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Posts in Content

Spotify looks to make digital music more social

Popular European music streaming startup Spotify has been able to survive and thrive in a tough market that has seen its fair share of startup casualties. In an effort to maintain its growth, it has announced the largest upgrade since it first launched in 2008.

The goal: turn Spotify into a "total music management platform". The means: a hefty dose of social features.

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Platform before strategy: the Wall Street Journal teams up with Foursquare

Is Foursquare the next consumer internet startup that's on the verge of making a big mainstream splash? A growing number of print publishers seem to hope it is and are in turn aligning themselves with the young company.

Recently, I detailed the Financial Times' initiative with Foursquare, which will give certain Foursquare users the ability to access FT.com without a subscription at no cost for a limited time.

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What's a scoop worth? Sometimes, not much -- even online

If you're an online publisher in the tech space, you probably have reason to envy Gawker Media. After all, one of its properties, popular tech gadget blog Gizmodo, recently broke what Gawker Media owner Nick Denton himself has billed "pretty much the biggest tech scoop ever."

That scoop, of course, is the 'lost' next-generation iPhone. As the story goes, Denton purchased it for $5,000 from the man who found it in a bar after an Apple employee left it behind.

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Facebook's next trick: become the web

Facebook isn't just a social network. By almost every reasonable standard, it is officially the winner of the social networking wars. While other popular social networks, including MySpace, may not disappear into the void completely, Facebook has left them in the dust.

But the war to become the world's dominant online social network is just one battle in a larger war that seeks to shape the future of the web. And Facebook is gearing up for battle.

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Is this the first salvo in the 'hot news' war?

Few traditional publishers like aggregators. They never have, and they never will. The problem: consumers do.

While publishers have made a fuss about aggregators for years, for the most part, there has been little they can do. And for all of their efforts, aggregation, in all of its various forms, isn't going anywhere. But a lawsuit filed by Dow Jones & Company could signal a tougher fight ahead if Dow Jones wins.

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Tips for planning multi-language websites

Having a global channel literally at our fingertips obviously does not mean that our message is being understood globally. Whilst some organisations have made much progress in resolving the issues of acting globally online, for others it remains a complex problem.

So what should a company be thinking about when considering the globalisation of its website? 

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Is 'free' finally falling out of favor?

Back in 2008, online social networking startup Ning couldn't give away free, hosted social networks fast enough.

The company, which was co-founded by Marc Andreessen of Netscape fame, reportedly estimated that by New Year's Eve 2010, it would host approximately 4m social networks. Social networks which would produce billions of daily page views for the startup. Ning's projected trajectory excited investors so much that they invested more than $100m in the company.

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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.

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Six things you can do in-house to improve your SEO

I believe in encouraging people to do things for themselves. SEO is a vital part of evolving a website yet many businesses struggle to understand what SEO means and how they can get to grips with it.

SEO is not a dark art, it is an incredibly intuitive process that encompasses many disciplines, from research to writing content and building social media presence. Nobody is a master of all of them but you can take control of key components of your SEO strategy, helping you focus spend on areas where you need the greatest help.

That's not to say that investing in the services of a dedicated SEO partner (freelance or agency) isn't a good thing - if you don't have the resource or inclination to do this properly, then paying a specialist can be a commercially sound decision. SEO is a long-term commitment, you can't treat it like a toy to be played with for a few months, then thrown to the back of the cupboard. 

This post outlines the top six things that you can do in-house to improve your website optimisation with links to free online tools to help you on your journey.

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How big a problem is digital piracy? Who knows?

One of the best ways to start a flame war online: make a claim about the costs of online piracy.

Some, of course, argue that online piracy isn't a problem. Free downloads are free promotion, the argument usually goes. Others, especially those in media industries that have found adjusting to the internet difficult, claim that online piracy is responsible for their woes.

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Google Buzz finally gets an official 'share' button

Google made quite a few mistakes when it launched its Gmail-based social network, Buzz. Some mistakes, namely those related to privacy, overshadowed smaller mistakes.

One of those smaller mistakes: not giving publishers an easy way to encourage users to share their content on Buzz. With Facebook, Digg and Twitter 'share' buttons being almost ubiquitous across the web today, the fact that Google didn't release a 'share' button of its own is perhaps additional evidence of just how rushed the Buzz release was.

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Check in with Foursquare, tear down FT.com's pay wall?

The Financial Times is lucky. It's in the minority of newspapers that can legitimately claim to have found 'success' with an internet pay wall. The company's subscribers pay upwards of $180 a year to access content on the Financial Times' website, FT.com, which is behind one of the more solid pay walls around.

But that pay wall isn't impervious; it may be coming down if you're a certain type of mobile internet user in certain geographic regions. That's because, according to Business Insider, the Financial Times will soon launch an initiative with Foursquare that will give some Foursquare users who check into certain businesses in certain locations the ability to access FT.com without a paid subscription.

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