Monthly Archives: July 2005

Blogging for profit

[Keyword: ]. Poynter reports on Australian Darren Rowse who is making a tidy sum through advertising revenue on his 17 (count em) blogs. Here’s a quote:

“His blogs include Digital Camera Review, Camera Phone Review, and Laptop Review.

“Much of his income comes from Google’s AdSense — contextual ads placed on his blogs, in which Rowse shares some of the money. Things appear to be going well for Rowse, because he reports that in May, Google sent him a check for $14,436.45 — his best month ever. The bulk of that money came from three of his blogs.”

This is the third time I’ve covered this issue (Rowse’s ProBlogger site was quoted in May; Simon Waldman’s analysis on making money from blogs in February), so from now on I’ll be collating links on this article.

Murdoch puts his money where his mouth was

[Keyword: ]. It seems it wasn’t all just talk when Murdoch expressed the need for newspapers to wake up to the web – now he’s shelled out $580m on Intermix Media, “a US internet company with more than 30 entertainment and community sites.”

“Jewel in the crown of the $580m (£331m) deal is myspace.com, a two-year-old site which allows friends to share weblogs, photos, instant messages and music online. MySpace is one of the fastest-growing sites on the web, currently ranked fifth in terms of page views, and the cash deal is expected to more than double the number of unique users visiting News Corp site, especially the number of advertiser-friendly 16-34-year-olds.”.

[Source: MediaGuardian]

Blogging software

Keyword: . I admit it: when I chose Blogger, I was plumping for the easy option. I didn’t spend hours checking out all the different types of blogging systems out there. My choice was based on a few basic facts: that Blogger is probably the best-known free blogging system; that it was owned by Google and therefore should come up in its searches; and the BlogThis feature, which allows you to quickly post to your blog (providing it’s a Blogger-hosted article, which generally isn’t the case).

Thankfully the Online Journalism Review have not only come up with this article about the pros and cons of various software (and an explantion of the jargon), but also this comparison chart of what services each blog provider offers. Handy.

The Sun launches TV bulletins; Mirror Group expands

[Keyword: ]. New Media Age reports (14/7/05, p3) that The Sun has become the first UK national newspaper to launch an online video news service.

“The paper has expanded its Web site to include a TV-style breaking news offering that willbe updated four times each weekday with the latest high-profile stories.

“Content [will be supplied by] The Press Association, which will work to ensure that each bulletin is in keeping with The Sun’s news agenda.

“… the Sun is also launching a weekly online entertainment bulletin focusing on red carpet events and film premieres.”

Meanwhile, Mirror Group Newspapers is reported (NMA, 30/6/05) to be “planning to launch a range of Web sites and revamp[ing] its existing national titles over the next few months”

UPDATE (July 20 2005): Trinity Mirror acquires Smart Media Services, reports The Guardian, in a deal that seems reminiscent of football transfers: “£11.3m, with a further £5.3m being contingent on the site meeting earnings targets”.

TV news without a TV

[Keyword: ]. That’s the upshot of this CBS’s announcement, reported by Poynter, that it will begin to offer “breaking news, free broadband-quality video, and original reporting, commentary, and analysis directly to the fastest-growing segment of news consumers — those accessing news on the Internet”. What’s also interesting is the accompanying economic argument for using the internet rather than cable to distribute television.

Consortium to start releasing mobile-only internet addresses

[Keyword: ]. The Guardian reports that an 11-member consortium of mobile phone and internet companies* has been “given the right to give out .mobi addresses to businesses that want to provide internet content for mobile phones. The first sites with the address should start appearing early next year.”

A welcome move, especially as “Companies buying a .mobi address must adhere to a style guide which will ensure that the site can be viewed on a phone”. Presumably this will involve getting more sites to use XHTML and CSS (although I’m not sure why the consortium has to assign the names rather than Icann).

*Hutchison 3, the GSM Association, Ericsson, Microsoft, Nokia, Samsung, Syniverse Technologies, TIM, Telefónica Móviles, T-Mobile and Vodafone.

London bombings – the online response

[Keyword: ]. I was going to write an overview of online coverage of last week’s bombings, but Journalism.co.uk’s Jemima Kiss (who apparently shares my birthday) has already written one. There’s an interesting point on how registration becomes a real problem in these situations – given that news is supposed to be a public service, perhaps news organisations should decide to switch off registration when a big event like this happens.

What’s also interesting is how wikis and keyword-driven hosts such as Flickr have been used. Flickr in itself gives an interesting insight into how people react to the tragedy – from taking pictures of TV coverage, to images of the floral tributes, to tube tickets for the day in question.

UPDATE (July 13.05): Mark Glaser at the OJR also provides an overview of coverage, including tales of people vying to take cameraphone images of the dying.

Why ITN online is rubbish

[Keyword: ]. It’s all the BBC’s fault – according to ITN Chief executive Mark Wood, who, The Guardian reports, “today accused the BBC of attempting a new media land grab by rushing to launch mobile and broadband services before its new charter brings in tighter regulation.

Wood is quoted as saying:

“If you look at activity on the internet, bbc.co.uk is a fantastic service, but its budget is of a size that commercial competitors can only dream of. The effect has been to push out commercial competitors. That’s not good for innovation,” he said.

“We were forced out of that market [for online news]. We are now a market leader in providing content for video phones, but that could be wiped away [by the BBC],” Mr Wood said.

“The problem is that the BBC is able to channel large-scale resources into new activities in a way commercial operators are not. It’s a Rolls-Royce operation in terms of funding.”

Evening Standard axes online news staff

[Keyword: ]. The Guardian reports on staff being axed on the London Evening Standard website “amid fears that the online service is cannibalising sales of the newspaper”

“Associated New Media’s move comes after News International carried out a survey last year which indicated that 93,000 readers could “potentially” stop buying the paper if they could get most of it free online.

“The Sun has now reformatted its website, scaling back on some areas such its popular Page 3 site.”

Shortage of skilled staff in online publishing

[Keyword: ]. Another industry voice is talking about “unprecedented growth” in online journalism, as reported in Journalism.co.uk. To quote at length:

“Publishers must encourage journalists to make the leap to online as the industry braces itself for unprecedented growth, according to Bill Murray, managing director for information strategy at Haymarket.

“Speaking to dotJournalism about the shortage of skilled staff in online publishing, Mr Murray said journalists have been discouraged from making the transition because it has been seen as a risk, lacking the commercial support and investment of traditional media.

“”Most companies have been relatively conservative about their online activities. It’s no surprise that journalists have said ‘if my employer is not serious about online, that’s not where I want to put myself’,” said Mr Murray.

“”There is a big opportunity for journalists to further their careers in a way that was not possible even a year ago. Much more money has been invested into developing online presence.””