A Look At Rupert Murdoch's History Of Internet Failures

from the what-do-they-have-in-common dept

Ross Pruden points us to a neat little graphic that Mediaweek put together, highlighting all of News Corps.' internet failures over the years (pdf) as it gets ready to launch its iPad only publication called The Daily. If you look at the image (or click it to go to the original Mediaweek pdf), you begin to sense a pattern:
The downfall in almost every case is about Murdoch focusing on using the internet as mainly a broadcast medium, rather than a communications medium. Delphi was all about community... and then News Corp. tried to turn it into a place to sell his magazines and newspapers. Fox Interactive was all about pushing content, and had little community. MySpace, of all things, which was really about community from the beginning, has completely faltered under News Corps' control, because they tried to focus on using it to sell music and stopped investing in any sort of real community features -- as services like Facebook and Twitter totally leapfrogged them on that front. It's the same story over and over again, and given that The Daily is so focused on platform, rather than users, it seems likely to be a repeat of the same mistake all over again.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 7:48am

    ...and he is still a million times richer than you will ever be. For all your internet skill, he still wipes his ass with more money than you will ever have. I would love to fail like him.

     

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  2.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:04am

    Re: Oooooh Fail

    Yeah, nothing like seeing your relevance in the modern world slowly bleeding away and being clueless as to the cause or stop it...

    I'd rather be a comfortable, self-aware person of moderate income than a clueless wealthy ass-hat.

    Jes' saying.

     

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  3.  
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    :Lobo Santo (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:04am

    Re: Oooooh Fail

    Yeah, nothing like seeing your relevance in the modern world slowly bleeding away and being clueless as to the cause or how to stop it...

    I'd rather be a comfortable, self-aware person of moderate income than a clueless wealthy ass-hat.

    Jes' saying.

     

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  4.  
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    ScaredOfTheMan, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:06am

    blah blah blah

    I love how the first commenter cannot refute anything in the PDF. 'Well he is richer than you so Nah nah nah.' Truth be told this will become a classic case study on how his empire was slowly eroded away by a huge uncontrollable information distribution medium called the internet. How misstep after misstep lead to there current position.

    Mr. Murdoch kicked a lot of people's asses in business to get where he is today and there is a real story there. Unfortunately for him the world that he thrived in went digital, unless something drastically, I don't think news corp will ever reach the level of readership and influence it had previously enjoyed.

     

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  5.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:09am

    Re:

    So, the size of the man's fortune - largely made before the internet and the failures that are being criticised - should shield him from all criticism? We shouldn't comment on his modern-day failures because he has a large bank account? Sycophants like you are the reason that many a tycoon's fortune has been lost.

     

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  6.  
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    Ben in TX (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:18am

    Re:

    "...and he is still a million times richer than you will ever be. For all your internet skill, he still wipes his ass with more money than you will ever have. I would love to fail like him."

    You would love to fail like him, huh? Will you still feel that way in 20 years when his empire has crumbled around him and his failures have bankrupted his family? Would you love to be remembered as a dinosaur of a previous age who utterly failed to respond to the world changing around him? Would you love to be the 'riches to rags' failure story of the 21st century?

    All of these things will happen, and Rupert Murdoch will be viewed as a total, complete failure. History will not be kind to him, not would it be to you, if you were worth remembering.

     

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  7.  
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    DMNTD, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:19am

    charity?

    Looks like charity work to me. Just didn't want to help people who couldn't help themselves so he just chose to hand it over to small businesses so they could frolic in the green, right? /Sarc end

    It bothers me the way people handed over their hard work for a bit of money, not only that, but money that is collapsing on a daily bases.

     

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  8.  
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    Designerfx (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:21am

    Re:

    really?

    to have a history that your family will be embarrassed of is no way to go through life.

     

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  9.  
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    interval (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:23am

    Re:

    "and he is still a million times richer than you will ever be."

    Mark Zuckerberg is at least as rich, and he did it before hitting the age of thirty. If your going to measure the size of a man's wallet at least have the decency realize who's on the way up, and who's on the slow, steady decline down.

     

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  10.  
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    John Doe, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:25am

    Somebody remind me....

    Quick, somebody remind me what the definition of insanity is. Or better yet, someone tell Murdoch.

     

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  11.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:28am

    "The downfall in almost every case is about Murdoch focusing on using the internet as mainly a broadcast medium, rather than a communications medium."

    Running a biased news organization you can not allow community. Community is about communication, his news organization is about spoon feeding information and not allowing any discenting voices to prove the opinions expressed as fact as wrong.

     

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  12.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:33am

    After reading that pdf "The Daily" ipad app should be renamed "iFailure"

     

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  13.  
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    John Doe, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:47am

    Re:

    "Community is about communication, his news organization is about spoon feeding information and not allowing any discenting voices to prove the opinions expressed as fact as wrong."

    Aren't all news organizations like this?

     

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  14.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re:

    No, Mark Zuckerberg is potentially as rich. But until the company is either sold or goes public, he is rich but for the most part on paper. As the Dot bombers from the early 21st century how much rich really is.

    The way up, the way down... Old Rupe will die with enough money to buy everyone here and turn them into slaves. Calling him a failure makes me want to fail like him.

     

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  15.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 9:19am

    Re:

    he still wipes his ass with more money than you will ever have. I would love to fail like him.

    You could have said that about Hitler in 1943.

     

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  16.  
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    Miles (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 9:29am

    Murdoch can't blow through his money fast enough.

    If only he'd go bankrupt already, so FoxNews (and every single one of its "unbiased" news facilities) would shut down forever and give people who view this trash an attempt at re-wiring their brain's ability to think, rather than grumble.

    Dear Rupert (and all the sons), if you're *really* interested in just throwing your money away, I've about 10,000 ideas (costing $100 million each) which is sure to please and boost those magazine and newspaper circulars (outdated in the 80s...1880s).
    :)

     

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  17.  
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    tosk04 (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 9:38am

    Dow Jones?

    How did you miss the incredibly relevant buy out of Dow Jones? I think it is hard to call the WSJ a failure.

     

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  18.  
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    The eejit (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 9:51am

    Re: Dow Jones?

    Because the WSJ is more about broadcasting than communicating. See how that works?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:42am

    imeem is gone?! ...Shoot, it IS gone. It just redirects to MySpace now. Oh well.

     

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  20.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:54am

    Re: Re:

    "Aren't all news organizations like this?"

    Yes they are, and they just don't get the community piece. Which is why the 14-28 year olds are all getting their news from face book, news reader, and the like and ignoring newspapers and old school news.

    In two years the 14-28 year old crowd will be the 14-32 crowd, the age range is expanding faster than people age, and it is accelerating. So unless the old school news organizations adapt they will fail in the next 10 years.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 11:04am

    Re: Re:

    Oh look, another Nazi reference. Is that now the default TD slur?

     

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  22.  
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    rosspruden (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 11:13am

    Countless failure? Or multi-step success?

    It feels... well, petty to criticize Murdoch for all his failures because the road to success is often derived from constant experimentation and failure. Someone once asked a scientist how they handled the 400+ failures they'd had before they created a vaccine that finally worked. Their response? "I don't see them as 400+ failuresóI see it all as one success with 400+ steps."

    This is the right lens to look at failureóa lesson from which we can make a critical course correction. Obviously, new business ventures must always mitigate failure, but if it happens, a thorough post mortem is often more informative than an outrageous success story. The difference between Murdoch and the people behind Yipit is a low cost investment to determine if the idea will be a success or a failure. Murdoch lays a lot on the line before the venture is adequately judged in the marketplace. Yipit knew in three days if their business was viable with users. Murdoch has had the luxury to spend millions of dollars before he can determine failure, but few people have such a luxury.

    Having said that, there does seem to be a significant pattern to the kind of failures of Murdoch's endeavors, and Mike has pinpointed it. This is no longer a Read-Only world as Murdoch would like it to be, but a Read-Write world. Why did the powerhouse Myspace social network suddenly wither while newcomer Facebook explode?

    Let's look more closely at Myspace vs. Facebook. Myspace had ads galore. Myspace had horrendous programming glitches. Myspace was slow. Myspace let users add so much junk (big images, sound files, horrible page and text coloring) to their personal pages that it often became a illegible mish-mash.

    Facebook, though it has repeatedly invoked the wrath of its users for revamping its overall design too quickly, the end result is a cleaner and more stable platform. Ads are fewer and less egregious, but also more customized to the useróI have many times clicked on Facebook's ads because they offer something of interest to me; I never clicked once on any ostentatious Myspace ads.

    My decision to jump from Myspace to Facebook was not taken lightly: I had invested time in acquiring over 300 "friends" so I had no desire to see all that time as a sunk cost. But the Myspace platform had been offering less value to me as a user... and the Facebook platform has only been offering more value to me as a user. Myspace was trending downward, Facebook upward.

    So there is indeed a pattern to Murdoch's failure, as Mike suggests. Murdoch, a fine representative of the broadcast-only Old Guard, should swallow the pill and hand the reins over to his daughter who seems to have a more adaptive understanding of how social networks have introduced an irreversible interactive element to all media. Murdoch has had success from his previous ventures, but if he continues to ignore what the users now value (i.e., interactivity, quality web coding, targeted ads, sharabiility), we will continue to see his business ventures be outfoxed by faster and more insightful competitors like Mark Zuckerberg.

     

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  23.  
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    Richard (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 11:54am

    Re: Re: Re:


    The way up, the way down... Old Rupe will die with enough money to buy everyone here and turn them into slaves. Calling him a failure makes me want to fail like him.

    He might die like Robert Maxwell...

     

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  24.  
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    Killer_Tofu (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:13pm

    Makes sense now

    Now it makes better sense why at one point IGN and Photobucket went from cool to suck.


    ..

    And then from suck to blow.

    Never been back to use the sites since then though so oh well.

     

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  25.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:22pm

    Re: Countless failure? Or multi-step success?

    "So there is indeed a pattern to Murdoch's failure, as Mike suggests. Murdoch, a fine representative of the broadcast-only Old Guard, should swallow the pill and hand the reins over to his daughter who seems to have a more adaptive understanding of how social networks have introduced an irreversible interactive element to all media."

    Couple huge problems ...

    Bureaucracy at a corporation like news corp is very slow to change and will fight tooth and nail to prevent it.

    Web based organizations are highly efficient, news corp isn't, translating to the web would require the loss of 90% of the staff. A perfect example is Craiglist where less than 100 people handle the classified for an entire nation, where 10,000 (no citiation just a vague memory of the #) people used to be employed doing the same job.

    Generic papers and news organizations are being replaced by person specific and targeted news. News that interests the individual without all the crap that doesn't interest them. I have 400 RSS feeds I follow all on very specific topics.

    All in all it doesn't bode well for NewCorp. Its a long term short in my book.

     

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  26.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:29pm

    Re: ...and he is still a million times richer than you will ever be.

    Thatís like the story of the guy who left Vegas with a million dollars. Trouble is, he had ten million when he arrived.

     

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  27.  
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    Mr Big Content, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 12:30pm

    Rupert Murdoch Is A Brilliant Guy

    Itís just that the market doesnít appreciate him.

     

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  28.  
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    Xander C (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:06pm

    Re:

    Who wouldn't love to fail like he has?

    On the flip side of the coin though, I take solace in knowing that my heart isn't a black tar-ball devoid of a soul.

     

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  29.  
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    rosspruden (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 1:22pm

    Re: Re: Countless failure? Or multi-step success?

    Agree. The problem is systemic, and thus likely not solvable without severe overhauls. Probably why Elizabeth chose to remain an observer rather than be on their Board.

     

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  30.  
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    monkyyy, Dec 21st, 2010 @ 2:22pm

    Re:

    proof that capitalism hardly exists anymore, or else this man would be homeless

     

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  31.  
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    Chargone (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 2:24pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    default internet slur, actually.

    the unique part about the ones on techdirt is that they tend to make sense and only get used when the person they're responding to is being an idiot.

     

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  32.  
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    The Groove Tiger (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 10:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's a default TD slur? Why I can't ever find the cool buttons.

     

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  33.  
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    PaulT (profile), Dec 21st, 2010 @ 11:37pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm 35 and I can't remember the last time I bought a newspaper for any other reason than to get the free DVD/CD/book that's packaged with it on occasion. I probably wouldn't even bother with TV or radio news if they didn't make a handy thing to put on in the background while driving or doing housework. Even then, I wouldn't bother if Murdoch's brand of "news" was the only thing out there...

     

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  34.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 6:48am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I'm 35 and I can't remember the last time I bought a newspaper for any other reason than to get the free DVD/CD/book that's packaged with it on occasion."

    Whats really neat is the fact that the content industries (record labels, studios, newspapers, etc) state that the 14-28 years old crowd don't buy their stuff any more. The true story is that it is a set of curves where the majority in the 14-28 yr olds don't. Techdirt had a great chart showing the trend for cellphones.

    Personally I have bought 4 newspapers in the past 5 years. I used them as drop cloths when painting. The only part I read were the comics ...

     

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  35.  
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    Jon Erik Kingstad, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 7:10am

    Murdoch

    Thanks for the glimpse into the fail mechanism in this evil and corrupt organization. I look forward to the day when the corpse of News,Inc. is handed over to his heirs and they try to preserve or change his maggoty legacy.

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Re: Murdoch

    In the meantime, you will continue to enjoy the content and media produced by his company, all the while mouthing off about it to anyone who will listen.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
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    egbert, Dec 22nd, 2010 @ 2:03pm

    and the UK is going to let him buy the controlling stake of BSkyB. wont be long before that all goes down the tube as well.

     

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  38.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 8:09am

    Re: Re: Dow Jones?

    No, "more about broadcasting than communicating" is the analysis that is supposed to have been applied to the full sample, not the criterion for excluding data from the sample. See how that works?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jan 3rd, 2011 @ 9:53am

    In 10 years time the internet will be in 3 distinct segments
    1)Social interaction between people, groups and businesses
    2)A segment that you visit on purpose when you want to buy, be sold to or be 'pushed' by vendors and people who want to thrust stuff on you
    3)A segment which we can't yet classify because it hasn't emerged/been invented yet!
    Murdoch and his ilk will play and be profitable in segment2!

     

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  40.  
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    Pensiune Maramures, Jan 12th, 2011 @ 1:00am

    Murdoch and Internet

    It seems that this beautiful thing called Internet is out of his league :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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