20 ways to improve your news site

At WAN, the speaker put up a slide of “20 ways to improve your newspaper’s website”. Some of them are pretty obvious, but here they are none-the-less (fill in the gaps). Focus on local content and news Stress immediacy User…

Amatomu sending blogosphere linklove

So thankfully I was wrong about the amount of linklove Amatomu was sending to the blogosphere. In a previous post I estimated Amatomu would send through around 50 000 clicks to the SA blogosphere in the month. Actually the site…

'Beware the power of social media'

This popped into my inbox this afternoon. I know Jovan Regasek well and have big respect for the man, ITWeb and the other publications his company puts out. For those of you wondering, ITWeb survived full on through the dot.bomb…

Amatomu sending SA blogosphere linklove

We checked the database today and it shows that Amatomu.com has, at the time of writing this (wed 04/11 2pm), sent 10 235 clickthroughs in the last six days through to the South African blogosphere. This is since April 5…

Linklove: what big media can learn from bloggers

The fundamental art of linking is something online media could learn from the blogosphere….

Without linking there wouldn’t be an internet. It’s the web of links that leads a user from website-to-website that essentially creates the thing we know as the world wide web. Many commercial online media publishers hate linking from their websites to the “outside”, especially when there’s a competitor involved. It’s a protective, “walled garden” mentality, prevalent in many traditional media businesses, which doesn’t translate particularly well on the wild world wide web. It’s pretty silly, because linking is the whole point of the web.

This where the blogosphere could teach online publishers a thing or two…. read on

Citizen Journalism and the M&G Online

Vinnie beat me to blogging this post (just what does he do all day???). So I’m going to link to his blog about it. We had an excellent citizen journalism submission which we also flagged on the M&G Online homepage…

Rosebank police station: a depressing SA reality

I usually avoid writing these kinds of posts… but felt I had to do so… The Rosebank Police Station, made me even more depressed about crime in South Africa. I went there on Friday to get an affadvit. As I walked in, a bad odour hit me and stayed with me for the rest of my short visit. The walls in the reception area were generally chipped, grimy and dirty. The place was gloomy and badly lit. The welcome carpet was tatty and had some of the letters of the “Welcome” ripped out. Broken office furniture lay in a heap to one side. I could see one police officer behind the desk, but mostly I saw overweight people without uniforms or name tags milling around behind the desk. Even though it was early morning, I think they had bored expressions on their faces — no hint of pride or alertness or professionalism that you’d expect from the police service….

Decline of the homepage

Website consumption patterns are changing. Remember when the main way to surf a website was via its homepage? Well, that was the old days. The rise of super-fast, super-efficient search engines mean that users are increasingly accessing websites via deep links that bypass their homepages directly to a website’s articles. It’s essentially a backdoor into your website. Search engines aren’t the only ones to blame. Bloggers generally link directly to the articles they are writing about, ignoring homepages. RSS feeds, which allow users to subscribe directly to article feeds, are also responsible for the decline of the homepage. So what does this mean? Paradoxically it is both a problem and an opportunity for publishers.

Online ‘permanence’

Imagine a world where you could actively sell advertising on archived content. Well, it’s here. Content on a website should never die. Never, ever. To delete content on a website is a waste. Online articles and their links should be permanent. In the world of the dead tree, articles have limited lifespans. You read your paper, then it’s used to wrap fish and chips, is thrown in the rubbish bin, or lives a lonely life of obscurity in some dusty library archive….

Why can’t we all just get along?

The media world is undergoing profound change. We know the great catalyst for these changes has been the onward march of the digital age and the arrival of the internet.

This changing mediascape is often incorrectly portrayed as a battlefield, with two main skirmishes on the go. In the first “battle”, the soldiers have grown weary or just rather bored. This battle involves traditional media (newspapers, radio, TV) versus online media. The second “battle” is a much more interesting to look at. This skirmish involves mainstream media (which in this instance includes online publishers as they mostly practise traditional journalism) versus citizen media, which includes bloggers, vloggers and podcasters….

We Media

Journalism on the internet is becoming a “conversation” rather than a “sermon”. Mainstream media should take note. What’s going on with the internet these days? About five years ago the chaotic internet was a relatively calm and simple place. I’d…

Court judgement pasted on Google.be homepage

Here’s something I bet you’ve never seen before. See this rather long court judgement from a Belgian court pasted on Google’s normally-minimalist and clean site (Google Belgium). It’s all a bit absurd. A rather grotty-looking Belgian newspaper website Grenz Echo…

Bloggers show online publishers how to use the net

It’s no surprise that the blogosphere has grown so big, so quickly. Not only is it easier and cheaper to publish than ever before via blogs, but people have found it a good outlet for their ideas and writings. The key success…

Highway Africa, a crit from afar

It’s the first time in a long time that I haven’t been at the Highway Africa conference but I watched the award ceremonies on SABC Africa lastnight. It’s brilliant that this part of the conference is being aired on TV. The set,…

Identity theft???

Got this mail today, via this blog:    On 8/28/06, matt < matt_buckland@hotmail.com> wrote: > > From……: matt > Email…..: matt_buckland@hotmail.com > Url…….: > > …………………………………………………. > Subject…: you stole my name > …………………………………………………. > > you are a gay…

Print vs Online: Interview with Marketing Mix

Just did this interview with Marketing Mix on the (yawn) print vs online debate…

What is your opinion on the general attitude of the newspaper industry towards the merging of online and print?

How far is SA behind (in general) when it comes to combining online and print?

What ‘cool’ things do you have on the M&G site that no one else does, and how are the ‘cool’ things working out – are people using RSS feeds etc, for example?

What are the problems/challenges facing publishers that actually want to embrace online?

Should SA publishers be worried about online? Is it a threat?

What is hampering the real growth of online at the moment?

How long do you think we have until online starts eating into circulation/ad revenue the way it has in the US and UK?

What are the next steps in terms of technology and integrating print and online that publishers need to embrace and use?

How can an online presence be using for success brand-building both for the newspaper itself as well as advertising clients?

Has online revenue started to make a positive impact on the overall bottom line?

Are clients and ad agencies geared for an online presence? If no, what needs to be done (by all parties) to ensure online ad revenue success?

What are the differences between having a print publication and an online site – ie what do publishers/journalists need to learn and understand about online in order to meet consumer expectations?

What is your opinion on citizen journalism and its part?

What do you do about premium news (subscribing mostly?) as most people won’t pay for the privilege esp as they can normally find the stories elsewhere on the internet? But how viable is free content?

Is there a threat yet to classifieds (print and online) from sites such as craigslist, and how do you combat this?

Answers over the page…..

On my way to New York

At the airport about to take off for our flight to New York. Am going to the US to participate in the Goldman Sachs Global Leaders Programme where I will be on a panel talking about new media and online…