Ben LaMothe

About Ben LaMothe

Are websites a growth platform?

The internet is growing up. And with that, a cottage industry of web developers and coders was born. While it isn’t universal yet that everyone has a web site, many people do have outposts online, whether it’s a web site, blog or social profile.

But just as websites become more common, questions are being raised about their long-term future.

Q&A: Patrice Lamothe of Pearltrees on personal organisation of the web

Believe me when I say you’ve never used a web application quite like pearltrees. With this application, you can literally map your personal web. Take all of the bookmarks scattered across your web browser, assign them a category and you’ve got a pearltree. It’s a new way of seeing the web. Think of it as Web 2.5.

Pearltrees was the darling of the 2009 LeWeb conference, which included
a keynote and product demonstration by pearltrees CEO Patrice Lamothe
(no relation). During the presentation, he showed this video
explaining how pearltrees works.

I met Patrice while in Paris at the LeWeb
conference. A few months have passed and
pearltrees has continued to grow. I decided to find out what has
changed and how the application has grown since its unveiling at LeWeb…

How small newspapers can make money from Twitter

Big newspapers are joining Twitter at an alarming rate, in part because it offers another avenue for story ideas and scoops. Some newspaper execs are also trying to find a way to make money from Twitter.

This is a tricky area, because the people who use Twitter have shown that they are not fans of spam, or anything remotely resembling spam, and will take swift action (unfollow, possibly report the account) if it is suspected.

For big newspapers, which often have big debt loads and vastly diverse audiences, using Twitter as an advertising platform is challenging. But for small and medium-sized titles, an opportunity exists.

MPs as brands: does name-recognition matter?

Last week while working on a campaign for a client, some new research rolled in showing that only 53% of Britons know the name of their MP. This revelation spurned chatter in the office about the implications of this in terms of personal branding.

Are MPs also brands? And if so, does it matter that there’s such low brand-recognition amongst the target audience (read: constituents)?

Some of these questions were answered following an interaction with an MP, whom I presented the findings to via Twitter.

Why newspapers need brand managers

It’s a subject that turns the stomachs of most journalists. After all in journalism, “marketing” and “branding” are dirty words. But given the media fall out as a backdrop for the global recession, it’s time that newspapers, and the journalists who write for them, realise that the masthead of their paper is a brand.

Knowing what people think and feel when they see your newspaper’s brand is more important than ever.

Why Facebook could be the next big news publisher

Facebook’s growth, it seems, is limited only by the scope of Mark Zuckerberg’s ambition. It began as a social networking site trying to keep up with MySpace, but Facebook is now circling its own orbit.

All that’s stopping Facebook from becoming the pre-eminent news publisher for its 300m users is Zuckerberg’s desire to do it.

With a pay wall coming, The Times promotes the brand

With the death of the News Corporation title thelondonpaper last week, chatter about pay walls has increased. News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch has already said that most, if not all, News Corp. titles will have a pay wall in place soon enough.

In anticipation of that,  The Times has launched an ad campaign on the Tube that promotes what they see as their unique brand of news.

Q&A: BusinessWeek.com Editor-in-Chief John A. Byrne

Journalism on the web requires a new way of thinking. As editor-in-chief of BusinessWeek.com, John A. Byrne is responsible for guiding the BusinessWeek brand on the web.

In this exclusive interview Byrne, who was previously editor-in-chief of Fast Company and is the author of eight books, talks at length about BusinessWeek’s strategy for engaging readers and managing BusinessWeek’s web brand.

Even a bad news aggregator is better than none at all

In the face of defeat, America’s news outlets continue to find ways to innovate. Mind you, they aren’t ground-breaking innovations. But they’re innovations none-the-less.

This week online news magazine Slate launched a new aggregator called Slatest. It’s not great, but at least it’s something. I just wish I could say the same for British media.

Q&A: AnnArbor.com blogs leader Ed Vielmetti

In March it was announced that The Ann Arbor News, located in Ann Arbor, Michigan, would be closing. The paper had been publishing since 1835. Sad as it was, it wasn’t an unusual considering the state of newspapers nationwide. What made it unique was what happened next.

The newspaper was closing, but in its place, AnnArbor.com would launch as a mostly online-only, hyperlocal news portal. As the industry remains in flux and more news executives are turning to the web, AnnArbor.com is being seen as a case study in online local news. Ed Vielmetti is AnnArbor.com’s blogging leader