As a way of organising responses to a crowdsourcing exercise it isn’t anything new, it takes off from mapping responses geographically. But it is simple and effective, mixing text responses with a broad visual understanding of where the readership’s sentiments fall.
Interesting to see how many people sit right on the fence in the significance stakes.
In case you missed this over the weekend, the New York Times has been quietly working away for a while on a nifty visualisation tool that will allow it to track the way links to its content move through Twitter.
A product of the Times’ Research and Development lab, which is housed somewhere up near the clouds in the NYT’s 33-floor building, Project Cascade promises to take social analytics on in leaps and bounds and tell the NYT a great deal about how, where and when its content is being shared.
So what have people been saying about the New York Times paywall (or fence, ramp, meter, porous paywall, nagwall or even ‘metered-access digital subscription system’, if you prefer)?
It was announced yesterday that the paywall is going up on March 28. A metered system will allow readers to access 20 articles a month for free and it will be free for those who land on a page via a link from Twitter, Facebook, a search engine or blog.
In other words, if you are shelling out $20 a month for the iPad subscription, and you want to also be able to read it on your iPhone, you basically have to pay the full smartphone subscription price, or an additional $15 a month. That seems like a rip-off. A digital subscription should be a digital subscription, and it shouldn’t matter what kind of computer you use to read the paper on. But okay, the iPad and other tablets are different, I might pay a little more for the tablet apps. But once I step up to pay the New York Times $20 a month for its iPad app, that should include access via the iPhone app as well.
They did something smart in not charging readers who get to a Times story through a link from a blog post or tweet. But – since I am a frequent linker, I wonder why I should pay to read their site, when I’m delivering flow to them. How does that equation balance by me paying them? Maybe they should pay me? Seriously.
He is also one of many to point out that there are ways over the wall.
According to sources close to the situation, the 20-story limit can be breached if you access the site from multiple devices, and/or if you delete your cookies. In other words, suppose you hit the wall on your PC. Then move to your laptop, where you’ll get another 20 stories. Delete your cookies on any computer, and the clock goes back to zero.
Roy Greenslade has also been reading about how to jump over the wall: by finding a story, pasting the headline into a search engine and accessing the linked story for free.
Techdirt has laid into the New York Times for sending its laywers to shut down a Tumblr blog belonging to former staffer Jonathan Paul. Paul was using the account to repost some of the NYT’s “beautiful and unexpected imagery”, with links.
Paul notes that the blog actually had a decent following within the NYT, and his former colleagues had encouraged the project and helped promote it as well, fully realizing that it was helping their own work get more attention and driving more traffic to the NYT. And then the lawyers stepped in.
Fleet Street Blues has noted that the re-designed New York Times Magazine, first published yesterday, includes editors’ bylines. Will the idea, already used by Reuters and Bloomberg in the form of an end credit on wire stories, catch on? Fleet Street Blues thinks not.
We like the idea in principle – given that editors have at least as much say as a reporter in the top line of an article, and indeed whether it appears at all, why not put their name against it as well?
But somehow, it’s not an innovation we can see catching on. Given the current trend for ‘Daily Mail Reporter’ bylines, or the fine work of Oliver Clive and Austin Peters over at the Telegraph, accountability may not be Fleet Street’s strong suit.
Great first-person piece from the New York Times’ Virginia Heffernan on the process of fact-checking at newspapers past and present:
In short, fact-checking has assumed radically new forms in the past 15 years. Only fact-checkers from legacy media probably miss the quaint old procedures. But if the web has changed what qualifies as fact-checking, has it also changed what qualifies as a fact? I suspect that facts on the web are now more rhetorical devices than identifiable objects. But I can’t verify that.
The New York Times has launched a new daily video feature on NYTimes.com.
TimesCast, which is available on the newspaper’s homepage between 1:00pm and 2:00pm EST Monday to Friday, falls somewhere between an ordinary television news broadcast and a short behind-the-scenes documentary. Viewers see segments of the daily page one meeting, followed by various reporters and editors in conversation about stories they are working on.
“This is another example of our continuing emphasis on video, which represents one of the largest growth areas in digital media,” said Denise Warren, senior vice president and chief advertising officer, The New York Times Media Group and general manager, NYTimes.com.
Starting this week, the editor’s blog will feature an afternoon roundup of all things media from over the pond. From the hugely important to the very inconsequential, check in for a choice ofAmerica’s journalistic goings on.
NYT explore new avenues with another hyperlocal blog
The new blog, which will report on New York’s East Village, will come under the Times’ URL but be developed and launched by students from the NYU Studio 20 Journalism Masters programme.
Two NY hyperlocals were launched by the paper last year under a channel called ‘The Local’. One covers Clinton Hill and Fort Greene in Brooklyn, the other Maplewood, Millburn and South Orange in New Jersey. Those blogs featured student contributions from the start, but were helmed by Times staff (although the former was recently turned over to students from CUNY). The new East Village blog is edited by a Times staffer but will be largely overseen, from inception to launch, by NYU students.
Jessica Roy, blogger at NYULocal and member of the East Village project said:
While the site will function in a similar way to the hyperlocal sites the Times already has running in Ft. Greene/Clinton Hill and Maplewood, this will be the first time journalism students will be heavily involved in the site’s content and design process before the launch.
But Arianna is not, apparently, just trying to recapture a youth she threw away on “promise, passion, intellectual curiosity, and vitality”. She is referring to the launch of HuffPost College, a new section of the Huffington Post devoted to the promising, passionate, intellectually curious, and vital students out there, and presumably to the billions of normal students too.
Edited by Jose Antonio Vargas, our Tech and Innovations editor, with the help of Leah Finnegan, a recent graduate of the University of Texas and the former editor of the Daily Texan, HuffPost College is designed to be a virtual hub for college life, bringing you original and cross-posted material from a growing list of college newspapers.
“Announcing HuffPost College: No SAT scores or admission essays needed” reads Arianna’s headline.
Here is John Horrigan, who oversaw the survey for the FCC, making the findings sound impressively grotesque:
Overall internet penetration has been steady in the mid-70 to upper 70 per cent range over the last five years. Now we’re at a point where, if you want broadband adoption to go up by any significant measure, you really have to start to eat into the segment of non-internet-users.
Fortunately for Arianna Huffington, those remaining blissfully un-penetrated (albeit in danger of being eaten into by hungry internet providers) are “disproportionately older and more likely to live in rural areas”, and not the vigourous youth, who are probably desperate to spend their time out of college at home reading about college.
Shatner to play Twitterer
One elderly American well in tune with all things online is Justin Halpern’s dad. Even if he doesn’t quite get why. Justin Halpern’s dad is the man behind Justin Halpern’s Twitter account, “Shit My Dad Says.” Although this is slightly old story already, news that William Shatner will be playing an curmudgeonly, 74 year-old man whose live-in 29 year-old son tweets “shit that he says” is too ridiculous to pass up. If CBS are in luck, the account’s 1,187,371 followers, and many more, will tune in to hear William Shatner say this:
A parent’s only as good as their dumbest kid. If one wins a Nobel Prize but the other gets robbed by a hooker, you failed.
And many, many other 140-character pearls of wisdom far too rude for the very mild-mannered Journalism.co.uk. I for one prefer Justin Halpern’s dad’s personal choice of James Earl Jones, and applaud his straight talking response to suggestions that colour is an issue.
He wanted James Earl Jones to play him. I was like, ‘But you’re white.’ He was like, ‘Well, we don’t have to be! Who gives a [censored]? You asked me who I thought, and that’s who I think.’
Who could possibly resist the powerful combination of Halpern Snr’s coarse tweets and Darth Vader’s husky voice?
Largest YouTube content provider reaches 1 billion views
One million followers is an impressive landmark in the Twitterverse, it puts you up there in the Twittersphere with such luminaries as Stephen Fry and Ashton Kutcher. It’s about 28,000 times as many as I have. Demand Media went a thousand times better than that though in YouTube terms yesterday, with its billionth view.
According to its site, the company, which has about 500 staff and is based in Santa Monica, provides “social media solutions that consumers really want”. Demand is the largest content supplier to YouTube, owning around 170,000 videos available on the site.
According to Huffingtonpost.com, the website went offline for a period yesterday afternoon as readers raced to read allegations about the governor.
NYT spokesperson Diane McNulty told Huff Post that between 2-4 pm (Eastern US time) traffic was 60 per cent higher than at the same time last Monday. NYT mobile almost doubled its traffic for the same period.
Considering the amount of traffic that would have been generated by last week’s primaries for the Democratic candidate, yesterday must have been a pretty heavy day.