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Guardian: American Vogue launches £1,000-a-year archive paywall

December 19th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Magazines

American Vogue is making its archive of every image in its 119 year history available online, according to the Guardian.

The library – searchable by image, designer, date, model and brand – will come with a hefty pricetag of $1,575 (£1,015)-a-year.

The Guardian says it could be a valuable resource, despite the cost, explaining it promises to reduce search time “that might have taken weeks of painstaking research using paper archives”.

The archive is being marketed as a business-to-business resource, aimed at design professionals. A limited version, the extent of which is not yet clear, will be made available to Vogue’s subcribers in 2012.

The strategic importance of the move goes beyond the revenue the paywall will deliver. “This is Condé Nast waving a flag about what the Vogue brand could be,” says Douglas McCabe, media analyst at Enders Analysis. “What they are saying is: Vogue is absolutely the authoritative player in this field. There aren’t many magazine brands that could line up behind this and copy what they’ve done. That’s one of the points Vogue is making.”

The article goes on to say that some feel the £1,000-a-year fee is too high, whereas “some are in full support of the subscription fee”.

“The moral outrage people feel about being asked to pay for content is misguided. Actually, I’m surprised the price is so low,” comments Chris Sanderson, co-founder of trend forecasting consultancy the Future Laboratory. “The archive is clearly being marketed to creative professionals. The searchability gives it real value, because you have the ability to drill down into content and locate exactly what you need.

The Guardian’s full article is here: Vogue launches online archive of every American issue in its 119-year history.

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How not to fall for a hoax like ‘IE6 users are dumb’

August 5th, 2011 | 3 Comments | Posted by in PR, Press freedom and ethics

First journalists fell for made-up stories sent out by a fake PR to highlight to practice of churnalism, now news outlets – including the BBC, Daily Mail and Telegraph – have published a hoax story that users of Internet Explorer 6 are dumb.

Here are five questions journalists should ask themselves in order to avoid falling for a hoax.

1. Does the story sounds possible? Journalists ask questions and should look at data with a critical eye. If presented with a press release saying the IE6 users are dumb, ask yourself how likely that really is.

Why do people use the an old version of Internet Explorer? Because they work for firms that do not grant them administrator rights to update software? Because they are less experienced web users and don’t know how to? Because they are older users who are less likely to trust updates and downloads?

2. When was the web domain of the PR company registered? A website such as who.is will give you a date of registration, the address where the site is registered, a company number and server details. (You can click the image below to see the results.)

3. Are the photos ripped from another website?  The hoaxer who wrote the “IE6 users are dumb” press release included employee photographs on the fake company website ripped from a legitimate French business.

You can run an image search – or even a reverse image search – by using Google Image Search or TinEye.

4. Does the phone number given on the press release appear elsewhere on the web? Google the phone number on the site or press release.

5. Does the address listed on the website, press release and domain registration exist? Enter the postcode into the Royal Mail address finder.

The hoaxer – a developer called Tarandeep Gill who set up the hoax to highlight his frustrations of people using IE6 – has published the tell-tale signs that should have uncovered the hoax in five minutes

1.The domain was registered on 14 July 2011;

2. The test that was mentioned in the report, “Wechsler Adult Intelligence Scale (IV) test” is a copyrighted test and cannot be administered online;

3. The phone number listed on the report and the press release is the same listed on the press releases/whois of my other websites. A google search reveals this;

4. The address listed on the report does not exist;

5. I copy/pasted most of the material from “Central Test” [the legitimate Paris-based firm] and got lazy to even change the pictures;

6. The website is made in WordPress. Come on now!

7. I am sure, my haphazardly put together report had more than one grammatical mistakes [sic];

6. There is a link to our website AtCheap.com in the footer.

Journalists should also be aware of the “churn engine to distinguish journalism from churnalism“, launched by the Media Standards Trust in February. Click the photo below to go to the churnalism tool, paste the contents of a press release and in cases where more than 20 per cent of an article and press release overlap, the search engine will highlight it as a potential example of ‘churn’ and give you overlap as a percentage.

 

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Online revenues up for Independent and Johnston Press, but print ads fall

August 27th, 2008 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Online Journalism

At the same time as reports of significant decline in UK and US print advertising, online advertising revenue is up for the Independent News Media Group (INM) and Johnston Press.

Johnston Press, the publisher of the Scotsman and over 300 regional newspapers and websites, announced that digital revenues had grown by 52.1 per cent to an unstated figure, in its interim results for the 26 weeks ending June 30.

The publisher reports that it will ‘continue to experience significant growth in overall audience reach – combining our newspaper readership with the rapidly increasing number of people visiting our websites.’

Meanwhile, INM, which – among other titles – publishes the Independent, the Belfast Telegraph and the Independent on Sunday, saw online revenue from advertising grow by 23.3 per cent to €15.9 million in the six months prior to June 30, it reported in its half-year results.

INM’s online revenue (including its stakes in other online ventures) rose buy 57.1 per cent to €30 million over the same period ‘reflecting good organic growth and a continuation of its multimedia investment strategy across all regions,’ the report said.

Online classified and display advertising now represents around 4 per cent of publishing advertising for the group. This increase was helped by ‘strategic’ investments in services such as price comparison, online gaming, image search, and mobile.

Nonetheless, online was included in INM’s overall group costs, which increased by 1.4 per cent. The publisher also recorded ‘certain online and education start-up development costs’ of €6 million and €19 million.

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PIXSTA develops ‘image-to-image’ search engine

May 8th, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Advertising, Search

Search firm PIXSTA has developed what it describes as a contextual search engine for images.

The engine will let users search by image rather than text creating – according to PIXSTA – ‘the most sophisticated and accurate image search engine in the world’.

From a random starting point a user clicks on an image to bring up similar images. As such, the engine’s primary use will be for searching for products, such as clothes, jewellery or shoes, and when an image is selected for purchase users are taken beyond the retailer’s homepage to the individual page of that product.

Screenshot of live PIXSTA search on News of the World’s Fabulous website

The search engine, which has been five years in the making, is currently being trialled on the News of the World’s Fabulous site, handbag.com and ElleUK and is making some bold claims about its potential.

“Being able to use an image as a search term means we have absolutely stolen a march on the likes of Google, whose image search still relies on text search terms. We have a real-world solution, which doesn’t require a huge leap in user understanding or a massive change in their behaviour. It’s working now and already generating revenue,” says Alexander Straub, CEO of PIXSTA on the firm’s blog.

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