Jon Friedman of the Wall Street Journal interviews Arianna Huffington, founder of the Huffington Post, who says the future of online journalism is social, linked, and free.
John Temple mentioned this wonderful story a couple of weeks ago on his blog, and I thought it was well worth sharing.
The town of Silverton, Colorado has saved its weekly newspaper in an innovative way. Read John’s post, or better yet watch the video above to get the story.
Talk about being a jack-of-all-trades! In the video, Mark Esper runs down the list of jobs he holds in the one-person operation. And that doesn’t even include running the Silverton Standard’s website.
News Corp chairman Rupert Murdoch may be keen to build paywalls around his websites, but Canada’s Globe & Mail is not looking to charge for access to online news.
“I think that horse has left the barn,” Globe publisher Phillip Crawley tells the Canadian Marketing Association.
The Globe does, however, see a good business in continuing to charge for online financial information carried by its Globe Investor Gold website.
Watch the 5-minute interview by clicking on the image above.
After two years of trying and failing to make a buck on its hyperlocal website LoudounExtra.com, the Washington Post will close the site next month.
As Rafat points out, the closure stands in interesting contrast to yesterday’s news that MSNBC is purchasing hyperlocal data service EveryBlock.
Residents of Loudoun County, a suburb of Washington DC, have also just lost their only local radio station.
From the breaking news battleground in New Zealand…
One of the country’s leading news websites, stuff.co.nz, drew a crowd in downtown Auckland last Thursday, causing pedestrians to look up, grab their mobile phone cameras and start clicking.
The publicity stunt (click the video above to watch) touts the site’s commitment to being first with breaking news, while looking very much like a breaking news story itself. And of course, it’s all captured on video, which stuff.co.nz is no doubt hoping becomes a viral hit. (That would be much more likely if the stuff people offered a video embed code.)
It reminds me of the days when radio stations battled for breaking news honours. Remember 20-20 News, 60-second updates and news hotlines with weekly payouts for the best tips? This stunt brings that sort of competitive tub-thumping to online news. All good fun, but will it change reader behaviour?
Stuff.co.nz is owned by Fairfax, which publishes several New Zealand newspapers and owns the trademe.co.nz auction website.
Advertising Age reports that stock car racing body Nascar has accredited 28 bloggers and non-mainstream websites to cover races this season.
It seems fewer newspaper sports writers have been turning up in the press boxes as a result of newspaper cutbacks, so Nascar decided it needed a “Citizen Journalist Media Corps” to keep the fans satisfied.
“The last 12 to 18 months, we’ve seen a drop in print media,” says Ramsey Poston, Nascar’s managing director-corporate communications, who oversees the Citizen Journalist project. “We’ve not only lost some of the biggest auto-racing writers in the business due to layoffs and cutbacks — people like Jim Pedley of The Kansas City Star, John Sturbin (of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram) and Grant James (of the St. Petersburg Times) — but we’ve lost the papers themselves. We used to get great coverage from the Rocky Mountain (Colo.) News, and now it doesn’t even exist. And other papers are simply cutting back coverage.
Nascar’s communications department reviewed some 30,000 websites before making the final selection, which includes RacinToday.com (pictured).
Joe Marchese at MediaPost explains why it’s so hard to get brand advertising onto websites at prices that will appeal to publishers.
…the issue with bringing branding online isn’t with the marketers and agencies, it is with the publisher side, maybe with some help from the marketers, of course ;-). Publishers can create “impressions” simply by adding ad units, but adding ad units don’t magically increase the amount of consumer attention in the world, or even on a given page. What publishers have that is of value to brand advertisers is consumer attention. In order to prove valuable to brand advertisers, publisher must find a way to share their audience’s limited attention with marketers in a FAIR exchange of value.
The question, of course, is how can online publishers increase advertising rates to make up for a reduction in impressions.
The marketer’s role in this is twofold: 1. Don’t force publishers’ hands by arguing both sides. Marketers can’t claim they value the opportunity to guarantee the delivery of a message to consumers, then when presented with such an opportunity, cite the lowest ad network CPM rate they have been quoted for negotiation purposes. 2. Build creative that is meant to be a contained brand experience/engagement. Engagements are not traffic generators. People don’t necessarily want to visit a brand’s website at the drop of a hat…
Marchese argues that publishers and ad networks need to do a better job of defining and delivering value for brand advertisers.
All of the Gawker Media sites have a new commenting system.
As explained on gawker.com, “we the editors are taking control back”.
As a site gets bigger, the comments tend to get busier — and sometimes more annoying. Our titles are no exception. Deadspin’s had to contend with a war between the daytime and nighttime users; Jezebel editors battle for control with a politically-correct mob; perceptions of Gawker are set by a small group of glib and bitchy commenters. All sites that are growing as rapidly as ours have something like this problem — and one that can’t be solved simply by banning the offenders or applying more strictly our approval process.
Editors will grant star status to their most-trusted commenters, whose comments will get greater prominence and who will, in turn, be able to grant prominence to others’ comments they like. (Stars were previously awarded based on how many followers a commenter had.)
Although moderators will continue to monitor the discussion, the stars will have their comments posted without pre-moderation, and will also be able to approve comments submitted by other users.
Commenters can also upload images and YouTube videos.
Pepsi is running full takeover ads on the new page, including the left and right gutters.
Media in Canada has a good rundown of the new design which, unfortunately, is not reflected in the rest of the site – at least not yet.
Another problem with the design: clicking away to a story, then back to “Home” often takes the reader to aol.com rather than aol.ca.
It’s fascinating to compare these two accounts of the sacking of washingtonpost.com White House Watch blogger Dan Froomkin:
- From the Washington City Paper, full of juicy quotes from Post insiders
- From the Washington Post’s ombudsman, who got stonewalled by his own colleagues.
Hat tip: Jay Rosen