The panel discussion I was on with Dean Betz of chron.com this past Saturday at the Wordcamp Houston conference held in the Houston Museum of Natural Science went quite well.
It was lead by Monica Danna aka Cosmopolitician and we discussed the line between online journalists and bloggers. Plus how the 2009 FTC Online Disclosure Law has affected the way bloggers do their thing.
Thanks for all of the great feedback in the event and afterwards on Twitter. It's even still coming days afterwards and I appreciate that.
What I am writing about here is what happened towards the end of the event. Having one of the top people at chron.com gave the audience (and me) great insight to chron.com's future.
Here are the things Dean answered from audience questions that I am now posting from memory:
- The Houston Chronicle has no plans to cut home paper delivery service. What you will probably see however is the paper's size and dimensions physically shrink.
- The paper side of the operation is continuing to publish new niche products.
- The idea of a pay wall is over. Newspapers were thinking about it, but realized like the rest of us, they just aren't going to work.
- However there will be a premium area on chron.com with special content.
- Chron.com is developing an iPad app. There will also be apps for other tablet types other than Apple.
- One of most important things in 2010 that chron.com has done is to put reader tweets on the front page of the site.
I am excited to see what comes next for the Houston newspaper and its website.
- Houston Chronicle editor Jeff Cohen talks future of paper
- Houston Chronicle takes over Texas...sort of
- Chronicle lets the 'citizens' do the sports writing