The mobile web: Why the future really is on the small screen

According to a report on Reuters last year, world wide mobile phone subscriptions reached 3.3-billion users or half the world’s population. Compare this to television usage (about 1,5-billion users) or desktop internet usage (about 1,1-billion users), and it is not…

New Google head for South Africa

South Africa has a new Google boss. Stafford Masie, the former head of Novell South Africa and a relative unknown outside IT circles, has been appointed the new South Africa Google head, reports ITWeb and Mail & Guardian Online. It’s…

Google slammed, Google praised at newspaper conference

Eamonn Byrne from the World Association of newspapers asked the panel at the last session of this congress: Is partnering with a search engine a good idea? The media industry have two main issues with Google. (1) They believe that…

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

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….

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 Indaba: business & marketing panel

Now the business part of the conference, literally. I was all ears because obviously my role at Mail & Guardian Online largely involves the business side these days as opposed to editorial (a ‘reformed’ journalist??). Up were Alec Hogg from…

Roll on broadband

from my column in the media, called net savvy If a survey by search engine Google is to be believed, the British apparently now spend more time on the Internet than watching television. The report, carried by news agency AFP…

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…..

The state of the blogosphere

According to Dave Sifry on the Technorati blog (the blog search engine) the blogosphere is literally DOUBLING every 5,5 months. There are about 40,7 million blogs around today, so that means if this formula is to be followed that there will be 80-million blogs by the end of 2006. What’s more is that a blog is being posted EVERY SECOND on the world wide web. There are about 50 000 blog posts every hour and 1,2-million legitimate posts per day. Now that is alot of content and alot of blogging.

When’s Technorati listing? I want to buy some shares.