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  • Death of the Subscription model? « Breaking News
    November 18th 2007 Is the news that even the Wall St Journal will be dropping its walled garden approach to its news in the hopes of generating more revenue via advertising the final death knell to the paid subscription model for newspapers online Don t tell The Globe and Mail that Their confusing array of subscription models seems specifically designed to frustrate and trip up readers But for most of the English speaking newspaper world the walls have tumbled or are crumbling rapidly The Washigton Post which has spent hundreds of millions of dollars developing it s free web site has a useful piece on the shift Although I have to say that I agree with ex Washingtonpost com editor Craig Stoltz who blogs at Web 2 Oh when he pointed to this comment in the story from the Economist s publisher Part of my job as publisher is to create the very best possible experience for people so they can advance into a deeper relationship with us Edwards said Eventually they can transfer over to be a print subscriber Transfer over to be a print subscriber Hello Did cheaper cars encourage people to switch back to horses Stoltz entitled his post Unpaid Content and Delusions of a Print Renaissance and I think that about sums it up The unanswered question however is this what about local news Does the wide and deep availability of massive amounts of non local web news information and entertainment mean that readers won t pay for local news In that same WP story carries this quote from a man who s devoted the last three years to thinking and researching paid content on the web Subscriptions thrive in an area where there s scarcity content that people can t get anywhere else said Rafat

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=62 (2014-10-09)
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  • New ways of selling ads stress the social side of the web « Breaking News
    many people are trying to innovate in that space trying to come up with the next ebay or well Craigslist What many of these innovators have in common is their efforts to harness the power of the social web to give their classified ad model that much more value This really isn t so new think of the seller s reputation on e bay or the other readers who bought this book also bought in Amazon both offer users really useful user supplied information to help make smarter purchase decisions Here s two quick examples Thembid This interesting variation on classified ads was one of the start up companies featured at the recent Tech Crucnch 40 conference Beware browsing through that list of 40 Web 2 0 companies will chew through your afternoon at a truly alarming rate The idea behind the I think horribly named Thembid is that consumers post the things they want on the site for free and businesses bid to provide it for them Don t search make them bid is the site s motto Going there today I see a fellow in California who wants wants someone to add another 2 feet of height to his 75 foot long wall As I write he s received 5 bids on the job ranging from 900 to 2000 from contractors Thembid says they offer a rating service which will assist consumers in choosing who to work with based on the recommendations of other users Although posting asks and bids is free Thembid says they ll make money by upselling the businesses Will it work Maybe if they can build a lively local community Is it a model local newspapers could learn from Again I think maybe I m just not sure how you make money off it

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=72 (2014-10-09)
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  • Top 27 (or so) Internet Tools for Journalists « Breaking News
    about evenly split between working full time journalists and freelancers and students After a morning keynote which I was lucky enough to deliver the day was divided into three sessions offering 5 different workshops in each a pretty jam packed day In addition to the keynote I ran sessions on Blogging jointly with Spec city hall blogger Nicole Macintyre and internet tools I ve already posted my slides from the bloggings session which was thanks to Nicole an animated thought provoking session and today I m putting my Top Ten Internet Tips for Journalists If you d like a simple list with live links I ve posted them here Presenters included people like Steve Buttry former American Press Institute trainer and now the editor in chief at the Cedar Rapids Gazette freelance writer Paul Lima current and former colleagues Phil Andrews Guelph Mercury Small Markets Thane Burnett Toronto Sun Short Features Jon Wells Hamilton Spectator Novel Writing and Kevin Scanlon Toronto Star Copy editing And a big thanks to Bryan Cantley who retired from the Canadian Newspaper Association this past summer but has carried on organzing this monster I ll post slides from my keynote and an abbreviated version of my text a little later this week Right now I have to get ready for two days of teaching I m doing at the Western Producer in Saskatoon Saskatchewan Bill September 21st 2008 Category Blogs blogging Tech Tips 2 comments Comments are closed 2 comments to Top 27 or so Internet Tools for Journalists Tim September 23 2008 at 12 58 pm Bill I was reading through your presentation and one of your tools took me to this http huuuze posterous com tweet family members shovel e Perhaps consider this a What not to use Twitter for in any future

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=5 (2014-10-09)
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  • New Job – New Blog Coming « Breaking News
    Job New Blog Coming By Bill on September 13th 2008 P lease accept my apologies for the hiatus I spent two glorious weeks on vacation and off line at a cottage beside a small black mountain lake in the Laurentians and then returned and jumped into a brand new role with my paper and our chain TorStar For the next long while I ll be part of a core team building installing and training staff on a brand new massive content management system that will create a common chain wide newsroom Of a sort It s an exciting and challenging job and as a bonus it means I don t have to commute Cue the Hallelujah Chorus I will be continuing in a training role at my paper and the chain albeit in a very different and reduced role than my WebU project management I ll also continue to do some outside teaching consulting and presentation Plus as soon as I can elbow aside the stacks of program and application manuals and get a bit of free time I ll be rebuilding and migrating this blog I ll be at Ryerson University s Wordstock conference next weekend Sept 20th and will be giving the keynote Fish on Bicycles why can t newspapers get the web right and two sessions one on 10 Essential Internet Tools for Journalists and the other on the Joys and Pitfalls of Beat Blogging And then I m off to Saskatoon to run two days of training with the folks at the Western Producer something I m really looking forward to Over the next week I ll blog about and post some of the slides from those presentations which won t be nearly as good as being there but will give you at least some sense

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=6 (2014-10-09)
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  • America’s most popular news blog goes local, takes on Chicago « Breaking News
    Chicago By Bill on August 14th 2008 H uffington Post the fast growing US news and politics aggregator and blog machine has launched a beta version of their new local news model Here s how cheif Huffer Arianna Huffington described the new site HuffPost Chicago is part local news source part resource guide and part virtual soap box featuring a collection of bloggers who know and love Chicago and are looking to share their takes on everything from the Cubs to City Hall to the hot new local band to the best place for Greek food and I can testify that there is a lot of that in Chicago It s the first of what the Huffington Post hopes will be a long line of local news and blog packages The model is a simple one and very cheap to operate one paid staffer aggregating local news coverage and riding herd on a whole pile of local free bloggers It s classic jujitsu using your competitor s weight against him her Don t try and out report the well established deep pocketed despite the doom and gloom newspaper news local news outlet repackage the best of its content How hard is that The Chicago Tribune s web columnist Steve Johnson was suitably unimpressed the page collects and packages headlines mostly from the Tribune Sun Times and Crain s Chicago Business other sources will be used too and turns them into an all Chicago front page designed to draw Chicagoans for whom a little local news is enough It s Huffington s Sampler compared to the smorgasbord you get on those outlets individual sites But Johnson whose column runs under the very 1997 title Hypertext ended his piece with an observation that warmed my cold little heart That said all the

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=7 (2014-10-09)
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  • What the propane depot explostions taught me about coverning breaking news on the web « Breaking News
    The final phase is handled by the stylists and the designers the artists and packaging folks Simple straight forward skill sets make sense of this riot of information and do it on deadline please We re good at that It s the first phase we suck at And we suck at it because we can t compete with the resources of an always connected city of a populace that is plugged into the net and each other every waking moment that is walking around with video and still cameras and computers in their shaking little hands or crammed into their pockets We suck at it because we don t want to admit that we can t compete that the random unfocused noise thrown off by connected citizens i e amateur journalists during a major breaking news event is superior to our early hours efforts But it is This was very very clear Sunday morning when as I pointed out in yesterday s analysis of the coverage for the first five or six hours ALL the best photos and videos and incident colour came from citizens not pro journalists This is only sensible citizens are everywhere everywhen And these days they re kitted out as well as any reporter And at least 20 of them are used to producing content for the web that s a lot of content when a major story breaks It s content that published in a hundred locations Flickr Facebook Twitter Live Journal YouTube Vimeo Blip TV Photo Bucket on blogs and yes in the comment sections of newspaper web sites Why would anyone rail against this tide And yes it has as I noted yesterday a high noise to signal ratio it s full of errors and myopia and it lacks perspective and maybe insight but all of it is better than what you ve got with one editor sitting behind a computer and three photogs and four reporters scrambling for their boots and their car keys So our challenge is how to harness that information in that first frantic hour or hours Based on what I watched yesterday here s my thoughts on how to plan for breaking news When breaking news happens 1 Scramble your jets Obvious Do what you always do flood the zone with reporters and photographers and videographers Only keep them on a short leash have them calling and texting and Twittering short burst of info text photos videos if that s possible They need to learn to share as they go but to keep going keep digging 2 Staff your desk Get someone listening to the scanners working the radios answering the phones Get another person hooked up to your website and live blogging with timestamps events as they happen Embed Coveritlive if you can Speed is everything 3 Offer a platform Open a forum or the commenting section on a static blog post or if you have no other alternative a special email address or fax or phone

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=8 (2014-10-09)
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  • Propane depot explosions expose newspapers’ online shortcomings « Breaking News
    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 The Toronto Sun a local tabloid that should have positively owned this story proved weakest of all offering a tepid staff written brief a still photo taken by a local photo blogger and the same albeit spectacular YouTube video that everyone else used It s embedded at the end of this post I d give them credit for looking to the web for on the scene content except they appear to be using it simply as a replacement for their own staff rather than a complement to it Check back at torontosun com for updates it promised but for four hours they offered nothing beyond the original blurb Finally more than six hours after the blast they updated their coverage they dropped in the Canadian Press story The National Post turned to their Toronto news blog Posted Toronto to handle coverage blending some staff reporting with reader submissions and a fairly determined harvesting of public content on the web via Flickr and YouTube They created their own interactive map using Google s dead easy map tools and used it to locate the event show the evacuation area host photos and reader comments Very smart and simple Like last time this overall approach proved to be the most effective way to get out ahead of the story offering readers a rich detailed if fragmented and at times inaccurate story Up until about 9 a m nobody could touch them but then they fell into the same hole as before they failed to take the story beyond the exciting moment to moment breathless coverage Torontoist The local franchise of the continent wide chain of place bloggers failed miserably and utterly totally ignoring a major news event in their town that closed major highways and led to mass evacuations It wasn t the first item they posted Sunday morning nor their second It wasn t until almost noon over 8 hours after it happened that they finally put up a weak wrap up that simply pointed to what others had done A text book lesson in how not to cover your city BlogTO Com did two hours of live blogging from about 7am to 9am inserting the best videos views from the highway web cams and reader submitted photos to their

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=9 (2014-10-09)
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  • Live Blogging a WebU Grad Course « Breaking News
    2011 September 2011 July 2011 June 2011 March 2011 January 2011 August 2010 July 2010 June 2010 May 2010 April 2010 March 2010 January 2010 December 2009 October 2009 March 2009 December 2008 November 2008 October 2008 September 2008 August 2008 July 2008 June 2008 May 2008 April 2008 March 2008 February 2008 January 2008 November 2007 October 2007 April 2007 March 2007 February 2007 Blogroll Development Blog Documentation DreamHost Blog Plugins Suggest Ideas Support Forum Themes Blow up the beats Tampa paper copes with deep cuts Home Digital Survival Guide Part 2 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 1 comment to

    Original URL path: http://www.billdunphy.ca/?p=25 (2014-10-09)
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