatest in its field. Terrific blog!
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  60. Howdy just wanted to give you a quick heads up. The text in your article seem to be running off the screen in Firefox. I’m not sure if this is a formatting issue or something to do with internet browser compatibility but I thought I’d post to let you know. The design look great though! Hope you get the problem solved soon. Thanks
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  61. Sweet blog! I found it while surfing around on Yahoo News. Do you have any suggestions on how to get listed in Yahoo News? I’ve been trying for a while but I never seem to get there! Many thanks
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  62. Does your website have a contact page? I’m having a tough time locating it but, I’d like to shoot you an e-mail. I’ve got some suggestions for your blog you might be interested in hearing. Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it develop over time.
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  63. I am curious to find out what blog platform you happen to be working with? I’m experiencing some minor security problems with my latest blog and I would like to find something more safe. Do you have any recommendations?
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  64. Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to protect against hackers? I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on. Any suggestions?
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  65. Hello just wanted to give you a brief heads up and let you know a few of the pictures aren’t loading properly. I’m not sure why but I think its a linking issue. I’ve tried it in two different internet browsers and both show the same outcome.
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  66. Hey! I just wanted to ask if you ever have any problems with hackers? My last blog (wordpress) was hacked and I ended up losing months of hard work due to no data backup. Do you have any methods to prevent hackers?
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  67. Admiring the hard work you put into your blog and detailed information you present. It’s awesome to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same unwanted rehashed information. Great read! I’ve saved your site and I’m adding your RSS feeds to my Google account.
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  68. Currently it looks like Wordpress is the top blogging platform available right now. (from what I’ve read) Is that what you are using on your blog?
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  69. Howdy! I know this is kinda off topic but I’d figured I’d ask. Would you be interested in exchanging links or maybe guest writing a blog article or vice-versa? My blog addresses a lot of the same subjects as yours and I believe we could greatly benefit from each other. If you’re interested feel free to shoot me an email. I look forward to hearing from you! Awesome blog by the way!
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