Top-of-mind websites in New Zealand

New Zealand website awareness

In response to the question "Please type up to 5 domain names that you have seen or heard of recently." Source: Colmar Brunton. Base: Weighted results representative of New Zealand's online population (n=1014)

Ask a New Zealander to name a website domain name, and here’s what you get.

Trademe.co.nz, the country’s most-visited website, is the domain most often mentioned by Kiwis, followed by facebook.com, google.com, stuff.co.nz and nzherald.co.nz.

The information comes from the Colmar Brunton survey Internet Domain Names in New Zealand, commissioned by the New Zealand Domain Name Commission.

As such, it isn’t a fully random sample. Instead, the researchers chose half their respondents (n=508) to be people who own or manage a domain name, and the other half (n=506) to be those who do not own or manage a domain name.

Although the researchers do not comment on it in their summary, I’m guessing this over-represents domain owners/managers when compared with the population.

Nevertheless, the research does break out results for the two groups.

In the case of the chart above, the top 5 sites remain the same when only domain owners/managers are responding. For the non owner/managers, nzherald.co.nz drops to number six, being edged out by hotmail.com.

Among the other findings:

  • 15% of respondents didn’t know what a domain name was.
  • Most respondents felt there were already enough top-level domains available.
  • Two thirds of respondents would prefer to have a .nz domain for their website. (Or does this mean they would prefer to visit a site with a .nz domain? The wording of the research summary is ambiguous, so I am inferring a bit here.)
  • Domain owners/managers have higher acceptance of .com domains, but still prefer .nz
  • Slightly more than half of respondents liked the idea of having domains with no second level, as in mydomainname.nz. This is the system used in Canada and I suppose it might reduce confusion between .co.nz, .org.nz, .net.nz, etc. But I’d hate to contemplate another rush to stake out the new streamlined domains. Don’t we give the domain registrars enough money already?




News cafe connects journalists and readers

Tim Currie’s article at the Nieman Journalism Lab about the Winnipeg Free Press News Cafe almost makes me wish I were back in the ‘peg. (I moved there 3 times in the 1970s and 1980s. Love the place but, sorry, the winters are too much to bear.)

One of the many great things about Winnipeg is the Free Press, an independently owned newspaper that isn’t afraid to try new ideas.

As Currie describes, the paper’s News Cafe offers a place for the online news team to work, a downtown location for reporters to meet with sources, and a place where Winnipeggers can drop in and discuss issues.

It’s a return to the city core for the Free Press, which moved to the suburbs 20 years ago to gain space and reduce costs. Now, it has re-established a foothold in the heart of the city.

The News Cafe is much less imposing than the old building on Carlton Street (which also housed a radio station where I used to work). But I like the way it opens the Free Press to the public and enables a conversation about what’s important in the city.

I’ll bet it brings journalists and the general public closer together than the grand and imposing old newspaper building ever did.




Video: Saving the Silverton Standard

Saving the Silverton Standard - Click to watch video

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.

Charging for online news? ‘That horse has left the barn,’ says Globe & Mail

Phillip Crawley - Click to play video

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.

Washington Post closing hyperlocal site

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.

Rafat Ali has the story at PaidContent.org, while former LoudounExtra blogger Tammi Marcoullier posts a few thoughts on the site’s demise.

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.

Kiwi stunt promotes breaking news on the web

Click to watch video

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.

Gawker tightens control over comments

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.

The Gawker sites are: gawker.com, deadspin, kotaku, jezebel, io9.com, jalopnik, gizmodo and lifehacker.