Category Archives: The Internet

Behind newspaper website traffic numbers

Martin Langeveld pours some cold water on the Newspaper Association of America’s report that traffic to newspaper websites accounted for 43 percent of all Internet users in the first quarter of 2009, a 10 percent increase over last year:

Newspaper page views at 3.5 billion per month are less than one percent of total U.S. page views (386 billion in February). …

… As NAA does note, 43.6 percent of that audience visited a newspaper web site, but given that newspaper site traffic works out to only about 1.6 page views per reader per day, many of the newspaper site uniques are clearly represent one-time-only traffic. …

… In the light of the data as seen in context, it is ludicrous for them to be considering a tollbooth to make readers pay in some fashion (other than for carefully selected premium content) — any simple paywall barrier would serve to reduce their online audience share even more.  Similarly, any effort to prevent or restrict Google and others from aggregating content will backfire, since newspaper sites would lose substantial traffic in the absence of traffic driven by aggregator links.

Jeff Jarvis's make-believe testimony to John Kerry

Google-lover Jeff Jarvis hasn’t been asked to speak (yet) before Sen. John Kerry’s hearing on failed newspapers. But if he were, he would say some very Jeff Jarvis-y things like:

  • Newspapers and their proprietors – and, in many cases, their professionals – have had a generation to reinvent themselves and bring journalism forward into the next age: 20 years since the start of the web, 15 since the introduction of the commercial browser and craigslist, 10 since the invention of blogs and founding of Google.
  • I would like to see our government follow the leads of the U.K. and Australian governments in making ubiquitous and open broadband connectivity a priority and a promise.

And, of course:

  • Newspapers are going to die.

    Learn digital media in 10 weeks

    Arizona State University’s Cronkite School New Media Academy is offering training for adults who want to learn how to build multimedia-rich websites:

    Participants will learn how to design and develop a Web site, how to effectively present and edit photos for the Web, how to use social networking tools, how to create Web-based graphics, how to do podcasting and audio slideshows, and how to edit and use video on the Web.

    The weekly summer program begins May 30 and concludes Aug. 8, and costs $2,000 for the full 10 days of training.

    Always look on the bright side of layoffs

    From the “sensitivity during hard times” file, this Virginian-Pilot headline: Pilot to lay off 40, but executives say outlook is brighter.

    As the opening graf of Philip Walzer’s article attests, the layoffs “will be the third wave of job cuts at The Pilot in the past six months.”

    Nevertheless, The Pilot’s financial outlook is brightening, said Maurice Jones, the president and publisher.

    Combined, the newspaper and its associated companies turned a profit in the first quarter of the year, said Jones, who declined to disclose figures. March was The Pilot’s most robust month in at least a year, he said, with every unit recording a profit.

    But the profits, Jones said, still fall short of the company’s targets, required to pay taxes and other bills and equipment costs, including the modernization of its printing press. That, he said, triggered the latest cutbacks.

    Surf the Web anonymously

    That’s what Pirate Bay’s IPREDator promises, so you can stay one step ahead of The Man:

    With IPREDator’s VPN, you can stay anonymous on the net. Your internet traffic will be encrypted and protected – even beyond what a typical VPN offers. This way, law enforcement can’t catch you when you download the latest episode of your favorite TV show…or when you get involved in other criminal activity, for that matter.

    Which means some smarty-pants is going to invent the IPREDator PREDATOR and spoil all the fun. Don’t do it, man! I just want to watch this working print of Wolverine — sonofa…

    Q&A with SeattlePI.com's Michelle Nicolosi a must-read

    Michelle Nicolosi, executive producer of the new SeattlePI, offers some great insight into the direction of the former Post-Intelligencer’s new online endeavor.

    seattlepi

    Nicolosi talks with Content Bridges about news sites that she goes to for inspiration (The Guardian, Sydney Morning Herald),  partner content for PI, it’s impressive resource of Reader Blogs, and much more. Here’s Nicolosi on:

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    SXSW Web Awards winners

    There’s a reason I just cited an article published at The Bygone Bureau — because the site won for best blog at the SXSW Interactive Web Awards last night.

    Mashable has the complete list of SXSW winners.

    Tips for online video

    J.D. Lasica offers an informative post on how to create compelling online video (hint: follow your passion). Also included is a link to a series of related roundtable discussions on subjects like distributing video, monetizing your work and how to measure success.

    Yelvington's history of paid content

    Steve Yelvington hops in the wayback machine and offers a concise history of attempts by newspapers to charge for access to their online content.

    His post jogged my memory about the good old days of crawling across the World Wide Web with a Lynx text browser on my Mac Classic II circa 1994.  Looked a lot this:

    lynx

    Gaza story succeeds in print, fails on the Web

    The images of families returning to their decimated homes pop off the printed page in John Pendygraft’s article about a ruined Gaza neighborhood running in today’s St. Petersburg Times. Online however, the presentation represents a missed opportunity to engage readers.

    The photos and text were clearly uploaded to the Web with little thought for aesthetics or reader-friendliness. It’s a shame, because Poynter Institute, which owns the Times, must have an abundance of examples of fine online photojournalism that could have served as a template – for instance, starting with a compelling main image and text above the fold, and offering thumbnails of other photos with text summaries and an optional slideshow with captions (along with audio of those interviewed) to draw in readers while also giving them interactive control of how they engage the story.

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