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New local site and verticals for HuffPo

September 17th, 2009 | 2 Comments | Posted by in Online Journalism

The Huffington Post has launched its third local site, as expected, for Denver, Colorado.

An introduction from Ethan Axelrod, HuffPo’s Denver editor, explains the thinking behind launch in Denver and not another US city – namely the political importance of the state and Denver’s position as a destination for young professionals and businesses, he says.

The site is also planning launches of new technology, sport (end of October) and books (October 5) verticals – a move examined by the New York Observer:

“The advantage to adding verticals ad infinitum to general-interest websites is simple: they make it easy for web designers to mimic that familiar feeling of pulling out the business pages or flipping to the top sports story in traditional print newspapers. Drilling down on one topic at a time and carefully tailoring content by subject makes it easier for visitors to read what they want to and for advertisers to reach a specific, targeted audience,” the Observer reports.

Being able to roll-out new sections and topic pages quickly may suggest a landgrab approach towards attracting users.

As usability expert Jakob Nielsen tells the Observer, these sections allow sites to ‘scoop up’ users with specific interests and perhaps attract them to other parts of the site. To do this however, the content these sections offer must be more than just a filtering of the broader site.

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TheWayoftheWeb: How the 80/20 rule affects mainstream media

Dan Thornton looks at how the Pareto Principle (that 80 per cent of the effects come from 20 per cent of the causes) plays out on social media and new media platforms.

“Internet access gives everyone the ability to self-publish – it doesn’t mean everyone will. Or entitle everyone to be able to make a good living out of it,” writes Thornton, who references Jakob Nielsen’s suggestion that in online communities 90 per cent of users never contribute; 9 per cent contribute a little; and 1 per cent a lot.

“[A] small number of people can get Wikipedia over 55 million U.S. visitors in a year, or create the fact that 20 hours of video are uploaded every minute (…) It doesn’t mean it’s all popular, or high quality.

“It just means that most of mainstream media is likely to end up covered in content as if it went out in a desert sandstorm – and successful businesses need to figure out how to engage and build on that 1 per cent or 20 per cent which creates the value for everyone else.”

Full post at this link…

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Jakob Nielsen: World’s best web headlines come from BBC

May 1st, 2009 | No Comments | Posted by in Editors' pick, Multimedia

“It’s hard enough to write for the web and meet the guidelines for concise, scannable, and objective content. It’s even harder to write web headlines,” writes Jakob Nielsen, the useability expert.

“(…)For several years, I’ve been very impressed with BBC News headlines, both on the main BBC homepage and on its dedicated news page. Most sites routinely violate headline guidelines, but BBC editors consistently do an awesome job,” he continues.

Full post at this link…

(via PoynterOnline)

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‘Nibby’ blogs transmit basic information, nice and tersely

‘Nibs’ have always been low down in the news pecking order. But what about giving main news a nib format?

Biggest doesn’t always have to be best, as the Shortformblog and Big Fat Story prove: both sites pages show current news very briefly and clearly laid out.

Reduced to headlines, quotes, facts or photos, these nibs always transmit the main information about current events. Nevertheless, links to sources or extended articles give users the opportunity to read more about the topics.

Musebin is another proof for the theory that brief doesn’t have to mean bad. Users give one-line music news and reviews about the up-to-date LPs.

But don’t necessarily assume that short is quicker to produce: it’s worth a bit of time investment to design short and useable news formats.

(Hat tip Medienlese)

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links for 2008-07-03

July 3rd, 2008 | No Comments | Posted by in Uncategorized
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