Tag Archives: content management system

Online Journalism Scandinavia: Mecom’s Danish arm may ditch costly CMS for Drupal

Berlingske Media, Denmark’s biggest publisher of daily newspapers, is considering making free open source software Drupal its online publishing system of choice.

Former Mirror-boss David Montgomery’s Danish lieutenant, Lisbeth Knudsen, is contemplating the move, which could save a substantial sum of money – but it does not come without risk.

Berlingske Media already runs some of its sites on Drupal – a long-time favourite free content management system (CMS) of web hacker-geeks – but many consider the open source solution more vulnerable to hackers than proprietary systems.

“Our sports portal, launched early in June, is developed in Drupal, and we will use this for more sites. We are in the process of evaluating future online solutions, and will make a decision on this later this year. So far we have chosen Drupal for some of our smaller sites and Saxotech online for the bigger,” Knudsen told me.

But is Drupal up to the task?

The Danish newspaper publisher is in the process of integrating all its titles into ‘verticals’ that deliver copy across platforms and titles, and its sports site carries material from several of Berlingske’s titles.

Henning Sund, head of digital development for newspaper publisher Edda Media, is sceptical about how well Drupal is suited to such large-scale projects.

”I think part of the reason Berlingske Media is considering Drupal is that they are so desperate to get away from Saxotech Online. That is a desire I understand perfectly,” he said, explaining that Edda Media, Mecom’s Norwegian division, is also in the process of replacing Saxotech Online, but Drupal is not a candidate.

”I do not feel the security in Drupal is well-documented enough. We want a provider that can take responsibility for this, something we will not get with Drupal,” said Sund, adding that you also have to spend a lot of money on developing the desired functionality in Drupal, as it is not ‘plug and play’.

Berlingske-owned AOK.dk, a city guide for Copenhagen that runs on Drupal, has used an east European company to develop extra functionality in Drupal – a concept that has been exported to Berlin and Mecom Germany.

However, Sund does not think that Mecom boss Montgomery will impose Drupal as the standard CMS throughout the company should it be a success:

“Montgomery has made it very clear that as long as you reach your budget targets, you can choose the solutions you see fit. However, if you do not reach these targets, you will get Montgomery breathing down your neck, and that is something you would do anything to avoid.”

For more news on newspapers harnessing open source read about The Jewish Chronicle’s launch of a beta site using Drupal.

Poll: Is the new Daily Mail beta website an improvement?

The Daily Mail has launched a beta version of its website to trial design improvements and a new content management system.

The trial version currently features content from the sport, showbiz and femail channels of the main site, but more will be added in the next few days.

The Mail is asking users to submit their feedback directly through the site – so why not give us yours in the Journalism.co.uk poll: is the new Daily Mail beta website an improvement?

(Apologies for not publishing the poll directly to the blog, we can’t get that to work yet)

Innovations in Journalism – Instant Journalist

We give developers the opportunity to tell us journalists why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are working on. Today it’s flat-packed news websites ready for easy assembly and use from Instant Journalist.

image of instant journalist website

1.  Who are you and what’s it all about?
I’m Scott Durham, president of Instivate. We’re a small software company in Seattle, Washington building a flexible, scalable platform for powering online communities.

Our first product is Instant Journalist, which makes it easy for anyone to launch their own online news communities where the public can read and contribute news stories and events of local interest with rich media such as video, images, and documents.

2.  Why would this be useful to a journalist?
Since anyone can join and submit content to a site powered by Instant Journalist, it allows the site to cover a much wider range of news events than an individual or team of journalists could do alone.

We have an advanced set of content rating tools, automated algorithms, and editorial controls that makes it easy for the site owner to manage the content from thousands of individual contributors, and make sure that the best content rises to the top of the heap.

In addition, we have a variety of features that aren’t available in traditional blogging or other content management systems.

One key strength is that our product comes with native support for video. That makes it easy for anyone to upload video of a news event and make it available to readers of the site. Our system handles all the complexity of video processing and conversion behind the scenes, and then allows playback on any web browser.

Another key feature includes our integrated mapping technology, where any story can be placed on a map and assigned to a specific geographical neighbourhood, town, or city.

This allows users to quickly visualise the location of a news event and browse and discover other content in that specific area. Users can also subscribe to RSS feeds for specific geographic locations and track the news around them at a very local level.

3.  Is this it, or is there more to come?

Our major focus now is the delivery of a self-service advertising solution that will make it easy for site owners to monetise their site.

It will allow any advertiser to easily sign-up and create ads for the site. Also stay tuned as we roll out more advanced content management features and more interactive ways of reporting news events on the site.

4.  Why are you doing this?

We’re passionate about building systems that make it easy for people to participate in and contribute to communities of like-minded people online.

We picked the news space as our first project because there’s a huge opportunity there to empower professional journalists and regular members of the public to collaborate online and cover a much wider range of news than has ever been possible before.

5.  What does it cost to use it?

We have a range of packages that scale up according to the amount of traffic a site serves, starting at just $18 a month.

It’s designed so that a site can start small, with pricing that grows as the site does and at a very affordable rate.

6.  How will you make it pay?
Our content management system makes it easy for site owners to plug any 3rd-party advertising solution into their site, such as Google ads, etc.  And our forthcoming self-service advertising solution will take that to the next level by allowing access to a wider range of potential advertisers, and providing the site owner a higher percentage of overall revenue than other 3rd party online advertising solutions.

Have a look at Centraldistrictnews.com – it covers a neighbourhood here in Seattle and allows people to communicate with their neighbours about the news that happens right around them.

We’re also working with a major newspaper company to adapt our platform to a wide range of less newsy applications; covering topics from travel to sports and local dining we’re allowing them to quickly deploy niche interest sites and other targeted online communities that will build a rich online ecosystem of websites around their existing newspaper brands.

Innovations in Journalism – Plumi

We give developers the opportunity to tell us journalists why we should sit up and pay attention to the sites and devices they are working on. Today it’s video sharing software Plumi.

Logo of Plumi

1) Who are you and what’s it all about?
We’re an Australian based non-profit called EngageMedia. We run a video sharing website focused on social and environmental issues in the Asia-Pacific region. To run the site we developed Plumi, a free software video sharing platform based on the Plone content management system.

2) Why would this be useful to a journalist?
Plumi would be useful if you wanted to set up and run your own independent video sharing site with the above features and didn’t want to fork out thousands of dollars for a proprietary system. Plumi is completely free and open source and available to be modified and built upon.

3) Is this it, or is there more to come?
There’s a lot more to come. The platform is in constant development and we’re always looking for new programmers to contribute to Plumi or for projects to take it up to build new video sharing sites.

4) Why are you doing this?
Currently no major video sharing site shares the technology it’s built upon meaning users have to bow to often dubious terms and conditions. Coupled with this is the fact that these sites often make large sums of money they don’t share with their contributors. We believe an independent media requires independent and open source infrastructure that is available for anyone to use.

5) What does it cost to use it?
It’s completely free. You will however need a server to set it up on and a geek who knows how to do this.

6) How will you make it pay?
We receive our funding from philanthropic bodies and donations from users of the system. Reklama: Vadovų ir darbuotojų paieška, personalo atranka bei mokymai Primum Esse We supplement that income by rolling out video sharing sites for clients. Additionally as the system is open source it attracts a wide variety of contributors who add features and fixes voluntarily.

Online Journalism Scandinavia: Danish news sites benefit from doing things ‘The Drupal Way’

Image of Kristine LoweKristine Lowe is a freelance journalist who writes on the media industry for number of US, UK and Norwegian publications. Here she looks at use of open-source software, Drupal, on Danish news sites. Continue reading

Journalism.co.uk has relaunched with changes both cosmetic and under-the-bonnet, let us know what you think…

For the past few months we have been working on a few changes to improve Journalism.co.uk and make using the site easier and more intuitive.

We’ve changed the content management system for the site so vast majority of alterations are under the bonnet and aren’t visible. However, there are a few immediately noticeable cosmetic changes.

The most obvious change is the wholesale switch from the garish green to a grey, pink and white design, which we think is a good deal easier on the eye.

We have also adopted a wider page profile and tidied up the left hand column, introducing a ‘job of the week’ feature and generally making it more straightforward and easier for those seeking freelancers and/or jobs listings.

The homepage news elements have adopted a tabbed format; again, making accessing all the content we have on offer a lot easier for those coming to us through the front page.

The three lead stories are now on a timed rotation, although you can also flick between them using the by clicking the ‘Next’ button.

Alongside news and features from Journalism.co.uk we have added tabs for our recommendations of related news on other sites (a feature we had on the old home page) and given a front-page presence to our J-blogs mash-up of the best in journalism blogs.

This feature has lived on the site for a few months now but its popularity and the great wealth of informed and varied comment has necessitated a move to the homepage.

We have also added drop down menus links to the new (ish) forum and blogging areas of the site.

Forums are there for people to seed debates, make announcements and generally discuss anything journalism-related that they feel strongly about.

The blog was introduced quietly a couple of weeks ago and now is the new young love of the editorial staff.

We have also improved the navigation between story pages by highlighting our ‘other recent news’ at the top of the right-hand column. Beneath this we have introduced a feature that highlights the most ‘commented on’ news stories and below that an additional feature that will automatically pull in related news items.

Because we have made so many changes to the site we expect to come across a few teething problems that will be sorted out over the course of the next couple of weeks. If you come across anything that we miss feel free to drop us an email so we can rectify it.

Right, that’s about it. Hope you like the new site.