Tag Archives: Vodafone

Guardian mobile; Daily Mail targets US audience on Kindle

Guardian.co.uk will be available as a new mobile site from March, a release from the publisher has confirmed.

Specific versions of m.guardian.co.uk will be available for iPhone and Blackberry handsets will be released. The decision to launch a dedicated mobile site follows growing mobile traffic to the Guardian, Adam Freeman, commercial director, said in the statement.

Distribution deals for mobile content have been signed with 3 and Vodafone. The site itself will be ad-supported.

Meanwhile the Daily Mail is planning to make its content available on the US version of Amazon’s Kindle e-reader, according to a report from NMA – part of a push to capitalise on the Mail’s growing US audience. The site previously told Journalism.co.uk that its commercial focus remains on the UK, but perhaps this marks the beginnings of an overseas push.

Talking to (Shiny)Katie post-Shiny: ‘Shiny can turn things around’

Last week saw co-founder Katie Lee aka ‘ShinyKatie’ leave Shiny Media, a departure she announced on Twitter.


As TechCrunch reported, only one of the three original staff members is left, Chris Price. Shiny Media first launched in 2003, with its site TechDigest and then rapidly expanded and in 2007 received $4.5 million VC funding from Brightstation. By 2008 they had six main Shiny categories which split into different sites – 30 in total.

Things didn’t look so bleak for Lee in September last year when Lee discussed her plans for redesign with Journalism.co.uk. But even without Lee, Shiny is still going ahead with plans. This week saw the launch of TechDigest’s new look –  with a ‘new user friendly format’, Chris Price told Journalism.co.uk.

Last Friday, was Lee’s last day as ShinyKatie. She spoke to Journalism.co.uk about Shiny and her plans for the future.

What is the situation for the company now? It seems the 30 blog titles are being maintained, but is this realistic?
[KL] “Many of the sites in our network are key to the deal we have with Glam, and they certainly won’t be closing. In terms of other sites, all I know is that traffic is Shiny Media’s biggest success story and Chris and his team will be working hard to make sure sites aren’t shut down unless they absolutely have to be.”

How do you feel about it? Did things get resolved amicably? Or will you be speaking out like [other co-founder] Ashley Norris?
“Obviously I’m absolutely gutted not to be working with such a talented, brilliant and (most importantly) funny editorial team. I have no plans on ‘speaking out because’ my team left behind in Shiny Media deserve to do well, deserve my respect and deserve the chance to continue doing their job without hindrance from me.

“It’s important to say that Ashley wasn’t in our office working full time for a very long time before that article was written. In fact, while he was working as a freelancer up until it was announced he’d left, we hadn’t seen in him in the office for months and as far as most of the staff were concerned, he hadn’t been a part of Shiny for some considerable time. I think the impression was that he’d been CEO up until it was announced he’d left, but that isn’t the case.”

It’s obviously sad to read about the plight an independent venture that seemed to be going so well: looking back can you see where some things went wrong?
“It’s still a successful network with some good advertising deals in place – such as the Vodafone Live Guy campaign we recently worked on, and a brilliant partnership with the Gadget Show Live.

“In terms of where we went wrong, we’ve certainly made some pretty big mistakes over the years, but with no model to follow over here, I think Shiny is still a pretty impressive success story. I wish we’d sorted out the commercial side of the business from the beginning rather than relying on advertising agencies to sell what are very bespoke advertising campaigns, but we finally have a sales team in house and they’re already making great strides forward.”

You’re still a shareholder – do you still have hope the company can turn things around?

“I certainly do still hope the company can turn things around, yes! I love Shiny Media, love the sites, and love the people that work there. It’s really important to me that the sites keep going. Shiny Shiny was my site that I started when I was 25, and the thought of it not existing anymore is something I can’t ever imagine. I know that Gemma feels the same about the fashion sites, especially Catwalk Queen. And if there was no TV Scoop I wouldn’t be able to geekout on Being Human reviews and the like!”

What are your plans now?
“I’ve got some ideas that have been bubbling away quietly in the back of my mind for some time now. I’m going to take a bit of time to work out which to focus on and where to take it and while I’m doing that I’ll keep myself ticking over with a bit of freelance consultancy and some journalism. I won’t be looking for venture capital funding – I’m more interested in starting small, keeping things simple and satisfying a few creative urges along the way. One idea in particular I’ve been dying to work on for a while now, so I’ve got plenty to think about!”

DNA 2008: CNN says no ‘mojos’ for five years

Laurel Chamberlain, director of digital media for news at Turner Media, told delegates at DNA 2008 that CNN would not be adapting its journalists or content for mobile phones in the near future.

Chamberlain, who was speaking in a panel discussion on the business of mobile news, said there was currently no need to use specially trained mobile journalists or alter content for mobile.

“There are always ways of looking at how we can condense what we put onto mobile, but at this stage I don’t think it’s necessary,” Chamberlain said.

“If people only want to read the first paragraph of a story that’s fine by me, but so far we’ve found they’re reading five or six pages of one story.”

In the UK the Manchester Evening News has been experimenting with mobile journalism, giving reporters Vodafone handsets to file news copy and pictures on the fly.

Reuters has also been conducting its own ‘mojo’ trials since last summer with reporters equipped with lightweight Nokia kits producing multimedia coverage from the US Presidential primaries and the Edinburgh International Film Festival.

But Chamberlain said such experiments were not being carried out at CNN: “I don’t think special mobile journalists are coming soon for CNN, maybe in another five years when we are only thinking about the mobile space.”

Will widgets revolutionise content online?

At yesterday’s AOP forum on widgets, plenty of examples were given as to how these applications are used by content providers, but few answers were given on their impact in terms of audience numbers.

Brand controller at ITV consumer, Richard Waterworth, explained the channel’s creation of Facebook applications to promote ITV2 show ‘The Secret Diary of a Call Girl’, but admitted when questioned that quantifying the contribution these kind of widgets make to audience growth is not yet possible.

“It’s absolutely still true that the power of cross-promotion from ITV on air eclipses all this other activity… the way that Facebook works and these widgets work are not comparable in terms of numbers, but what it’s about is building momentum in certain points of a campaign,” he said.

There is scope then for online news providers to use widgets to build buzz about sections on their sites or current projects – just as US sites Washingtonpost.com and USAToday.com have done.

But with metrics for widgets in their infancy it is unclear when or how these applications could become real audience drivers for news websites rather than just flashy marketing toys.

According to Ivan Pope, founder of Snipperoo, sites including news sites looking to widgetise will have to accept that it is a give and take process:

“In order to aggregate you have to disaggregate something… you have to blow up all your content into small fragments and widgetise everything you’ve got and make it available for people to reaggregate into their own view.

“The era of websites which are controlled by a central entity is coming to an end… people want to be in control of where they exist.”

Such widgetisation of content would be a concern for news providers wanting to track where their content ends up and where their audience comes from. This could cause problems for news sites developing widgets for the mobile web, as David Ashbrook, senior research engineer for Vodafone’s devices team, explains in the clip below:


To iron out these problems more deals are needed between content providers and with mobile networks – events that could lead to, as Snipperoo’s Pope suggests, the fragmentation of the internet and websites as we know it.