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Anyone For A Coup? 6 June 2000 Edition
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First Fiji, now the Solomon Islands... is there any truth to the rumour that Helen Clark now has three armed personal minders and that security inside parliament buildings has been stepped up?

Is New Zealand's hi-tech community ready to seize armed control of the country in order to put this crazy government back on the rails?

If this story in the NZ Herald is anything to go by it could be for the best.

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Good News - Bad News
A raft of press releases and stories have been spewing forth from some of our most highly trafficked news purveyors, announcing how popular their sites have become.

They all claim to have wonderfully high numbers of visitors and strong growth -- to which I say "excellent!" It's great to see our local Net users finally waking up to the fact that there's some pretty fine content within the local content industry.

TVNZ, by way of their NZoom site, and the NZ Herald, have both engaged in this self-back-slapping, and not without justification -- both sites, it would seem, have attracted a good strong local audience. The Herald has even been honest enough to admit in this story that they're now going to have to figure out how to turn this traffic into profits.

Sorry guys -- I have some bad news for you -- there are no profits yet in the online news game -- and they're likely to remain elusive for quite a few years to come. At least the big-two NZ local-news sites have the advantage that they can cross-sell some advertising and leverage their broadcast/print arm to deliver advertisers to their online operation.

However, pure Net operations are not quite so lucky and now we've seen APBNews.com, an excellent US-based crime news site announce that it's firing all 140 staff due to a failure to secure ongoing fundings to cover losses.

Given the staggering losses that some overseas news and e-tail sites are running at, I expect you might see some more attrition in the coming months -- but that will leave the survivors stronger and with a larger market-share.

Many of the top US online news sites are running at losses that are measured in tens or even hundreds of millions of dollars per year -- and, with all that news being given away for free, combined with a huge glut in advertising space forcing rates down to less than $1 per thousand impressions, the future looks a little gloomy for some.

The answer? Well I'd say that the savvy news sites will make a profit by selling their audience to other revenue-strong online operations by way of joint/cooperative ventures. The news arm will draw in the traffic and the e-commerce or e-service arm will convert it to cash. With this in mind, look for some major acquisition and merger activity in the area of smaller online news sites over the next six months or so.

Of course there are many other methods of converting traffic to revenue -- but I'm not stupid enough to tell everyone about them here ;-)

NZL Sites
IDG.Net.nz
NZ Netguide
NZ Herald Tech
PC World NZ

AUS Sites
Fairfax IT
Australian IT
AFR Tech
AUS Netguide
NineMSN Tech
APC Magazine
Corporate IT

USA Sites
Wired.com
CNet
CNNfn Tech
TechWeb
Yahoo Tech
ZDNet Tech
USA Today Tech
7am.com SciTech

UK Sites
The Register
BBC SciTech

The Day's Top News
4 = open in new window
New Zealand

4  Xtra, Ihug demand answers from Domainz
Relations between Domainz and the country's major ISPs are being strained by the continuing failure to perform of the new Domainz Registry System...
NZ IDG

4  Help! Yelps govt over ERB
Top level talks are underway with IT chiefs as the government plans to allay industry concerns by watering down parts of its controversial Employment Relations Bill...
IDG NZ

4  DOJ steps into Kiwi cyber-law fray
The US Department of Justice has offered to help write cyber-laws for a number of countries that are lagging, including New Zealand...
IDG NZ

4  Naughty domains snapped up
All seven banned "Anglo-Saxon biological terms" released by the Internet Society early yesterday were registered as Internet domain names later in the day...
NZ Herald

Other

4  Security scare as outsiders get access to NetBSD software password
Developers of the NetBSD open source operating system say a recent security breach did not compromise the software's source code....
Fairfax

4  Sega, Motorola to develop Net cell phone
The two will use technology from Sega's Dreamcast to develop phones that will allow users to download games and images...
ZDNet

4  Britain's Web Spying Bill Could Inhibit E-Commerce
Draft legislation allowing security officials to monitor business e-mails could prevent Britain becoming a leader in e-commerce, the British Chambers of Commerce warned Monday...
Yahoo

Australia

4  ASIC to look into net float
The ASIC is expected to investigate the float of Australia's principal internet domain name registrar, Melbourne IT, following complaints of insider trading....
Fairfax

4  Cheaper Internet still blocked
THE Government's assertion that Australia is about to get cheaper internet rates may be premature...
Australian IT

4  Flight to start-ups "is over"
THE flight of top IT executives to dotcom start-ups has slowed, with many acknowledging they have made a big mistake in light of the recent share market downturn, according to recruiters...
Australian IT

4  OzEmail says sorry over message error
OZEMAIL has apologised to thousands of customers after demanding a $60 annual email account maintenance fee from them. It said a message threatening to terminate the accounts of those who did not pay up was sent in error...
Australian IT

Other

4  Another Online News Site Out of Cash
The rugged business of online news claimed another victim Monday as APBNews.com, an award-winning crime and public safety website, announced it was out of money...
7am.com

4  Microsoft Spends $2 Billion To Market Web Tools
Microsoft will encourage developers to use its Internet products and services...
TechWeb

4  Gnutella viruses weaker than email bugs, experts sa
A worm is crawling the byways of the Gnutella file-sharing network, infecting some unwary computer users looking for movies and music...
CNet