December 19, 2019

Christmas thoughts on German Retail Blog

Nietzsche (by Maria Breda_shutterstock); this illustration has been reversed for layout reasons
Maria Breda_shutterstock
Nietzsche, che dice?
Nietzsche considered it an infallible sign of decadence when art makes art its subject. So this strange German philosopher would probably not approve of any blog talking about itself, albeit for the first time since its creation ten years ago.

Although praise of one's employers always sounds hoaky, it is to their credit that this blog has never been subjected to rigorous cost analysis. Clearly, our publishers see it as one of many facets within the manufactory of LZnet, the online arm of our weekly B2B newspaper, Lebensmittel Zeitung.

The reverse side of this generosity of spirit is the non-existence of any budget (importunate SEO advisers please take note).

But employees are not obliged to whinge and whine when corporate cost controllers do not choose to wine and dine. Instead even German journalists, who must keep their hands unsullied by filthy lucre as per strict local press law, may take up the search for a payment model as a challenge worthy of the online entrepreneur.

Since its inception this blog has frequently been asked to portray interesting companies or those who deem themselves so. It is difficult to convince these enquirers that the whole purpose of German Retail Blog is to cover stories which have already been published in German on the illustrious pages of Lebensmittel Zeitung.

But perhaps they are right and the transformation of German Retail Blog into a platform for the portrayal of new and exciting companies could create a successful payment model? After all, why hammer for hours on a keyboard and fret over content quality for a few thousand clicks every week, when a single tweet by Kim Kardashian about varnishing her fingernails would gain hundreds of millions?

Santa Klaus on electric scooter (caricature: Oliver Sebel)
Oliver Sebel
Obviously one person with a thriving business model (caricature: Oliver Sebel)
By way of experiment the last post on this site featured German software start-up loadbee. Hopefully you liked it, and one supposes that loadbee were also happy to read it. But this company was chosen on its intrinsic merits and not for financial favour.

The problem is, of course, that paid editorial can never be free and objective. Those who cough up the cash quite rightly expect one to sing their song.

So, unless one of our business readers in 180-odd countries has a sparkling idea as to how to make money while preserving our editorial integrity, we must light a candle every day for the continued goodwill of our publishers...

A Merry Christmas and a free press to all our philosophic readers!

Podcast microphone (photo: Gerhard Seybert-Fotolia)
Gerhard Seybert-Fotolia

Podcast. Click arrow to listen to an audio version of the text:

Lebensmittel Zeitung with its online sisters (photo: LZ)
photo: LZ
Our German retail B2B newspaper, Lebensmittel Zeitung, in print & digital
Mike Dawson, international editor,
Lebensmittel Zeitung

German Retail Blog

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1 Comment (Write a comment)

  1. Tim
    Created 22 December, 2019 21:23 | Permanent link

    The ROI of blogging

    “Although praise of one's employers always sounds hoaky, it's to their credit that this blog has never been subjected to rigorous cost analysis.”

    The new media landscape needs/demands these channels so that your voice can be heard more widely. It only takes a single article, a single sentence to prompt a recourse to action by readers -- many of whom you will neither see nor hear from.

    And so to your management team, who might ask what is the ROI of German Retail Blog, the correct reply is “What is the ROI of not publishing it?”

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