More: Jay Rosen on about.com sale

Dave Winer suggested the money was paramount and enough with the details, but as someone who’s followed about.com since it was The Mining Company, this latest incarnation interests me–and makes NYU Professor Jay Rosen’s latest essay a compelling read.
Standouts:

  • “Times journalism, like the content of other Big Media firms, is created primarily for offline use, and then re-purposed on the Web. (snip)
    In acquiring About.com, the Times is buying into an advertising category it had been missing from; it’s also absorbing the Webbies who work there, the guides who are “writing for the Internet consumer… in a style that is focused on the medium,” meaning it takes advantage of what the Web can do.”
  • “… if you are not in the search engines to begin with, you’re leaving money for others to grab. The paid archive generates revenue too, of course. But more than the future of ads tied to search?”
  • “Right now there is little “search engine optimization” at the New York Times. What this means for the reporters and writers at the flagship of the American fleet: in the main, their work is lost to Google, lost to online forums and conversation, lost to the long tail where value is built up–in many ways lost to cultural memory.”

Jay also posts Jeff Jarvis‘ comment: “About is a platform and a company with the resources of The New York Times can expand and exploit that platform in many ways. I would not assume that About.com as you see it today is going to stay that way.”
The whole essay is here, and worth a full read if this interests you—and if you’re interested in newspapers’ efforts to adapt and thrive in a digital age, this should interest you.