Metaphors: stores who hate customers, customers who don’t buy and a bunch of clichés

A headline shop
Danny Sullivan’s If Newspapers Were Stores, Would Visitors Be “Worthless” Then?

At the store, the news exec owner greets visitors by asking them what the hell they want. Perplexed, they visitors say they heard about these stories and wanted to know more. The exec shouts at them. “Get the hell out of my store, you freeloader! This is for members-only. We don’t need riff-raff like you in here.”

Jerks who look but don’t buy
Steve Yelvington’s Lookie Lou isn’t really a customer

To use the storefront analogy: When I have people in line to buy big-ticket merchandise, I’m not going to shut down the cash register line so I can provide personal assistance to the guy who’s agonizing over whether to buy a 50-cent postcard.

And the “Lookie Lous” who are shopping but not buying? So long as they don’t get in the way of the real customers, or start knocking the china off the shelves, they’re not really a problem. But I’m not going to go out of my way to serve them on the off chance they might accidentally drop a quarter on the floor.

Jerks who eat but don’t drink
Steve Yelvington’s Lookie Lou isn’t really a customer

A more appropriate analogy — and one more easily understood by journalists — might be that of a bar. If you’re sitting in a bar warming a seat but not consuming anything, are you a customer? If you’re eating the free peanuts but not drinking, are you a customer? Not all visitors are customers.

Every cliché under the sun
Arianna Huffington’s Journalism 2009: Desperate Metaphors, Desperate Revenue Models, And The Desperate Need For Better Journalism

They were asleep at the wheel, missed the writing on the wall, let the train leave the station, let the ship sail — pick your metaphor — and quickly found themselves on the wrong side of the disruptive innovation the Internet and new media represent