Thursday, 6 December 2007

Marriage of convenience

Yahoo! India has launched a new Hindi news and current affairs site with the publishers of India's most-read newspaper and news site.

The deal with Jagran Group, whose Dainik Jagran news site accounts for 80 per cent of India's online audience, will combine news and current affairs content from the media group with Yahoo!'s messenger, mail and search features on the rebranded Jagran Yahoo! India site.

All features on the site will be offered in seven Indian languages. Yahoo! will manage the advertising sales and ad-serving for the site, but the revenue generated will be shared between Jagran and Yahoo! India.

I can smell in 2008 more such marriages of convenience will take place. It’s a win-win for both parties with an eye on revenue, only revenue. After all, the days of branding and exclusivity are extinct now.

Saturday, 1 December 2007

How a newspaper measures success: one Little League tournament at a time

Someone asked me at the Beyond conference if I could point to a recent success story from our multimedia publishing strategy. One that i forgot to mention had to do with some very poignant videos a reporter shot of the grieving parents of some of the six cheerleaders killed at the beginning of last summer in Fairport, NY. That's some of the best, most sensitively done and touching news video I think I've ever seen, bar none. But, a more recent example came across the transom today from our Canton, OH paper, and I just thought I'd take a second to share it with you. Jeff Gauger, Executive Editor of The Repository/ writes:

"We’ve got the state high school football championships here in Canton today and tomorrow. We’re lucky to have a local team playing for a state title.

At mid-day today, we got word that fans of the local team were already lining up at the stadium for a 7 p.m. game. Off went reporter Joseph Gartrell with a point-and-shoot camera and notebook. Joe shot video and a couple stills, and he collected string for a short story. Then he scooted back to the office.

Assistant City Editor Veronica Van Dress edited Joe’s video in Imovie at her desk. She threw in two of Joe’s still photos. Her time to edit: 20 minutes. We published a story, photos and video at 4:07 p.m., about three hours after Joe had hit the scene.

The video shows a crazy fan’s emotion more effectively than any text quotation could. And at 42 seconds, it’s the perfect length.

Anyway, not top-end multimedia. But a victory in the daily scrum to master multimedia and blend it into our work flow."

Here's the video.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

FT's new Podcast Player

The Financial Times Digital Business has its podcast since November 28. The first edition has a 'funny' commentary from Nicholas Carr on the contrast between formal business software applications and informal social networks like Facebook and MySpace. "It seems increasingly clear to me that the social networking phenomenon will, in some yet-to-be-determined form, invade corporations. If you scratch the surface of any business, you’ll find two very different organizations. There’s the formal organization - the one that can be represented by the boxes of an org chart. And then there’s the informal organization, the one shaped by the day-to-day interactions of employees – conversations in hallways or in airport lounges, exchanges of messages through email and voicemail, glances and whispers in meetings.The formal organization is important, if only because it tends to determine how much one gets paid. But it’s nowhere near as important as the informal organization. It’s the informal one that governs the real flow of information and influence in a company, that defines who’s in the loop and who’s not, what’s important and what can safely be ignored...That brings me to MySpace, Facebook, Bebo and the various other social networks that have become so popular on the Web. In stark contrast to corporate IT systems, social networks shape themselves to their users rather than forcing the users to adapt to preset specifications. Given their benefits, I think that social networks will inevitably be adapted to corporate use. Of course, that’s not going to be easy. And the implications for corporate politics will be, to say the least, interesting"

Thursday, 22 November 2007

Amazon's Kindle sold out ...

I just read that the e-reader from Amazon is already sold out. Either people really love the device and the idea of paying 399 dollars plus 9.99 dollars each book, or they didn't have many available in the first place.

Update: There are some interesting viewpoints in the comments on Dan Kennedy's article.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

Amazon's Kindle in the focus

As most of you will know, Amazon has launched its e-reader device "Kindle" on Monday, which gives you the opportunity to directly download books, subscribe to newspapers, magazines and even blogs, without the need of a hotspot as it uses the high-speed data network EVDO. Newsweek took the opportunity to publish an article on
The Future of Reading, which is worth reading, just like the comments on the article and the device itself are. The question is: Would you buy this device for 399 USD? Wouldn't a subscription model (device for free with a 2-year subscription to a newspaper or maybe 4 books a month) be more attractive to potential customers?

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Every fifth German reads news online

A research study conducted by the German association for telecommunications and new media called Bitkom, has revealed that 21 percent of the Germans are reading news online. The study further showed that until the end of 2007 the 20 most visited news web portals will record about 4 billion hits. This is an increase of 25 percent compared to the previous year (see left side of graphic). Amongst these 20 news portals are also regional newspaper websites that were so strong in their region that they made it into Germany's top ten - good news for newspaper publishers.

Tuesday, 13 November 2007

The perfect website

Ifra's magazine, "newspaper techniques," will be presenting an article in its next edition about the "perfect website," with tips and services that any good website should have already, and a few case studies from newspapers that have also managed in their own way to present a perfect site to their audiences and community, much like those at Beyond the Printed Word. The question we have presented to many experts and that we now make to you is: What should a news site have, present or offer without a doubt? What is a must to reach this 'perfection' on the Internet?