Tag Archives: media sites

RWW on AdSense and Hitwise on Twitter and retailers

A double ed’s pick here with some thoughts on online advertising and e-commerce: first figures from Hitwise suggesting that Twitter is driving traffic towards media sites, but not retailers.

“[W]ith one or two exceptions (most notably Dell, which claims to generated $3m via Twitter), very few transactional websites have yet used Twitter to drive sales. During May, Google UK sent 365 times more traffic to transactional websites than Twitter. Given that Twitter has yet to settle on a business model that will take advantage of its huge, loyal user base, this is an issue that needs to be addressed by the people that run the company if they are to make the service a financial as well as popular success,” writes Hitwise’s Robin Goad.

Emerging platform, but no guaranteed financial model (yet) – which leads to a piece from Read Write Web last week on the decline of Google’s AdSense.

The service gained success because it met the needs of publishers, advertisers and users, but now each of these parties is starting to spot problems, writes RWW’s Bernard Lunn.

But, adds Lunn:

“If AdSense is in decline, that leaves open a big market for entrepreneurs. Publishing is not a winner-take-all market. Google will not control all online inventory. Advertisers and their agencies like choice. And users click on whatever is relevant.”

Full .

Information Architects’ Ning network event sells out in ten minutes

Communication via a Ning network led to tickets for a information architects’ (IA) mini-conference in London ‘selling’ out in just ten minutes.

Information architecture is ‘the emerging art and science of organising large-scale websites,’ increasingly important for media sites.

The Ning network created by Ken Beatson last year, has allowed the UK’s information architects to talk more freely and effectively than via the old mailing list system, Martin Belam, a member of the group and information architect for the Guardian, told Journalism.co.uk.

An event was set up, hosted for free at the Guardian’s offices and sponsored by Axure and Aquent, and after a bit of promotion via its Twitter account (@london_ia), 40 tickets were rapidly snapped up for the event which will take place on April 20. Another 10 will also be released at midday on Friday.

The event will see participants talk for 10-15 minute slots in an informal way.

Martin Belam told Journalism.co.uk that ‘the goal of good information architecture is that people understand information,’ so it suits them to share knowledge and skills in this way. London is one of the biggest centres for information architects, perhaps the biggest outside New York and San Francisco, he said.

An overlap between editorial and technological roles is increasingly important for newspapers, Belam added.

Belam hopes that the event could be rolled out three times a year, with the next one being held in September.

Also see: Q&A with Martin Belam here.

Times Online inauguration live blog attracts 35,000

Among the inauguration day records for media sites, nice to hear of success for Times Online’s own interactive coverage – a liveblog using CoveritLive.

Run for eight-and-a-half hours and hosted on the Times’ Comment Central blog, the liveblog attracted 35,000 visitors and 50 comments a minute at its peak, according to a tweet from Tom Whitwell, assistant editor of Times Online.

Video is just start of online for Sport, says MD

A new video player – courtesy of Perform and Virgin Media – is just the start for Sport magazine’s ‘nascent’ website, Greg Miall, managing director, told Journalism.co.uk.

Traditionally television’s domain, online sports video from other media sites is a growing trend. By working with a third party, however, rights to the content are handled by Virgin, which supplies Premier League football highlights, and Perform, which handles video of cricket, tennis, golf and rugby fixtures.

“It’s a different way to supply a latent audience demand for this kind of content,” said Miall, adding that the BBC’s recent online coverage of the Beijing Olympics was a benchmark for online sports video.

“What it did [the BBC’s Olympics site] was provide another way of viewing all this content and a lot more people ended up looking at content, which they might not look at usually.”

Improvements are lined up for the player and embedding it across the site’s other channels is also in the pipeline.

In addition, an online channel manager is set to join the magazine in the next few weeks and will bring in a series of changes to the site, Miall added.

The key thinking behind the video offering, he said, is to appeal to a generation of readers and viewers who aren’t watching television for prolonged periods or through a set anymore.

So is short-form, online sports video the freesheet equivalent of television?

UK media sign up for new Virgin and Perform video player

e-Player, a new ‘multi-channel video player delivering sports highlights and video clips’, is to be used by a raft of UK media organisations, Sinead Scanlon writes for Journalism.co.uk.

ITV Sport, Telegraph Media Group, the Daily Mail, News International, Trinity Mirror, Evening Standard, Metro and Bauer are all set to deploy the player, which has been developed by Virgin Media and sports and entertainment company Perform, a press release on the launch said.

The player will be free for the media groups and will provide sports highlights and updates from UK football and European leagues, as well golf, tennis and rugby clips. Advertising revenue will be shared between Virgin and Perform and the media sites, based on the amount of traffic generated to the videos.

“We have secured distribution with many of the highest traffic, most respected online publishers in the UK, making e-Player the most exciting online video advertising proposition in the market,” said Oliver Slipper, joint-CEO of Perform.

Finding the ‘new new journalism’

Last night’s debate at LSE entitled ‘The New New Journalism’ was definitely a head scratcher and rather than try and analyse the back and forth in one post, here are some key points made by the speakers:

Tessa Mayes (campaigning investigative journalist): “We’re in danger within journalism of losing and forgetting what it is that we do and what it is that we need journalism to do in society. Journalists are simply becoming information managers.”

From the audience: “Information must be the master of the technology and not the other way round.”

Bill Thompson (journalist, commentator and contributor to the BBC’s technology section): “There is nothing at all essential, vital or needed about journalism. As technology develops, roles for editor and journalists will still exist, but the relationship will bear no resemblance to what they are now.”

Bill Thompson: said he (optimistically) hopes that the demand for original content will reassert the balance between this type of material and content being ‘shifted’ between media.

Julia Whitney (head of design and user experience for news, sport and weather at the BBC): Design of media sites, news sites, online communities ‘has everything to do with how meaning is generated’.

In my view the two most valid points made during the conversation were:

Bill Thompson’s suggestion that ultimately society doesn’t need journalism and journalists should be wary of the fact that they don’t exist in a protected, god-given role.

Secondly, Suw Charman-Anderson’s view from the audience on management issues, which she eloquently expresses on her blog:

“I made this point at the very end of the evening, that much of the problem in news organisations is down to broken management structures and dysfunctional management techniques. Bad decisions are being made by people unwilling to listen to those with the knowledge, but who are several paygrades down the food chain. Good journalists do not always make good managers and, ironically, are not always the best communicators.”

Your thoughts are welcome.

Social Media Journalist: ‘USG is the most overrated social media ‘news’ craze’ Jack Lail, Knoxville News Sentinel

Journalism.co.uk talks to journalists across the globe about social media and how they see it changing their industry. This week, Jack Lail of Knoxville News Sentinel.

image of Jack Lail

1) Who are you and what do you do?
My name is Jack D. Lail. I’m the managing editor/multimedia for the Knoxville News Sentinel in Knoxville, Tennessee.

I am in charge of the editorial content on our family of websites that include knoxnews.com and govolsxtra.com.

2) Which web or mobile-based social media tools do you use on a daily basis and why?
AIM, Twitter and Facebook mainly. I dabble in lots of others. Email? Is that a social media tool? Live in it. Google Reader? Certainly use it every day.

3) Of the thousands of social media tools available could you single one out as having the most potential for news either as a publishing or newsgathering tool?
I continue to think the unsexy RSS feed has the largest potential and is the most important tool. Twitter and Facebook have potential.

Next is blogging, if you consider that a social media tool. It is critical for mainstream media to adopt and adapt. Because it is a web native publishing platform as well as a social network, it engages and creates community in very effective ways.

Not a software tool, but the iPhone is the biggest game changer in terms of new platform. I’m actually starting to believe the hype about the mobile web.

Users get that product and every other hardware maker is improving their smart phone offerings at a more rapid pace. Did we just go from Gopher to Netscape in the mobile space?

4) And the most overrated in your opinion?
YouTube and Facebook notwithstanding, user-generated content seems to be the most overrated social media ‘news’ craze or the most ineptly executed by traditional media organisations.

I think you’ll see a few sites that thrive at this and nail it and everybody else will suck. There seems to be a difference also in layering in news in social media sites and creating community around news.

Obviously, there are more social media sites being launched than can be supported by audiences or business models. Is it spring and time to prune?