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Archive for September, 2002

Blogcritics cited by Tennessee AG

by henrycopeland
Monday, September 30th, 2002

Updating a post about an antitrust action against price-fixing record companies, Glenn Reynolds notes that “The Tennessee Attorney General’s office emails me to note that actually the feds were on the case first — and, get this, refers me to this post on Blogcritics for more information on the subject. Is that cool, or what?”

Success tailor-made from the web

by henrycopeland
Monday, September 30th, 2002

At Lands’ End, 40 percent of all chino and jeans sales on the company’s Web site are now custom orders. Original projection: 10%. Once a customer finds the right fit, “they’ll typically buy every color in those jeans or chinos or whatever,” a Lands’ End exec tells the NYTimes.

Fleishman: blogging boosts credibility

by henrycopeland
Friday, September 27th, 2002

Wi-Fi maven Glenn Fleishman writes: “My blog has given me the credibility that’s extended me back into a variety of print publications, including InfoWorld (see this coming Monday’s edition), Macworld (Bluetooth knowledge), and The New York Times (although I was writing occasionally for them, the Wi-Fi blog has resulted in stories they’ve asked me to write or that I’ve pitched). For freelancers, a blog like mine, on a focused topic, can truly change your career.”

Swing low, sweet pricing point

by henrycopeland
Friday, September 27th, 2002

Seeking to cash in on (and exacerbate) the confluence of Moore’s law and Baby-bust deflation, Olivier Travers launches The Happy Deflationist. As Olivier describes it: “Fresh deals and bargains found for you on eBay, Amazon.com, and elsewhere on the web. Tech products, computer hardware, books, DVDs and CDs. Stuff that you actually want to buy, and can afford as well.” It’s the poor man’s Gizmodo.

‘Recursive publishing tool’

by henrycopeland
Friday, September 27th, 2002

Writing about RSS/RDF wrestling, Anil Dash comments: “Blogger wasn’t named RPT: Recursive Publishing Tool. That’s part of why it caught on with normal people.”

Googlesphere

by henrycopeland
Thursday, September 26th, 2002

Moxie and Doc went to lunch and thought they coined the Googlesphere. Google said otherwise. Perhaps they can get credit for popularizing it?

Daypop up

by henrycopeland
Thursday, September 26th, 2002

Daypop is back, just in time to record News.Google’s linkage by 178 blogs. Bots chasing people chasing bots chasing people.

Featurewell

by henrycopeland
Wednesday, September 25th, 2002

Wordsmith and newly syndicated author Ken Layne describes the article syndication Internet service run by Featurewell. “There are some 800 writers – Jimmy Breslin, Eric Alterman, Catherine Dunn, Christopher Hitchens and Andrei Codrescu, to name a few – who use Featurewell to sell their work again and again to the 900 editors signed up with the service. Wallis has a reputation as a fierce defender of free-lancers’ rights, and this combined with his record of actually getting the money from publishers to journalists makes Featurewell a friendly place for an impressive roster of writers.” Correspondent.com, one of Pressflex‘s publishing clients, offers a parallel service focused on Europe. And I know Red Dot provides an Internet-managed photo syndication service from Budapest.

It’s Google, stupid.

by henrycopeland
Tuesday, September 24th, 2002

If you are in the news business, forget how you manage and serve information. Don’t bother going to fancy content management summits. Instead, spend some time thinking about how readers acquire information.

Eager to test-drive the next content management system? Open a web-browser. Type www.google.com. Voila.

Serving over 5 billion searches a month, Google is by far the world’s biggest single information server, the global content management system. For premium, information-hungry readers, Google is, defacto, both the homepage and prefered acquisition tool for most important information.

What does this mean for news publishers? Consider New York, where Google thrashes the city’s paper of record on its own front stoop.

The New York Times portrays itself as The City’s Leading Information Source. And as one discovers by crunching the NYTimes.com’s own audience figures, the paper gets an average of 1.2 million visitors a day or roughly 11 million total users in a month.

These numbers pale when we consider that Google serves 12,195,400 searches a month for the words “New York.” And 68,400 for “World Trade Center.” And 91,200 for “Bloomberg.” And 144,400 for “NYSE.” And 630,700 for “Broadway.” And 752,300 for “Manhattan.” And 22,800 for “Pataki.” And 60,800 for “Empire State Building.”

You get the idea. Here’s the scary thing; the number of Google searches for “New York” has grown 62% since March. When was the last time the New York Times grew its web audience by more than 20% a year? (All Google figures gleaned from its old Adwords program.)

Here are some other Google search tallies for publishers to chew on. Google gets 11,260,800 searches a month for “London.” “Atlanta” gets 2,302,300 a month. “Los Angeles” gets 3,442,100 a month.

Now, Google goes for the news jugular. Google has been running an alpha version of its news scraper for months, putting relevant headlines atop search results. This week, its “news.google” page began serving up whole pages of relevant news scraped from 4,000 sources.

Noting that the NYTimes URLs in News.Google include the word “partner,” Dave Winer suggests some special benefit will accrue to the paper. I don’t know what he’s thinking. Will Google skew its news judgement to send some extra visitors to the Times? My bet is that the partnership simply (and only) jumps visitors past the Times’ registration module.

In fact, News.Google shames the NYTimes.com. On the ten articles highlighted on the current news aggregation for “New York,” only two are from the New York Times. Only one of ten for the “New York City” search is from the Times.

Assuming Google’s content relevance and peer weighting algorithms continue to run the show, News.Google will boost well-networked bloggers as Google’s source of highly referenced sites expands. The key thing to watch — when and how will Google expand the list of 4,000 news providers.

Kuro5hin and Slashdot are already included. (But no Metafilter?) Will Blogcritics or Instapundit or Scripting News be next? Will Drudge, the human headline squeegee, ever make the list?

The bottom of Google’s new

No humans harmed... but more than a few corporations will drown as the river of news floods and erases its old banks.

Want the latest news and views about News.Google? Where better to check than the [url=http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=google&sa=N&tab=wn]source itself"> says: “This page was generated entirely by computer algorithms without human editors. No humans were harmed or even used in the creation of this page.”

No humans harmed… but more than a few corporations will drown as the river of news floods and erases its old banks.

Want the latest news and views about News.Google? Where better to check than the [url=http://news.google.com/news?hl=en&lr=&ie=ISO-8859-1&q=google&sa=N&tab=wn]source itself.

(9/26/02 Nick Denton, former CEO of headline aggregating Moreover.com, examines a Google fumble in presenting news. And Leslie Walker writes: “the former editor in me feels humbled at how a computer is able to assemble on the fly an adequate version of what it takes a dozen or two humans to do at most major Web news sites.”)

Chasing ads, dailies think ‘adult’

by henrycopeland
Monday, September 23rd, 2002

On a day when Glenn gives a bodaciously illustrated link to topless UK hunting enthusiasts, I’m inspired to dredge up this article from a couple months back.

E&P: “It’s a newspaper advertising category that for decades has been owned lock, stock, and fur-lined handcuffs by alternative papers. But now increasing numbers of daily newspapers are coyly succumbing to the many seductions of sex ads.”

“‘I worry about the slippery slope of pursuing these ads,’ Hartford (Conn.) Advocate Advertising Manager Greg Shimer said. ‘I want our people to go after auto, hospitals, fashion — the ads alternatives don’t traditionally get.’” Nevertheless, in July “the Advocate began a two-month experiment of slightly relaxed standards — including bigger ad sizes and photographs (although only head shots are allowed) — to attract more business to its small adult-advertising section.”


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