Monthly Archives: April 2006

New York Times online launches new design

[Keyword: ]. You can read a review of sorts at Poynter, which seems particularly happy with the ‘simplicity’ of the design (it doesn’t seem to simple to me, but then perhaps I’m used to British newspaper websites like The Guardian), but more importantly gives some useful links at the end to comments from the design director, among other things.

Elle Girl US closes in print but stays online

[Keyword: ]. It used to be the case that when job cuts were to be made, website staff went first. Is it now the other way around? Possibly. Reflecting “the growing popularity of digital platforms among children and teenagers” (reports Journalism.co.uk), “US teen title Elle Girl is closing its print magazine after five years but continuing to publish online and to mobile subscribers.”

Meanwhile, in a curious coincidence, the latest Guardian Jobs features the following two vacancies in the UK:

Web Editor- Sugar

You’ll be an online journalist with a minimum of three years’ experience editing commercial, fast-changing websites – ideally with some knowledge of the fast-paced teen and youth markets.Location: West London http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/browse/media/creative/vacancy-1122394-1.html?jobalert

Web Editor – Red and Psychologies

We are developing the Red brand online and require an experienced Web Editor to drive this development and create a future digital strategy for Red.Location: West London http://jobs.guardian.co.uk/browse/media/new-media/vacancy-1122394-2.html?jobalert

10 sites for video sharing

[Keyword: ]. Thanks to Mindy McAdams for this link to a review of 10 sites for video sharing – some of which are well-known, others less so. For example,

“If you just want to get a video clip online and share it with friends via email or on your own blog, Vimeo wins for its speed, ease-of-use, and simple playback functions. It also lets users download the original file, and features some light community features (note that a new version is launching very soon). One of the few sites I used that I never had a problem with. Alternate choice: Videoegg.”

Mobile group in talks to create TV link for citizen journalists

[Keyword: ]. That’s the headline in the Media Guardian, which reports that the mobile phone network 3 is pursuing talks with ITN and Sky News “about feeding clips produced by its customers on to television news bulletins”. It sounds like the company may have already discovered a goldmine with its service allowing customers to send in clips which can be downloaded and watched by other subscribers (a turnover in the millions has been quoted in New Media Age), so this comes as a logical extension of that business.

Interestingly, 3 UK’s chief executive Bob Fuller is quoted as saying “The onus will be on the people, such as TV companies, publishing the content to check their sources”. The article goes on:

“An ITN spokeswoman, who confirmed that talks were under way with 3, said
they already ran background verification checks of mobile phone clips sent in
for use in bulletins. “Editorially, we want to be 100% certain that anything we
put out, whether on terrestrial TV or mobile phones, is bona fide,” she said.

“ITN already has extensive experience of packaging content for use on mobile
phones, so taking mobile-generated content and packaging it for use on bulletins
plays to its strengths. “We are looking at developing ways of capturing people’s
images and how we can use them better – using our expertise to make sure they
are produced and packaged properly,” said the spokeswoman.”

Two conferences examine state of online journalism

[Keyword: ]. There’s plenty to read at The University of Texas’s annual International Symposium on Online Journalism website, which has pages upon pages summing up the various sessions. (See also Technorati – thanks to OJR)

Less well-stocked is the site for the Blogging and Online Journalism: New Media, New Challenges, New Ethics conference at Ohio University, but still worth checking out.

Gillmor’s .org to examine how news companies involve the audience

[Keyword: , ]. Steve Outing is reporting on a note on Dan Gillmor’s new Center for Citizen Media blog “announcing that the organization is about to begin some research that will closely examine what traditional media organizations are doing — “beyond staff-created blogs and podcasts” — to directly involve the audience in the journalism process. Gillmor says he’ll post more details of the research next week.” Watch this space.

Telegraph online: do we put too many stories on the homepage?

[Keyword: ]. So reports Journalism.co.uk:

“Writing on the Telegraph’s Upload news blog, Shane Richmond notes the trend for a wider design, reflecting the popularity of new, wider monitors.

“He also notes NYTimes.com’s increased multimedia content, its new list of most popular stories and personalisation – a key element of the next generation of the ‘Web 2.0’ era.

“Mr Richmond says that news sites have a tendency to crowd their front pages with too many stories.

“Is all this counter-productive? Can readers take in all those articles? It’s a problem for the triumvirate of design, editorial and advertising to fight over,” he writes.

“A print edition relies on two or three great stories on the front because the editor knows that once a reader has bought a newspaper, they tend to settle down and give the rest a good read. That’s not what happens with websites, where typical visits are measured in minutes. The response from web designers has been to pack as much on as possible in the hope of luring people deeper into the site. Perhaps a re-think is necessary.””

Online publishers facing skills shortage

[Keyword: ]. The Association of Online Publishers continues to highlight the skills shortage in online publishing, according to Press Gazette – heartening news for those who can claim “I’m an online journalist”, or even “I know how online journalism works”. Sadly, the online news report doesn’t even link to the AOP website or the original press release (also here), showing just how much even basic online journalism skills are needed in the industry.

Internet video: 10 years in the making of a “sudden” phenomenon

[Keyword: ]. Ben Compaine does some crystal ball-gazing and predicts “This year may be the year that online video is recognized as a real business”…

“What’s some of the evidence? First the new-guy players:

— YouTube, one of the latest “new kids, rocketed from 3 million video streams per
day to 25 million from Jan. 1 to Feb 28.

— Apple’s iTunes is reporting downloads at the rate of about 3 million per month. Some are free, some are paid for.

NarrowStep, a company in the U.K. that provides technology and support for specialized Webcasts, says it is adding two to three new channels per week. Unlike the mostly amateur clips uploaded to YouTube and similar, NarrowStep is being used to create “slivercast” channels that are intended to be businesses. One client, Sail.tv, says it attracted 70,000 viewers in its first month. (payment required for
access)

— The Roo Group hosts or consults for 100 Internetcast TV sites which show 40
million videos a month
. One client is YuksTV, which claims as many as many as 200,000 visitors in a month.

— One of the “old-times” among the new players is Atomfilms, a home for budding
film-makers.

— Then there is Google, big and wealthy but still a new player in video. Google provides access to everything from archived NBAAll-Star games for $3.95 to “Twilight Zone” classics for $1.99 to many free – and often worth as much— classic clips such as the 49 second “Benito scooping up after his dog.”

— Last year the site of Major League Baseball, MLB.com, generated $68 million in subscriptions from viewers of 2,400 baseball games.

The traditional media companies have gotten the message:

— The uber-Establishment Time-Warner’s CNN has been flogging Pipeline, a service that combines real time CNN feed with access to its video archive. It has the confidence to seek $25 annually—less than a subscription to Time.

— CBS offered the NCAA’s March Madness basketball games on an advertiser-supported basis and had 5 million takers. Much of the pay-for material on Google Video is both current (e.g., “Survivor”) and historical (e.g., “Brady Bunch”) from
CBS.

— The prospects of a new revenue stream have driven Disney, which owns ABC, to agree with NBC Universal to provide “Scrubs”, which the former produces and the latter broadcasts, for sale on Apples iTunes. The significance of this is that it is the first time rival broadcasters have “joined together in a digital download deal.””