Seamless: Rafat Ali (whose name I will never again misspell) and I have shared observations on the topic of KeepMedia since its launch (his and mine)…perhaps because it is an overlapping topic between his focus (“the economics of online content”) and mine (magazines and custom media, in print and online). (Another observer of KeepMedia whose opinion I respect greatly is Gary Price, the library and online research guru who is always quick to remind folks that the content one pays for via KeepMedia could be available free online if you have a library card). So, it came as no surprise to me that Rafat explains something that I have observed, but not considered what was taking place: a co-marketing partnership between KeepMedia and Topix.net. I’ll admit that I have noticed the promotion in the past few days and because of how camouflaged strategically displayed the KeepMedia archival search results are presented on the Topix.net page I typically visit, I’ve even clicked through to some stories not realizing it was, in effect, a contextual ad.
Here’s a quote from Rafat’s must-view-daily PaidContent.org:
In a way that shows how premium content providers will try using news search engines, KeepMedia has tied up with Topix.net on a cross-marketing promotion…
Visitors to Topix.net who search or browse through the site will be able to dive deeper into premium and archival content via content from KeepMedia….
The simple pitch for consumer: get the latest news and if you want archives or deeper analysis from other sources, get it through KeepMedia…What I am not so sure about is how the consumers will ultimately react to this kind of integration: would it make sense to keep the free and premium news sources separate, or integrate them and just mark them clearly? I have a feeling it will evolve into the latter option.