Category Archives: Uncategorized

SXSW – When ‘crowds go bad’ and change panelist debate

The big debate about SXSW (not that we were lucky enough to go) seems to be about how audiences in panel sessions were empowered to change the course of panelist debate via Twitter. As I commented on Jeremiah’s Web Strategist blog, it sounded like a flashmob in realtime. And an ambush.

Because Flashmobs only ever seem to happen at Liverpool Street train station, no one has any clue what I’m talking about…

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Google and publishers’ potential gripes – Part 28

Google’s new ‘search within a search’ feature might hurt publisher’s data gathering / ad budgets says SEO agency altogether digital. This got us thinking about creating contextualised content (and, er, inappropriate alliteration).

As content specialists, we’ve always harped on about the need for content on clients’ websites to be super contextualised, given that the majority of users don’t (want to) see your home page and go straight to the page they’re looking for – cold – without seeing any ‘How this site works’ or ‘About us’ information. Why should it be different for newspaper / publisher websites? Granted, they need to pay for the upkeep of their website more than so than the majority of other website owners, but this ignores the sad, but very real fact – users don’t care about advertising. They put up with it as long as they get the information they’re looking for.

It’s up to publishers to ensure their users are successfully encouraged to browse other areas of the site once they’ve finished the article they originally came for.

And as for Google’s new feature – let’s face it, newspaper sites’ internal search features are generally…unhelpful [expletive omitted – Ed]. Thank you Google.

What is OpenSocial and what now for Facebook, MySpace, Bebo users?

Google, all round good egg that it is, is encouraging all social network sites to allow their users to talk to each other. This is good news for users who are having trouble trying to manage all of multiple social sites they subscribe, each one with their own different group of friends.

The project will allow developers to make services more interoperable – one application of the future might be that users be allowed to view and manage their sites via one console.

Many of the social sites have agreed to get involved – which is surprising, given that each one wants to keep their users in their own advertising laden walled garden. That said, this has happened before – none of the many instant messenger products used to be able to talk to each other. Now many of them can, but only because users demanded it. Think about it – why would you sign up to a telephone service which only lets you to call people on the same network? You sign up to talk to your friends and family. If you can’t, you then go to the service which has the widest coverage or one which connects to other networks.

Let’s hope Google’s corporate mantra ‘don’t be evil’ applies to the search giant’s push for OpenSocial adoption by social networks. After all, if anyone knows how to monetise a web services, it’s Google.

Read a new interview with Google’s Kevin Marks, an engineer on the OpenSocial project.

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Trinity Mirror’s super local sites and reverse publishing

Reverse publishing, as cited in today’s Trinity Mirror story on Brand Republilc, is nothing new. It gives print readers the opportunity to view content they may not have seen online – the standard 360 degree touch points approach.

The knack is to hold back exclusives for whichever medium you want users / readers to adopt. In publishing, until web revenue models move beyond paid for advertising, it’s normally paid for print magazines with a cover price that are favoured, hence why exclusives are saved for print magazines. Buy you knew this right?

Read more about Trinity’s super local news sites.

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Newsround on Bebo – better than Kaplinski on MySpace

Welcome to Five News on MySpace

Add to My Profile | More Videos

MySpace is owned by NewsCorp, which owns BSkyB, which runs Sky News, which produces news for Five, which…

You get the picture. So why is the Five News / MySpaceTV story being touted as a huge deal across media outlets. Is it the ‘Kaplinski effect’?

It’ll be interesting to see how the bulletin gets around teens complete and utter disinterest in anything newsy. A teen friendly running order? Will reports resemble a slightly older version of the BBC’s Newsround?

Come to think of it, why doesn’t the BBC extend its recent Radio1 partnership with social networking site Bebo and broadcast Newsround to its users? A perfect target audience for this show wethinks.

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NatMags Cosmo site relaunch – decides against VideoJug

Mark Sweney of MediaGuardian reports that Cosmo is to soft launch a new website with all the web 2.0 bells and whistles you’d expect from a leading magazine publisher.

Interesting comment by Duncan Edwards, CEO of NatMags, who said they’d looked at third party content like VideoJug but decided to build its own capability in this area.

Why not use VideoJug? The cost? Because it’s easier / cheaper to replicate in-house?

That said, video it’s easy enough to produce. Set up a small video team to manage and teach video production, roll it across other content rich websites and you’re in business. Hell, they may even be selling it to third parties themselves soon enough…

Get 3 Issues of Cosmo magazine for £1

Read the MediaGuardian story in full

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Copywriters: add cents (ie pennies) to all money saving ads

According to advice on MarketingSherpa, it’s better to add the cents / pennies to an ad so users feel they’re getting more value for money. Like the user in some way glosses over the decimal point…

Is this utter hogwash? And does including an exclamation mark in copy to give! it! more! impact! fill you with as much dread as it does us? Read the MarketingSherpa article.

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CEO of Future Publishing on lucrative niche markets

Great interview with Future’s Stevie Spring in PPA’s Magazine News print mag. Shame we can’t find it online.

Some nuggets:

  • Future’s business model is akin to business publishers in that it fosters close relationships with niche audiences or ‘hardcore hobbyists’
  • Ads are a super targeted. Cycling ads appear in a cycling magazine
  • Niche advertisers are offered a ‘media nirvana’ the generalist mags only dream of
  • Ad revenue is up 50 per cent in the past year
  • Its site has 12m uniques – The Sun has 10m
  • It plans to complement GamesRadar and BikeRadar with MusicRadar
  • You can be nice while you’re being an agent of change in a huge organisation
  • High cover prices and English language only exports means its doing well overseas
  • Sky Movies magazine has a circulation of 3.7m and is ‘partnership publishing’ – which uses Future’s editorial expertise, resources and market knowledge to increase loyalty to a brand

If someone at wants to email us a link to the full article, we’d be happy to post it.

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