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Posts in Content

Newspapers struggle to balance free and paid content

Newspapers have been let down by online advertising in the past few years. While many have grown the size of their readership online, income online has not eclipsed — or even matched — the loss of revenue in print products. The outlook is getting so bad that many newspapers have discussed banning together to charge for content. But they might not want to abandon their advertising model just yet.

According to PricewaterhouseCoopers, newspapers will see online advertising growth in the coming years. While the numbers are modest (1.8% growth by 2011 and 7.8% in 2012), they are a sliver of sunlight in an otherwise depressing forecast. 

PriceWaterhouse expects print advertising to fall over $12 billion, from $36.7 billion in 2008 to $24.3 billion in 2013.

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PageRank sculpting: Google's Matt Cutts tells all

Earlier this month, I wrote about reports that Google's Matt Cutts had essentially told an audience at the SMX Advanced conference that PageRank sculpting was a worthless exercise.

In a new post on his blog, Cutts provides some much-needed clarification.

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Wordpress 2.8 released with 180 improvements

The Wordpress platform has matured into a remarkably powerful content management platform, and a free one at that. And it just got better.

Matt Mullenweg today announced the release of the latest version of Wordpress, version 2.8.

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Craigslist turns classifieds and trust into $100 million in 2009

Craigslist's business model may not seem aggressive — most of the classifieds site's content is posted free — but its community-based model is on track to rake in revenue this year. Craigslist.org is projected to earn $100 million in revenue according to a study by the AIM Group.

And part of the secret sauce is in the Craigslist community. Instead of focusing on generating revenue, Craigslist says it relies on “local communities to suggest ways to make money without compromising craigslist” And that appears to be working, and CEO Craig Newmark says that he is “constantly engaged in community service,” and the site is heavily focused on engaging its community of users.

Most postings on the site are free, but the company charges recruiters and real estate brokers in major cities between $10 and $75 to post job and property listings. 80% of the projected revenue is expected to come from the more than 1 million job listings Craigslist posts a month, with real estate making up the remainder.

In contrast, newspaper ad revenues are down 29%, according to the Newspaper Association of America.

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Journalism beta = lazy reporting

The journalism debates continue. In a New York Times piece this weekend, Damon Darlin takes aim at the blogosphere and accuses bloggers like TechCrunch's Michael Arrington of taking a "truth-be-damned approach".

Not surprisingly, it has sparked a flurry of responses, including from Arrington, who claims that Darlin took some of his comments out of context.

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The future of media: It's all about trust

No one knows the silver bullet that will save media companies struggling to survive in today's economy, but more than a few media execs are certain of one thing: there will be a premium on trust. Speaking at IWantMedia's Future of Media: 2009 panel, Nick Denton, Craig Newmark and Jack Dorsey were agreed that success online will increasingly depend on consumer trust. (video here)

According to Newmark, the founder of Craig's List: "Trust is the new black."

This is increasingly a concern for media companies dependent on ads for revenue for a good reason: consumers don't trust advertising.

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Google may take BBC's iPlayer global

Google's bread and butter may be search and the recession may have led Google to cut back on projects that weren't bringing home the bacon but that doesn't mean that Google isn't looking to expand its already large footprint on the web.

It just announced that by the end of the year, it hopes to be offering its publishing partners the ability to sell ebooks through Google Book Search, putting it in competition with Amazon in the burgeoning ebook market.

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Companies focus on CMS implementation - new report

Econsultancy's CMS Survey Report (just published in association with Squiz) highlights that firms are typically focusing their budgets on implementing CMS rather than licensing, with 45% of organisations planning to spend more on CMS implementation over the next year compared to 26% who will spend more on licences.

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5 reasons press releases suck (and 5 ways to make them suck less)

Press releases. Love 'em or hate 'em, entrepreneurs and companies spend large sums of money sending them out every year. Some have to because they're publicly-traded and others do so because they believe that a press release is a crucial part of 'spreading the word' about their products and services.

If I had $100 for every entrepreneur I've met who expected a press release to do big things for his or her new business, I'd probably own my own bank in Antigua.

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Media companies need to bring digital expertise in-house

Print publishers are perfectly positioned to make the most out of the digital publishing revolution. So why have so many legacy media companies struggled to maximise the opportunities that digital offers?

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HuffPo founder: subscription business model is for porn only

Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post, is a poster child for 'new media'. But a poster child does not an expert make.

On stage at AllThingsDigital's D7 conference, she made one of the most ill-informed comments I've heard in a while: subscriptions are only a good idea for porn sites.

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Grey hat SEO: making your subscriber-only content visible to Google

Like so many others, you've decided to revisit your business model and paid content looks awfully good at the moment. Running an online subscription service can be very rewarding, but it's tough.

One of the challenges posed by a paywall is the paywall's impact on SEO. Since content is restricted to subscribers, Google can't spider your content. What can you do about this?

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