Monday, 28 January 2008

Making money from online news

Paul Bradshaw's excellent series on the 21st century newsroom concluded with a round-up of how money can be made in the current online news climate.

A rapid development of online media has seen the newspaper industry struggle to keep up as the internet developed into multimedia and social-networking, but is now attempting to claw its way back with web2.0 redesigns and new business models aimed at maximising a multi platform approach to publishing.

This is easier said than done, but the nationals have taken the lead by improving their web offering by making sites more user friendly in terms of interaction and as a source of multimedia content.

The user and content are kings online, as there is a more level playing field than any other media, choice means online news sites must be lean, on the ball as well as clever about their revenue-making opportunities.

No one is making serious money from online news sites, there is no tried and tested business model.

But gradually as Paul points out we are figuring out what the customer wants, and bringing the audience and advertisers closer, in order to maximise value for money to the client and give the audience a more relevant commercial offering.

It is a steep learning curve for all inside the newspaper industry, as doing the 21st century news operation properly as the 2nd dotcom bubble grows means starting from scratch in some terms of technical and IT structures.

In order to maximise the examples and areas you rightly mention, companies have to really look at how they get content onto different platforms and how effectively and efficiently their advertising platforms work as inevitably money needs to be saved wherever possible.

Integration is key in terms of a multimedia approach to content, advertising and staffing. If your staff aren't ready or wholly willing to jump on the multimedia news publishing train it will hold up any progress.

Sunday, 27 January 2008

Understanding RSS in plain English

The Commoncraft team have put together some great visual walk-throughs of webby terms and online services and tools.

Here's their explanation of RSS or Really Simple Syndication, to follow up they have even out together some FAQs:

Thursday, 24 January 2008

BBC goes 2.0 beta-style

The new beta BBC homepage ticks all the customisation and functionality boxes with its new design and widget-driven layout.

Choose what, how and where your content is displayed. Choose your location to specify content, e.g. weather.

Apparently embedded video will be part of the finished product.

The retro clock and colour palettes work really well.

The features panel to the right will by all accounts reduce in size as it does overwhelm the page somewhat.

All in all, a decent user experience and great level of user control, but not losing the BBC's straightforward delivery of content.

the changing colour palette when features are selected is eye-catching, but not wholly necessary in its delivery.

They chosen colour should at least have some relation to a section of content within the site, or be less of a visual jump on the whole page.

Richard Titus (BBC's Acting Head of User Experience) and Sam England give more in depth behind the scenes backstory and analysis.

Here's a screenshot of the current layout and general personalisation options:

BBC beta homepage as at 25 January 2008

Netvibes going ginger

My start page of choice is about to upgrade to its ginger stage allowing users to create a time line of events and shared experiences, integrating more openly like a social network and make itself cross-compatible allowing developers to create widgets for the likes of facebook, myspace, Vista desktop gadgets and the iPhone.

I like netvibes' neat layout and simple way it lets me read related RSS feeds of content in tabs, as well as the usual widgets. It works pretty much the same as iGoogle and pageflakes, so its down to personal preference. See a video preview of netvibes' ginger features:

Netvibes Ginger: Add content from Maurice Svay on Vimeo.

Monday, 21 January 2008

10 songs: Ian Brown - F.E.A.R.

I cannot narrow it down to a favourite song, not even an order, but here's the starter, Ian Brown's epic and sublime but memorable and building F.E.A.R.

Strings definitely take good songs to another level, similarly Verve's Bittersweet Symphony sits alongside this one, but I will plump for Ian Brown.

Friday, 18 January 2008

Where's all the videos then?

I opened a new tab in Firefox to check out a video on YouTube, but it didn't react quick enough, so I end up on

I wonder how much traffic they get from mistyped searches?


Where all the videos then? Everybody's always talking about all the great and funny things but I cannot find anything on your site...

yours foolishly"

Thursday, 17 January 2008

BBC answers own clown question

The BBC beta homepage screams at us 'Why are clowns so scary?', but the feature image (screenshot below) pretty much explains that one.

Thanks BBC.

Personally I'm not too horrified, but I have good friends who would not appreciate that image violating their dreams!

BBC beta homepage screenshot showing scary clowns feature

Sunday, 6 January 2008

Who's in yourTest XI

England's squad for the New Zealand tour this year has caused plenty of discussion over at Aggers Beeb blog.

If only there were 11 obvious strong selections for the Test team, but that's half the fun isn't it?

Where would we be without feeling aggrieved at the promising youngster/in-form veteran being left out for some personal favourite of the captain or coach.

But realistically, for one reason or another (some of which not really explained or seemingly fair) we'll probably have to get used to not seeing any more of Geraint and Simon Jones, Paul Nixon, Chris Read (maybe he should move to Sussex), Mark Ramprakash and maybe even Andrew Flintoff (but I hope not)?! Discuss...