AP Ending Its "asap" Service in October

I missed this on Friday. Perhaps you did too: AP Ending Its "asap" Service in October

I came across it via a post by Juan Antonio Giner at What's Next: Innovations in Newspapers. He and I are of a like mind:

A good service, but in our Young Readers Global Report for the World Association of Newspapers (WAN), one of our main recommendations was not to develop “ghetto-sections” for young readers.

They hate this kind of “Guantanamo mentality.”

Some have heard me espouse this before, but it is the many unsuccessful efforts to reach young readers around the industry that leads me to consistently eschew youth portals that we hope to draw audience to, and instead push for distributing content to the audience in a format that makes sense for the medium the audience is already traversing. Two years ago, that was MySpace. Now it's that and a myriad of other sites and platforms, not the least of which is mobile devices.

I also firmly believe this is the only means by which we succeed with personalization, too, because it is not only a strategy by which we reach younger readers, but also how we get at the 91 percent of the online audience that is not coming to us now.

On a more Ottaway-centric note, I had been pushing the AP to allow us to use pieces of asap a la carte, in particular the "Worklife" column (sample), which would be ideal for our employment sections. Thus far, the answer has been no. "Must order all of ASAP to get that feature," they say.

I think there's a light at the end of that tunnel, according to the E&P story: "Elements of the service will be incorporated into the regular AP report."

Remains to be seen whether AP will unbundle features and take a more a la carte approach. Hank Ackerman, our retiring corporate liaison who recently doubled as acting bureau chief in Albany, has indicated that approach is under consideration. Stay tuned....

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