I heard about this on Wednesday – anyone told the Australian Financial Review yet? (Here are my previous pieces on AFR here and here).

On Tuesday at midnight this week the New York Times released its archives since 1987 from behind the previous for-pay wall that kept those archives from being searched. Already, it is possible to find articles in those archives through Google and other search engines. As an exercise in how search engines in the open Internet cut through the chaos of billions of Web pages to find what you ask them for, pick a topic that interest you, say brain science and search for it on Google with phrase like this: New York Times brain science. Articles from past months and years will now be returned for you. These will be articles that could not be found that way until now. They are a fabulous new global resource for open study and discourse. (From Smart Mobs: Search Engines Pounce on NYT)

The internet traffic that these types of searches create, and drive to the New York Times, is going to be massive. Who was saying that 15% of eyeball attention has moved online but only 3% of that is monetised? Instead of the standard classifieds model (pay for a print ad, and we will throw in an online one for free) we will start to see the reverse, soon. Yes, even though it makes no sense because print ads cost much more to make and distribute, they are still an excellent way of creating the offline interest to drive consumers to online sites. Some of my favourite, large online communities have vast quantities of offline material. Even NeoPets, with their 70-odd million little kiddies had a magazine, last time I looked.

Have you ever thought about how newspapers and magazines double dip? We pay for a newspaper that is full of ads that companies have already paid for. It’s called double-dip because if we weren’t reading it (and paying for it) companies wouldn’t advertise in it (and pay for those ads). Have a look at Vogue sometime. Even the articles read like ads… I”m not saying it’s a bad thing, but let’s not kid ourselves that a whole industry turns on what magazines feed out to consumers. This blog is free of ads by the way. 🙂 Except for a little Google one on the right hand side that I keep more for research purposes.

I’ve set up an Amazon Affiliate ad program on my almost-revamped world.com.au site. Not because I want the revenue, but because I’m too lazy to put together a book list and link it to “further information” sites, and Amazon is supposed to deliver links to world.com.au for books on online communities and social media. A useful tool for readers that also happens to be advertising? Which I guess is what Google try to do too. Only… my Amazon block, last time I looked, had Harry Potter at the top. Not sure what he has to do with social networks. If anyone knows of a cheat sheet on how to set up the Amazon strip to make sure you get the right books, please let me know? Muchas Gracias. I admit, some days I just find it plain hard to be a citizen journalist, citizen editor and citizen advertising manager all rolled into one. And the pay is lousy.

EDIT: I left this post, opened email and had a message from Amazon about their new widgets. How spooky is that? Does anyone else feel that global un/conscious stuff is becoming more apparent as the wisdom of the crowds kicks in? As in, you are thinking about something and then find out 10 of your fave bloggers just blogged about it…?