Monday, February 19, 2007

An excuse to put my dog in my blog

Meet Clare, our dog who stayed behind in Anchorage and lives with dog buddy Rudy (see white paws in one pic, white dog in other -- that is Rudy). Clare is wearing a green T-shirt because she had a few stitches on her shoulder after a run-in with a tree. My only justification for putting my dog in my blog came from reading a passage in a book about meditation. Stick with me here, this won't take long.
Have you ever looked at a dog and really seen it in its total "dogness"? A dog is quite miraculous when you really see it. What is it? Where did it come from? What is it doing here? What are its feelings?
Children tend to think about things this way. Their vision is fresh. They see things as if for the first time every time. Sometimes our seeing gets tired. We just see a dog. "If you've seen one, you've seen them all." Our thoughts act as a kind of veil preventing us from seeing things with fresh eyes.

So my point? Look at journalism through fresh eyes. See the post below, too, where a very successful newspaper publisher in Norway is doing well online. One link to his success, say analysts, is he brought in some 'fresh eyes.' I hope we can be our own fresh eyes in American journalism.

News from Norway: online success

A newspaper publisher in Norway is finding financial success online, according to this business report from The New York Times. The company is Schibsted in Oslo. Noting how well things are going for this newspaper company, a Harvard business professor is making a case study of it. Says the professor:
“There’s no question they managed this transition earlier than a lot of newspaper companies, and they’re in a better position as a result.”

Besides investing aggressively in online for a decade, the publisher brought in non-newspaper managers from a business consulting firm who were willing to sacrifice sacred cows if that was necessary. Said one:
“The main thing they have done is to recognize that the consumer is king.”

Of course there are special circumstances in Norway. Schibsted dominates the online market and includes a successful classified site in its arsenal. And Norway has the highest newspaper readership in the world, so readers trusted the brand when it went online.

The Harvard professor, Bharat N. Anand, wonders: Can this success be exported?
“The big question is, ‘Is this a repeatable success, or is it a very good 10-year run?’ And how far can it travel outside Scandinavia?”