Scoop Update #5 – Scoop Metamorphosis Begins

Published: Wed 5 Sep 2001 12:06 AM
In This Edition: Mediocrity Triumphs Over Excellence On The NZ Web – Vote For Scoop In The NZ Net Awards - Angels Still Required
This is the fifth in a series of occasional newsletters to subscribers to the My Scoop community.
Scoop Update #5
Dear My Scoop Subscribers,
Mediocrity Triumphs Over Excellence On The NZ Web
To put a positive spin on things, Scoop is “beginning a new phase”. But in reality it would probably be fair to say that we have become another casualty of the tech wreck.
And in the circumstances it would be wrong to assert that what is happening to Scoop is other than a huge disappointment to its creators, staff and supporters.
Unfortunately it appears that those who benefit most from our services are not prepared to pay for them. Some people are and to them we say thankyou most sincerely. But the biggest beneficiaries of our services are sadly not among those who have provided support, and what has been received is not enough.
The NZ Parliament political parties which have benefited hugely from the Scoop Team’s services for free for more than five years (and who routinely have read around 7000 pages a month on the site) appear to be resolutely opposed to even acknowledging the service we provide, let alone consider paying for it.
While we have managed to acquire some paying subscribers other organisations – whom we also thank for their support – others who ought to know better such as Comalco prefer to sign up for a series of free trials under new email addresses to actually paying for anything.
Meanwhile the online advertising market is as dead as a door knob.
We have innovated over and over again, launched rich media adverts (Nads - see our tech and culture wires) and invented new forms of email based content campaigns – but appear to have been banging our heads against a brick wall.
It is not that we cannot provide value for money. We can. We have an audience of 50,000 people a month (roughly 6000 a day) and with more than 1 million page impressions and emails of news a month currently being delivered are probably read a comparable amount to a newspaper such as The Independent.
Unfortunately while they claim to be supporting the new media, the New Zealand advertising agency community are in fact neglecting it (Have a look at Stuff and the NZ Herald). It is too hard, too complex and too much effort for them it seems.
We at Scoop BELIEVE we deserve the support of those advertisers.
We are the living embodiment of the values advertising executives at such lumimous organisations as Saatchi and Saatchi are trying to attach to Steinlager and Xtra. But in the dog eat dog world of the internet content and advertising that too appears to count for nought.
We are a the embodiment of the idea of a No. 8 wire outfit operating on a whole lot of heart out of a suburban shed, and taking on the world with excellence. We are the people that Xtra is referring to in its current Kiwi innovator series of adverts. We have made a difference, both to online media and to the political process.
However the reality of the online content industry is that Xtra operates like a big hulking bullying monopoly. If you search on Scoop for news about Xtra or Telecom you will find plenty. If you search on Xtra on the other hand, Scoop doesn’t even exist - and never has.
Scoop has been acknowledged by the IT industry for excellence in the ComputerWorld excellence awards, and now in the NZ Internet awards (see below…) but that too would appear to count for nothing commercially.
The sad truth is that while the government searches for its Knowledge Wave spending millions on venture capital, we who have been riding it for years, and who are perhaps the best media through which the wave can find its expression, are shut out of the club. Treasury staff read 5000 pages of Scoop material a month, but are they willing to pay for it? No.
However while we are sad, we are not giving up altogether.
Scoop is not dying. It is changing.
So let the metamorphosis begin. The objective is to find a new low cost format which will enable the best parts of Scoop to continue to provide the benefits it does without requiring its principals to work themselves to the bones for no compensation.
From today we start the process of re-evaluating what services Scoop will provide.
We want your feedback on the bits of Scoop you would like most to maintain. And we want volunteers to assist us.
Please send your feedback and offers of assistance to
For Scoop to continue to entertain, inform and protect a free flow of information we will need your help. For a start we will be asking political parties and organisations contributing press releases to start publishing their own material.
All expressions of willingness to be engaged in that task will be greatly appreciated.
Later today we will file an advisory on what the timetable and plan for the Scoop metamorphosis is to be.
Meanwhile we would appreciate it if you could read the note below and vote for Scoop in the NZ Internet awards.
Vote For Scoop In The NZ Internet Awards
As reported in the last Scoop Update New Zealand's version of the Webby awards are currently underway.
Finalists have now been announced with Scoop and its columnists featuring prominently as finalists.
Best Internet Coverage
The best regular (no less frequent than monthly) column, radio, TV show or other form of coverage dedicated to Internet themes.
Russell Brown, The Listener, "Computers"
Top Industry Personality
The individual that has the most (public) impact on the local Internet industry.
Russell Brown
Best On-line Writing
The writer or group that displays excellence in writing ability in producing material (anything from news stories to features to site copy) exclusively for the Internet.
CD Sludge @ Scoop
Best Content Site
The web site or other Internet project that has the most interesting and well-executed content, whether they are solely Internet based or have a dead tree or other media outlet as well.
Overall "Best Use" Award
The overall best use of the Internet for whatever purpose: art, entertainment, business, personal.
In each category there are four finalists and so we need your support. To see the full list of finalists see…
To vote for Scoop and/or Russell Brown in the NZ Internet awards all you need to is click here:
...the process is simple. Enter your email address (to prevent double voting) tick a few boxes, and hey presto. Scoop receives the recognition it deserves. You have till October 1 to cast your vote.
And in the event that Scoop (or Russell) is selected as a winner (* fingers crossed*) on October 12th, in any of the categories, you can rest assured that we will be writing back to tell you.
Angels Still Required
Notwithstanding our imminent metamorphosis (and in fact because of it) Scoop still requires the assistance of angelic, maniacal, munificent and sustaining subscribers.
For more information on how you can support Scoop’s mission to maintain at least a little bit of excellence on the NZ web see..
This can be viewed at.
best regards
Alastair Thompson
For the Scoop Team
Alastair Thompson
Scoop Publisher
Alastair Thompson is the co-founder of Scoop. He is of Scottish and Irish extraction and from Wellington, New Zealand. Alastair has 24 years experience in the media, at the Dominion, National Business Review, North & South magazine, Straight Furrow newspaper and online since 1997. He is the winner of several journalism awards for business and investigative work.
Contact Alastair Thompson
Media Contact:
Postal Address:
Physical Address:

Next in Comment

The Australian Defence Formula: Spend! Spend! Spend!
By: Binoy Kampmark
New Hospital Building Trumps ‘Yes Minister’ Hospital Without Patients
By: Ian Powell
Prices Are Still Rising - It's A Cost Of Living Crisis
By: Mike Treen
On When Racism Comes Disguised As Anti-racism
By: Gordon Campbell
Dunne's Weekly: Newshub And TVNZ Tip Of Media Iceberg
By: Peter Dunne
Austerity – For And Against
By: Harry Finch
View as: DESKTOP | MOBILE © Scoop Media