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  • Breaking News
    offer a continuous programmed stream of content over multiple channels Last time I suggested building our newspaper com site as a single river of news and information one that allows us to curate outside content and conversations and add them to that main current of our own news video images charts graphs and maps Research demonstrates clearly that people sip and graze information on the net increasingly using multiple access points phones and workplace desktops in the morning and afternoon phones and tablets in the evenings and weekends and that information needs change based on time of day day of week and increasingly location We need to programme our river think radio not newspapers I suggested that this river be free and open to all but that it fall off this page and into a paid archive one that offers a hierarchical arrangement of the news a la print after a short interval of say something like six hours We should ditch the damn banner and box ads and instead move them right into our river make all our ads inline text and video that takes its turn in the limelight and thus doesn t destroy the reading experience But all of that will fail unless we explode our newsrooms destroy those pipelines running from reporters to editors to print production and chart new paths The information pipelines should run directly from journalist out to the community and back again and then we can curate the best of what results for print and for our newspaper com site Imagine if every journalist was assigned a beat either organized around subject e g Courts or geography a neighbourhood a town Require that journalist to create their own stream of original reporting curated content and conversations focused on that beat let s call it a blog although in every respect it should be a tightly focused version of the main site Content Editors would oversee that work keeping the journalist on course and calling for extra depth or resources as needed The web and print production teams would have the same job curate all of those streams to create the primary web and print products Print would need some rewrite people to stitch together running reports into coherent narratives complete with context The web would need some journalists creating live content directly events conversations with the community at large etc But otherwise each production would be harvesting content from the multitude of newsroom information streams and packaging it in a way specific to their mediums and their distribution channels The more alert among you will notice that this structure has the potential to shatter the newsroom and turn the majority of journalists into freelancers surviving on the quality speed and value of their beat content I guarantee you that if we don t do it the digital natives will do it for us Cross posted from my Shift Lock column in Newspapers Canada s The Publisher Old hippie photo courtesy Jason Ralston some rights reserved under Creative Commons Attribution licence November 11th 2011 Category News Comments are closed Another brick in the wall but maybe a doorway too By Bill on September 12th 2011 It s baaaack Like Jack Nicholson smashing through the bathroom wall with a fire axe only in this case it s the accountants and consultants and they re not breaking down walls they re building them The pay wall is back our walled garden of content The soothing sotto vocce whispering inside our scared little skulls You are worth it If they really liked you they d pay for it The frantic attempt to inflate value by manufacturing scarcity instead of manufacturing value The very big boys down south the Wall St Journal the New York Times Boston Globe etc etc and dozens of mid sized and smaller papers are hiding various portions of their re purposed print content behind metered pay walls Here in Canada the Post Media chain has called in the masons too falling prey to their own fears and the blandishments of Steve Brill and the folks from Press Connecting Content with Commerce As I write this my own organization has just erected a metered pay wall around our website with the assistance of the same Press folks There are glitches and the wall can be thwarted by anyone armed with either more than one browser or knowledge of where their cookies live but that s no never mind enough of the market targeted by this metering will simply accept the cost and that makes it worth implementing In the short run The logic and it s borne out by research Brill is a smart guy is that since there is an admittedly small segment of our market 2 per cent 7 per cent willing to pay for the convenience and speed of digital delivery of basically our print product we should not leave that money sitting on the table Those willing to pay include real fans who see the cost as a donation to our journalism heavy users who simply see real value in the product and will pay to continue their digital access to it and institutional users who can afford the sub 100 annual bill Visitors to our site will get a warning and a sales pitch when they hit something like 35 articles in a single month and will get booted back to a non clickable version of the home page after their 50th monthly visit There is no doubt it will reduce our visitor page view counts But since we can t currently monetize all of our traffic in our case our audience is about twice as large as our advertisers want to pay for we can take the circulation hit without any real advertising loss In fact the Press folks say advertising revenue should rise in part because the audience is now more valuable ain t scarcity wonderful So why do I hate these systems and the folks

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/ (2014-10-09)
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  • Advertising « Breaking News
    per cent but newspapers lagged behind July 21st 2008 Category Advertising Comments are closed Forty percent of the Top 50 US newspapers are bleeding red ink says top CEO By Bill on June 10th 2008 Business Week s Media Columnist Jon Fine did us all a favour by reproducing in it s entirety a speech given by newspaper chain CEO Dean Singleton at the World Association of Newsapers annual conference held this year in Sweden Singleton whose chain News Media Group owns Denver Post San Jose Mercury etc opened his speech with a well placed kick to the midsection of a prone Lord Black of Crossharbour Thank you for once again inviting me to address the World Association of Newspapers I spoke to you at the 2003 meeting in Dublin My speech was followed by a presentation Continue reading Forty percent of the Top 50 US newspapers are bleeding red ink says top CEO June 10th 2008 Category Advertising Journalism Marketing News Comments are closed US experts see sharp decline in Real Estate print advertising By Bill on March 25th 2008 First employment classifieds Then automotive advertising moved massively online And now a the executive summary of new report out of the US by Borrell Associates suggests real estate advertising dollars are going to jump to the web in a big way For newspapers the situation is worse We project that coming off last year s high of almost 5 2 billion in print advertising there will be a 6 8 percent decline this year 2007 almost the same again in 2008 followed by a stunning 16 percent fall in 2009 and 13 percent in 2010 By then real estate marketers Continue reading US experts see sharp decline in Real Estate print advertising March 25th 2008 Category Advertising Marketing Comments are closed Online teaching tools By Bill on March 13th 2008 Here s an embedded slide show of a presentation I created using Google s free Documents tools The tools is very fast and easy if somewhat less than sophisticated in terms of transitions etc It has some interesting functionality it allows people to join an online conversation about the presentation in real time in a sidebar a kind of open back channel Not sure if I d use that in a classroom situation but it might be interesting in a distance learning environment Oh and did I mention it was free This presentation was on the difference between print and online advertising In Continue reading Online teaching tools March 13th 2008 Category Advertising Comments are closed Is free the future of our business By Bill on February 26th 2008 Another thought provoking piece soon to be a book by Wired editor Chris Anderson examines the future of free as a defining element of a digital economy It s now clear that practically everything Web technology touches starts down the path to gratis at least as far as we consumers are concerned Storage now joins bandwidth YouTube free and processing

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?cat=9 (2014-10-09)
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  • Blogs/blogging « Breaking News
    similar comparison earlier this year when the transit union launched an unexpected but legal strike on a Friday night at press deadline time and the results are pretty similar none of the dailies have figured out yet how to blend the strengths of their newsroom speed accuracy access with the new possibilities opened up by an always connected citizenry but most of them are trying The Star with the city s biggest newsroom although I can t imagine they had more than a single person on duty when the first blast hit produced the fullest account with pretty admirable speed Police fire eyewitness reports plus links to two of the eight or so citizen videos of the blast I found online The article had commenting enabled they don t always and you got a bit of a flavour of the impact on the city which is useful if basic The Globe and Mail seemed entirely asleep at the switch relying entirely on Canadian Press for it s text story still photos and video CP s video was quite good actually blending citizen video with their own images and overlaying professional reporting and a very competent voice over The Globe and the Star both appealed to readers to send them stories videos and photos but if they got any neither acknowledged it Lots of comments though including people offering links to other sites with video of the blasts the Toronto Fire Dept s live response web page even academic and news references to other propane explosions and the risks the storage depots pose Good stuff that a smart web team might have referenced in the story but their readers did it for them It s a stark demonstration of how people use or want to use the web to share information to learn more by sharing what they know using the familiar web tools Flickr YouTube Wikipedia the collective memory of the web itself Click to continue reading August 10th 2008 Category Blogs blogging Journalism News Tech 5 comments Comments are closed Live Blogging a WebU Grad Course By Bill on July 9th 2008 During these summer months WebU is offering a series of grad courses shorter sharper sessions aimed at specific constituencies photographers ad sales reps editorial writers etc One of these sessions is for the Metroland web masters the folks responsible for the editorial content of our web sites For that session It thought it would be fun to try out the Coveritlive live blogging tool which was created by a team in Toronto just down the highway Here it is July 9th 2008 Category Blogs blogging Tech Tips One comment Comments are closed Surprise Toronto transit strike tests local media By Bill on April 26th 2008 If you like hard news you should have been in heaven in Toronto on Friday night Unfortunately the local media didn t do a hell of a job covering it The major union for Toronto Transit Commission workers called a surprise strike

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?cat=3 (2014-10-09)
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  • Journalism « Breaking News
    about ourselves but we knew them to have some grounding in reality Sometimes our work does Continue reading What s a story worth today August 25th 2010 Category Journalism Comments are closed Breaking News The Top 5 mistakes newspaper make when news happens By Bill on June 17th 2010 Last month a large and boisterous fire appeared on the rooftop gardens of a Toronto waterfront condo during the afternoon rush hour Bright orange flame pierced thick black smoke and the wind whipped plume was so large and so high it was visible from clear across Lake Ontario in St Catherine s 51 kms to the south Thousands of workers in the downtown towers gawked at the fire from their windows commuter traffic slowed to a crawl along the elevated expressway mere metres from the fire struck condo On the islands and ferries and boats in the harbour all Continue reading Breaking News The Top 5 mistakes newspaper make when news happens June 17th 2010 Category Journalism News Tips Comments are closed Newspapers Stop chasing yesterday s readers By Bill on March 17th 2010 Why are we always aiming at yesterday s readers I ve spent the better part of the past year and a half building and installing a sprawling content management system at one of our larger newspaper chains Eighteen months And the entire time I ve been beset by the nagging gnawing worry that I m just bolting a big shiny brand new anchor to the belt of a powerful but aging swimmer who even now is floundering in rough waters These enterprise systems even the newest releases are inevitably constructed with layer upon layer of legacy code programming bloated by years Continue reading Newspapers Stop chasing yesterday s readers March 17th 2010 Tags CMS Category Journalism Tech Comments are closed Ernst Zundel goes free Defending the indefensible By Bill on March 2nd 2010 As this day slowly slips away I wonder if I should write this post at all It s March 1st 2010 This morning German authorities released Holocaust denier and Nazi apologist Ernst Zundel from jail I know Zundel all too well Back in the last century I spent five or six years as an investigative reporter for the Toronto Sun specializing in the rise and fall of Zundel his sorry skinhead shocktroops and the motley crew that coagulated under the Heritage Front banner waved by Zundel s protegé the late Wolfgang Droege Nearly a decade later in a post 9 11 America Continue reading Ernst Zundel goes free Defending the indefensible March 2nd 2010 Category Journalism News One comment Comments are closed Goodbye advertising hello circulation By Bill on January 15th 2010 Cross posted from ShiftLock my tech column in the Canadian Newspaper Association s paper The Publisher Straws in the wind or a sea change blowing in This past quarter at the New York Times and my own newspaper and many many others circulation surpassed advertising as the dominant revenue source for newspaper

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?cat=4 (2014-10-09)
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  • Marketing « Breaking News
    the morning paper By Bill on June 25th 2008 Continue reading Readers reading web news just like it s the morning paper June 25th 2008 Category Journalism Marketing News Tech Comments are closed Forty percent of the Top 50 US newspapers are bleeding red ink says top CEO By Bill on June 10th 2008 Business Week s Media Columnist Jon Fine did us all a favour by reproducing in it s entirety a speech given by newspaper chain CEO Dean Singleton at the World Association of Newsapers annual conference held this year in Sweden Singleton whose chain News Media Group owns Denver Post San Jose Mercury etc opened his speech with a well placed kick to the midsection of a prone Lord Black of Crossharbour Thank you for once again inviting me to address the World Association of Newspapers I spoke to you at the 2003 meeting in Dublin My speech was followed by a presentation Continue reading Forty percent of the Top 50 US newspapers are bleeding red ink says top CEO June 10th 2008 Category Advertising Journalism Marketing News Comments are closed Most Read stories may be a matter of luck not quality as research discovers hits are almost random By Bill on May 6th 2008 Good news trends probably aren t started by cool kids who are way smarter and more influential than you or I Instead products and ideas catch on in society because we re ready for them and just about anyone can start up the the wave of acceptance for that new idea Some of the critical research on this was published back in Feb 2006 in Science the magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science but most of us learned about it in a recent Fast Company piece by tech writer and Canadian Clive Thompson Is The Tipping Continue reading Most Read stories may be a matter of luck not quality as research discovers hits are almost random May 6th 2008 Category Marketing News Social Web Tech Comments are closed Gin Television and Social Surplus Clay Shirky calls us out of our stupor By Bill on April 30th 2008 Author and journalist programmer Clay Shirky gave a powerfully thoughtful talk at Reilly s Web 2 0 conference last week Gin Television and Social Surplus In his relaxed 16 minute talk Shirky drew up upon the thoughts of a British historian who theorized that the most significant technology of the early industrial revolution was gin because it allowed the population to dull the pain and fear that accompanied the switch from agrarian to industrial society dull it long enough for them to make the switch and then wake up to take advantage of the riches industrialization brought them Continue reading Gin Television and Social Surplus Clay Shirky calls us out of our stupor April 30th 2008 Category Journalism Marketing News Social Web Tech Comments are closed Hey Look A brand new newspaper launched in Baltimore By Bill on April 29th 2008

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?cat=5 (2014-10-09)
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  • Mashups « Breaking News
    2007 Blogroll Development Blog Documentation DreamHost Blog Plugins Suggest Ideas Support Forum Themes A novel use for twitter a teaching taser By Bill on March 4th 2008 Twitter a micro blogging tool that slipped a 140 character noose around the neck of the net s geekish crowd about a year or so ago and has kept them on that short leash ever since has also proven to be a useful kind of cattle prod in the task of shocking newsrooms into the 21st century The very first time I showed a roomful of journalists and advertising reps David Troy s Twittervision a mashup of Google Maps and the public Twitter stream of tweets the universal look of incomprehension on the gathered faces was like a frigid blast of winter Continue reading A novel use for twitter a teaching taser March 4th 2008 Category Journalism Mashups Comments are closed What are YOU doing By Bill on April 2nd 2007 In case you wanted to know here s what the cool kids are up to on the net Twitter http twitter com A web site whose sole purpose seemingly is described this way A global community of friends and strangers answering one

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?cat=13 (2014-10-09)
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  • News « Breaking News
    Continue reading Another brick in the wall but maybe a doorway too September 12th 2011 Category News One comment Comments are closed Are we doing too much online By Bill on July 11th 2011 One hundred and ninety three That s the number of navigation links our website is displaying today on its home page alone Nearly two hundred clickable links choices for you to make that take you deeper into our site or spin you off elsewhere in the chain where you can begin the link roulette all over again 193 links Hell most days our newspaper prints fewer than 100 pages it s hard to imagine why we need all those links each day Links to sections and subsections of content Links to searches and sorts Links to features and topics Continue reading Are we doing too much online July 11th 2011 Category News Tech One comment Comments are closed Shut up so I can listen to you By Bill on June 18th 2011 Few things vex online news organizations as much as commenting does these days Many sites find themselves flooded with obscene viputerative sexist racist or just plain dumb comments that they cannot afford to properly moderate nor influence and which leave them despairing for the quality of their audience Which is one of the reasons the Knight and Mozilla foundations are running a Beyond Commenting Challenge hoping to unlock innovations in this critical piece of online Subtlety usually dies just after civility journalism and my god speed them on that journey UPDATE the contest has closed I ll cover the results Continue reading Shut up so I can listen to you June 18th 2011 Category News 4 comments Comments are closed The Future is now so why is everyone facing backwards By Bill on June 18th 2011 Back in 2005 my newspaper was lucky enough to be the only Canadian participant in The Learning Newsroom an ambitious 18 month long million dollar newsroom culture transformation experiment At one point we were asked to describe what the newspaper of 2015 would look like how would it function what would it cover etc etc At the time I had been reading Harvard prof Clayton Christensen s The Innovator s Dilemma When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fall and luxuriating in the outpouring of ideas and creativity bubbling out of the web developer community The past is somewhere you ve been Continue reading The Future is now so why is everyone facing backwards June 18th 2011 Category News Comments are closed Now that the seas seem calm launch the lifeboats By Bill on March 14th 2011 It was only last summer that researchers presenting a State of the Canadian Media report offered the cautious suggestion that newspapers decades long slide in market penetration might finally have hit a floor or at least flattened for the foreseeable future in the 30 per cent neighbourhood Frankly to me it sounded like whistling past the graveyard an excuse for managers

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?cat=8 (2014-10-09)
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  • Social Web « Breaking News
    raging river of mundanities the Twitter army sends and receives millions of these missives every single day I ll bet many of you have never or only recently heard of Twitter it s two years old next month And I bet most of you share the opinion expressed by one reporter who when I introduced her to Twitter during a course and asked her what she thought of it snarled I think some people need to get a life Wrong answer Click to continue reading October 1st 2008 Category News Social Web Comments are closed Digital Survival Guide Part 2 By Bill on July 3rd 2008 Last November Steve Buttry from the American Press Institute put out a call to his colleagues for advice on as he put it how to help an old stegasaurus upgrade his online skills Steve I hasten to add wasn t the old dinosaur in question rather the request had arisen from one of his students I reread what I had provided Steve and I think it s some pretty fair advice for any journalist who s looking to upgrade their skills so I m reprinting them here But I urge you to visit Steve s original post and take in Continue reading Digital Survival Guide Part 2 July 3rd 2008 Category Journalism Social Web Tech Tips Comments are closed Rob Curley s crew flees suburbia for Las Vegas By Bill on June 6th 2008 So Rob Curley has finally flopped moved on See update at end of post One of online journalism s undoubted stars the driving force behind a crew that created the award winning high on cool and low to the ground sites like LJWorld com and KUSports com and the Naples Daily News site has left LoudounExtra com which appears to be floundering LoudounExtra was a model hyper local news website template he was building for the Washington Post but after about a year he and much of his team have decamped for Las Vegas Don t get me wrong I think Rob s a brilliant Continue reading Rob Curley s crew flees suburbia for Las Vegas June 6th 2008 Category Journalism News Social Web Tech Tips Comments are closed Most Read stories may be a matter of luck not quality as research discovers hits are almost random By Bill on May 6th 2008 Good news trends probably aren t started by cool kids who are way smarter and more influential than you or I Instead products and ideas catch on in society because we re ready for them and just about anyone can start up the the wave of acceptance for that new idea Some of the critical research on this was published back in Feb 2006 in Science the magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science but most of us learned about it in a recent Fast Company piece by tech writer and Canadian Clive Thompson Is The Tipping Continue reading Most Read stories may be

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?cat=12 (2014-10-09)
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