Developing successful commercial strategies for web publications will be the key issue for internet publishers at the World Association of Newspapers' (WAN) conference in Prague this November.

WAN expects around 300 delegates from the international news industry, and will present sessions including how to develop pricing models for web advertising, successful mobile publishing and the potential of online auctions as an alternative to traditional classified ads.

"Newspapers have enormous amounts of content which they poured onto the internet - and then realised they were pouring away their most valuable asset without any revenue," said Larry Kilman, director of communications for WAN.

"Many are now finding out how to go backwards and get the content paid for. The conference will examine a lot of strategies that are working in different markets," he added.

Another hot conference topic will be the success of community sites such as Craigslist, which provides detailed listings. The Craigslist network covers most major cities in the US and is spreading to Canada, the UK, Ireland and Australia.

Craigslist recorded more than one billion page views for the month of August. The site carries thousands of free adverts covering housing, vehicles and personals as well as discussion groups and gig listings. Revenue is generated only by job adverts, which cost a maximum of $75. Craigslist's success has concerned many newspaper sites, which often rely on classified advertising.

Overall, the online news industry is benefiting from increased advertising revenues even though it still accounts for only a small percentage of the total advertising market.

"Ad revenues are booming, particularly in the US," Mr Kilman told dotJournalism.

"And though forecasts of web advertising vary widely, all of them are optimistic."

Conference speakers include Bill Murray, managing director for group business information strategy at Haymarket Publishing, Catherine Levene, vice president for strategy and business development at the New York Times online and Kalle Jungkvist, editor-in-chief and head of new media at Swedish news site Aftonbladet.

The World Electronic Publishing Conference will be held in Prague, Czech Republic, on 3 and 4 November at the Crowne Plaza Hotel. Delegates can register at a discounted rate before 1 October.

More news from dotJournalism:
Online lifeline for African journalists
When in Rome, money talks

See also:
Haymarket Publishing:
New York Times:

Free daily newsletter

If you like our news and feature articles, you can sign up to receive our free daily (Mon-Fri) email newsletter (mobile friendly).