Tag Archives: news site

M&G ONLINE LAUNCH DIARY: Thou shalt semantically tag with Open Calais

Open Calais is a Thomson Reuters initiative that automatically generates rich semantic metadata from the content you submit to it. For the relaunch of the Mail & Guardian Online, Africa’s oldest news site, my colleague Vincent Maher ran our site’s historic database, dating back to 1994, through the service. What happened next was amazing. We […]

Launch diary of a news site: Why registration and dashboards are essential

Compare a site like Facebook to your average news site. Facebook knows almost everything about its users, because they are registered and profiled. It has a close, sophisticated relationship with its users that many sites can only dream about. Yes, this is the nature of a social networking site, but why should news sites miss […]

Navigation for your site: The case for new M&G Online

For the new Mail & Guardian Online that we are launching later next month we’ve had quite a few discussions and workshops about the navigation. It was a unanimous decision early on that we would opt for a top nav, discarding the left nav we currently have, which we feel is outdated and cluttered. We’ve […]

South Africa's sleeping online media giants

Some media companies have embraced the online era and are now reaping the rewards. Others have been slow to wake up to the promise of online publishing. Here are four media companies, where we may see greater things: Avusa (formerly Johncom): It’s probably wrong to call this media company a sleeping giant, as it has […]

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

Moneyweb relaunch

One of my favourite websites, Moneyweb, has relaunched, featuring a wide-format design. Their site used to be run by iafrica.com, who lost the contract to do it. I like the wide-format look and the generous use of whitespace… kind of like NY Times and Washingtonpost.com. It’s the direction that most news sites are going. The […]

SA's online newspapers set to grow

Francois Nel from the For the Media blog pointed me towards his blog recently (pretty good, I must say). This post in particular caught my eye. He broadly examines why online newspapers in South Africa are not cracking it, compared to their world counterparts. For Francois — it’s down to leadership: It is, I would […]

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.

Where are the great online magazines? Where?

Magazines have not enjoyed the same high profile, runaway success of their newspaper counterparts in the online world. Magazines aren’t big online. Websites of print magazines have had a rather low profile in more than 10 years of internet in this country. Compare this to the high-profile online news brands that rake in big numbers and you will see what I mean. It’s no secret that the news brands dominate the top half of the local online readership rankings, whereas very few magazines even make the top 50 sites….

Sunday Times revamps website

Well done to Sunday Times with their relaunch. The redesign looks great. Following the latest trend in creating wide-format sites, their website really hits the spot for me and raises the bar for local online publishers from a design point of view. The old site was in bad need of a redesign, but this makes […]

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 check my regular news sites, get share updates from financial sites, visit the occasional shopping […]

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, camera work and general production was world class and Yvonne Chaka Chaka was excellent — […]

The people have written

Now South Africa has its own citizen journalism website in Johnnic’s commendable reporter.co.za The relentless pace of technology is turning everyone into citizen reporters. Anyone with a cellphone camera is a potential citizen photographer. Anyone with a blog is a potential citizen reporter or columnist.   Citizen journalists both collaborate and compete with established media. […]

Reader power records snowfall in (usually sunny) Africa

How often does it snow at the tip of sunny Africa? Well, not very often. In fact according to Sapa comparable widespread snow across South Africa has only been recorded twice in the past 20 years, in 1981 and 1988. The country, which usually bakes under the African sun, has been bristling under freezing temperatures […]

SA's online media space

At KUGM Online Marketing conference in Rosebank Russell Hanly, Chief Executive of the new 24.com, gave us a brief overview of the new 24.com structure … and then talked about the South African online media landscape. He emphasised that marketers should focus on domestic/South African readership rather than the total overseas readership, as this is […]

The internet goes from free to fee

If only the internet had been invented by a businessman. It’s a common lament of internet publishers who are buckling and wheezing under the financial strain of running unprofitable websites

SA’s web stands up and gets counted

Websites seem to think in millions. Web traffic is always a million this or a million that with unique users in the hundreds of thousands. For the major online publishers in South Africa, the numbers have always been big and impressive.

War of the web

As United States and British forces push through Iraq towards Baghdad, another kind of war is in progress: a battle between TV, radio, newspapers and websites to be the first to bring their audience breaking news on Iraq.

Why we love and hate Google

net savvy Why we love and hate Google Local online publishers need to keep an eye on Google Publishers love and hate the world’s biggest search engine. Google is getting bigger and scarier everyday, or as Wired magazine puts it, going from “guerrilla startup to 800-pound gorilla”. Now that Google appears to be making a […]

Revenge of the amateurs

net savvy Revenge of the amateurs Now South Africa has its own citizen journalism offering via Johnnic’s commendable reporter.co.za One of the first images of the Asian Tsunami crisis came from a Nordic tourist stuck on a rooftop in Phuket who MMSed it to a major news website, where it was immediately published. During the […]