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Online papers on consciousness - David Chalmers
The 72.8% of Mail Online's readers that come from outside the UK represent both a challenge and an opportunity - an advertising network with international sales could serve ads to those non-UK readers and therefore monetise the traffic. But, until then, all non-UK visitors are effectively a cost to the site. (Although being the UK's leading online newspaper site will, of course, attract advertisers - arguments about UK versus non-UK traffic will probably be left to geeks like me).
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With a heady mix of news, celebrity and controversy, - the umbrella site for the Daily Mail's titles - became the highest circulating UK newspaper online last week. But its rise is likely to throw up anomalies in the system of online newspaper traffic measurement - notably, that online newspapers are becoming "category plays", targeting sectors of the market, such as entertainment, news, video or business. The modern newspaper website is now a many-headed beast and can include everything from bingo games to almost full-blown TV reporting. To compare them with each other, like their offline equivalents, looks increasingly anachronistic.
I shopped at several online term paper stores to determine where best to spend your cheating dollar. After selecting papers on topics in history, psychology, and biology, I had each paper graded by one of my judges. These were: Slate writer David Greenberg, who teaches history at Columbia; my dad, who teaches psychology at the University of Rhode Island (sometimes smeared as the ASU of the East); and my girlfriend, who was a teaching assistant in biology at Duke (where she says cheating was quite common). So, which site wins for the best combination of price and paper quality? I compared free sites, sites that sell "pre-written papers," and a site that writes custom papers to your specifications. The figures are almost impossible to question: The vast majority, that's 77%, of those surveyed said their price limit for paying for online newspapers was zero (East coasters were more definite about this with an 81% figure.) That's terrible news for those in the industry who think that future revenues lie in bricking up their news content behind a pay wall. And it gets worse: The 23% segment who are prepared to pay anything at all is dominated by 19% in the "$1 to $10" category—a pitiful sum as far as newspaper moguls would be concerned. Perhaps most damning is the statistic revealed elsewhere in the survey that 10% of those questioned never read a newspaper at all, either physically or online.