Tag Archives: Beyond the Printed Word

How Oslo's Dagbladet Newspaper Integrates Videos Into Its Website

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Ole Werring, TV manager of Dabladet of Oslo, Norway, described to Ifra‘s annual Beyond the Printed Word online publishing conference how his newspaper has integrated video into its traditionally text news site.

Dagbladet initially began offering video on its site in 1999 but found its unpopular because not many Norwegians had broadband connections then, but it relaunched its about video efforts in 2006. Dagbladet employs four peole full-time to produce about 60 videos per week for Dagbladet. That number includes videos they create plus editing videos received from Reuters and the Associated Press. Each video is integrated into the text news page about that story. Each video includes a commercial that rolls before the video plays.

Each video is also offered to Dagbladet’s mobile phone service users.

Promotional trailers for cinema features are also offered (Werring was formerly with the Norwegian Film Institute).

Dagbladet has begun using user-generated videos to illustrate secondary stories. Werring mentioned that it’s often impossible to illustrate these with video except by using videos shot by users on the scene.

Dagbladet has also launched a YouTube-type site on which users can upload their own videos. He said the newspaper realizes that they will still upload videos onto YouTube.com, but believes that Dagbladet.no has enough usership and obviously enough Norwegian focus to attract users’ videos. Dagbladet.no and its associated websites currently receive about 3.9 million unique users per month, which isn’t too bad in a country of only 4 million people. (Nonetheless, Dagbladet has two even larger competitors.)

Dagbladet’s abilities to create video news reports has allowed it to begin working with Norwegian television organizations to produce news stories about crime, politics, recipes, and other topics.

How Asahi Shimbun's 12 Mobile Phone News Sites Work

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At Ifra‘s annual Beyond the Printed Word conference this afternoon, Atsushi Sato, deputy manager of the Digital Media Division of The Asahi Shimbun of Japan described how his newspaper operates its sites for mobile phone users.

His newspaper, which has a daily circulation of 12 million copies daily, operates 12 mobile phone information sites and earned $33 million, in a nation in which almost everyone uses a mobile phone. His divisions average annual revenue per users is $53.30, which by comparison puts its mobile on par with the revenues earned by only a few top American newspaper websites. It earns those revenues despite earning a relatively small commission on use of its content by mobile phones. When a mobile phone user accesses the content, she is billed by her phone company, which in turn gives Asahi a ten percent commission. The average amount that Asashi earns per user per service is only $0.07875 per month. Fortunately, his services have lots of users.

Asahi has created and grown its mobile sites by creating a main site, seeing what topics of content are most used on it, and then creating new sites about that content. Among its sites:

  • Asahi-Nikkansports, a joint venture with Nikkansports, provides up to 170 sports articles per day, updating throughout the day.
  • Asahi Lifeline, a site that keeps users informed about natural or man-made disasters.
  • Asahi Mobile Shorts, which provides nine 15-second video clips and 5 still photos daily. Sato said that Asahi had found 15-second to be a good length of time on mobile phones.
  • Nikkan Geino, an entertainment news site, heavy on celebrity and Hollywood news.
  • Asahi Otona no Hondana, a site that offers the contents of ebooks and manga (graphic comics). Sato said this site had grown 386 percent during 2006 and was a major source of revenues.
  • R25 Mobile, which offers a free magazine (no charge to the user’s phone bill).
  • Mixi, a social networking service, which has 10 million users.
  • Mobage, a free game service, which has 7 million users.
  • Kaor-Checki, a site people can user to compare themselves to TV personalities, which has 10 million users.

Sato said his division employs 150 people full-time.

He said it faces threats from Web browsers becoming installed into Japanese mobile phones (which are based on more simpler graphical interfaces); from a saturation of the Japanese mobile market; and from the disinclation of young people (ages 18-30) to pay for online content. Sato said that part of his division’s future strategy will be to concentrate e-books, manga, and also on paid services for older people.

Ian Davies on the Importance of Geocoding Newspaper Stories

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“People live locally,” Ian Davies, director fo business development of the British regional newspaper publishing company Archant Ltd., this afternoon reminded attendees of Ifra‘s annual Beyond the Printed Word online pubishing conference. He said a recent survey by the (UK) Newspaper Society indicated that the average distance of local interest is 8 miles, and that is not necessarily ‘local’ as newspaper publishers understand that term.

Davis emphasized that people online are interested in both topical and local communities, and that any newspapers must provide its readers with information about their street, town, region, nation, and the world. He said this shouldn’t be new to publishers, but the need to geocode stories is.

He gave examples of good use by Lawrence.com, Bakersfield.com, Sacramento Bee, Budstikka, ChicagoCrime.org, Los Angeles Times, Reuters, the Sydney Morning Herald, and SkyNews.

Monthly Circulation of 100,000 Without Printing or Website

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At Ifra‘s Beyond the Printed Word conference this afternoon, Rowan Barnett described how his monthly newspaper has a circulation of 100,000 without publishing a website or in print.

He is editor-in-chief of The Avastar, a virtual newspaper that circulates in the virtual world Second Life. Its owned and operated by Bild.T-Online AG, a joint venture between Deutsche Telecom and the publishing company Bild (Bild, Stern, Spiegel Online).

Second Life has 10.5 million registered users, although only some 560,000 are active. It is an avatar world, in which users create a graphical version of themselves and navigate through a three-dimensional graphic world, much like in a video game.

Barnett said that 95-percent of the site’s content is generated by its users. He emphasized that major advertisers such as Toyota, Mercedes, Reebok, Lacoste, and Armani has setup virtual stores in Second Life and that news organizations such as CNN, Reuters, and SkyNews has setup virtual news bureaus in it. Celebrities such as Bruce Willis, JZ, and 50 Cent have created their own avatar inhabitants there and given interviews.

The Avastar began publishing in English during December 2006, now also publishes a German-language edition, and generates up to 136,000 downloads per month. It currently downloads a PDF edition but plans to switch to a HTML site in the near future. Downloads are available a virtual kiosks and vendors in Second Life.

This virtual newspaper has a full-time staff of seven, supplemented by user-generated content from users, whose work is edited by the staff.

Barnett explained Second Life’s low usage rate as due mainly to technical problems involving its graphics. He said that 23 percent of users’ sessions end in browser crashes and another 8 percent end in server crashes.

(Though Barnett termed Second Life part of Web 3.0, I think that definition could create quite a dispute among those who favor Sir Tim Berners-Lee’s ‘semantic web’ definition.)

Danny Dagan's Presentation at Ifra's Beyond the Printed Word conference

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How what are the challenges in a popular tabloid creating user-generated content? Danny Dagan described some this morning at Ifra’s Beyond the Printed Word conference in Dublin.

Dagan is head of online communities at News Group Digital, which puts online London’s The Sun and News of the World, the two largest selling (3.2 million daily in the case of The Sun) tabloids in the English-language. Those newspapers’ websites attract 10.6 million unique users each month. The average user looks at 23 pages during the time.

The sites have begun to offer the beginnings of customized content. The sites provide each user with a widget that travels with them through each page of the site. The widget currently factors only the user’s gender and favorite football team, but really only football team. It colors itself in that team’s color, displays the team’s logo, and hyperlinks to the discussion area about the team. If the user is female, it just colors itself pink.

The challenges a popular tabloid faces when using user-generated content are:

  • How to balance freedom of speech versus England’s strong laws against libel and contempt?
  • How to protect children against offensive content?
  • How to deal with an online public that is nowadays less amenable to editorization by the host newspaper and also to waiting for content to be pubished>
  • How to achieve high quality content?
  • How to remove objectable content quickly and effectively?

News Group Digital employees seven people full-time as user-generated site moderators. They don’t directly explain to a user why his objectional comment was removed, because such conversations tend to be endless, but the site does have a section entitled ‘Why Your Posting Was Removed.’

Matthew Buckland's speech to Ifra's Beyond the Printed Word conference

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At Ifra‘s Beyond the Printed Word conference in Dublin, Matthew Buckland, general manager of the Mail & Guardian Online of South Africa, has given a presentation about ‘Integrating Web 2.0 tools into news sites.’ He previously in his own blog described his presentation and offered the presentation itself available for download.

Since you can download and see his slide presentation, I’ll mention a few points from how he narrated it:

‘Web 2.0’ tools have let the Mail & Guardian Online build user-generated content sites quickly and in collaboration with consumers. The tools harness the newspaper professional content and user-generated content. And have allowed the newspaper to get closer to its community.

The Mail & Guardian has chosen a ‘multi-brand’ approach. It has created Amatomu.com, an aggregator of regional South African blogs.; Thoughtleader.co.za; a site that combines the newspaper own content and the best content from South African bloggers; Newsinphotos.com, a title that describe the site; and also applications that consumers can use on Facebook.com. All of these were created using WordPress software (in case you were wondering which ‘Web 2.0’ tools). Buckland mentioned that consumers tend to write better if they know someone will be editing their work.

In three months time, these sites have generated 700,000 words from 100 contributors and also 3,000 reader comments, content that costs the Mail & Guardian nothing to generate.

Dr. Jo Grobel's Opening Keynote at Ifra's Beyond the Printed Word Conference

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I am at the first day of Ifra‘s 15th annual Beyond the Printed Word online publishing conference, being held today and tomorrow in Dublin. Four hundred twenty-seven people from 43 countries are attending. Ifra’s staff and some official volunteers are blogging the event in two ways (staff blog and group blog), but I am, too.

Professor Dr. Jo Groebel, (pictured above with conference co-chairman Elan Lohmann) director of the Deutsches Digital Institut (German Digital Institute), has given a keynote speech about how we are changing “from a world of consumers to a world of ‘prosumers'”.

He tried to comfort and caution the audience that things are changing at a remarkably quick pace, but one that this isn’t unusual: The number of printed books in Europe within a few years of Gutenberg’s invention of the moveable-type printing press was actually higher than the number of people who used the Internet within a few years of its public release during the 1990s.

The consumer is going from ‘unimedia to polymedia, Dr. Groebel said.’

He listed six characteristics he thinks 21st Century media will have:

  • Integrated (Convergence is real in 2007)
  • Immediate (people expect direct results)
  • International (it will be global)
  • Independet of time & space (on-demand, anywhere)
  • In Motion (new trend: everything is mobile)
  • Inner Circle & Bottom Up

Dr. Groebel pointed to what he calls the ”Big Three’ Trends

  • Capacity: broadband & digital platforms
  • Mobility: mobile communications
  • Community: User-generated content

He said that surveys of users in Germany show these are the purposesfor whcih people use the Internet are:

  • to get an the emotional kick of finding what they want.
  • to get information.
  • to communicate with each other.
  • to make transactions.
  • to be part of a community.
  • to exercise democracy in some form.

Dr. Groebel mentioned a study of 18 year-olds in the U.S. durng 1980 and during 2000 that indicated verbal intelligence significantly declined and visual intelligence had significantly increased. Will visual replace text, he rhetorically asked? No, each is used for specific functions, he said.

He mentioned several signals that consumers are becoming ‘prosumers.’ These were their development of online communities, development of group dynamic online, development of wikis (what he called the ‘enlightenment paradox’), and their development of group filtering to replace professional communications.

Dr. Groebel said the last development was particularly important. Surveys show that consumers’ trust in professional communications (journalism, political statements, public relations, marketing, etc.) has been lost. These surveys indicate that most people, regardless of their country’s political system, now distrust what journalists and other professional communications say. People are more likely to trust what other people say.

I think that Dr. Groebel, a psychologist by training, provided a overview of the superficial trends that form this year’s Beyond the Printed Word conference’s theme — the thing to do in a opening keynote, but I hope that the speakers who follow him will explain what underlies these trends.

Congratulations to Elan Lohmann of South Africa

Congratulations to Elan Lohmann, publisher of News24.com in South Africa, and Meredith Artley, Executive Editor of LATimes.com, who will co-chair Ifra’s 15th World Digital Publishing Conference, 8 – 9 November in Dublin. Annelies Van Den Belt and I co-chaired last year’s conference, which was held in Vienna. That’s where I met Elan and learned about the work he’s done advancing new-media in Africa..

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Bob Cauthorn, Vin Crosbie, Sal Kurdi-Serafi, Rob Curley, and Elan Lohmann at the Gastwirtschaft zu den 3 Hacken, Vienna, November 11, 2006. (photo by Colin Daniels)

We’re amid the ‘dog days’ of the Northern Hemisphere’s summer. Traffic to newspaper web sites has slowed.

And on the topic of declining use, but this time for print, a story in Folio, the trade journal of the American magazine industry, reports that more than 80 percent of people who visit the Web sites of major monthly U.S. magazines say they don’t subscribe or purchase the print edition, according to a survey by Nielsen//NetRatings. The survey, which looked at 23 high-circulation monthly magazines and the traffic to their Web sites, found also that male visitors (90 percent) were slightly more likely than women (83 percent) to read a magazine’s content only online. Among the individual titles studied, the amount of web-only users ranged between 65 and 83 percent. I know that the percentage of daily newspaper site users who don’t read printed editions is only about half those percentages.

Further on the topic of declining use: research by the media investment firm Veronis Suhler Stevenson, reported in Mediapost.com, indicates that American consumers last year used media less than in previous years. The firm says it’s the first first time in recent memory that the amount of time consumers spend with media has declined. The average American consumer spent 3,530 hours with media in 2006–down 0.5% from 2005. The drop follows a period of decelerating growth that the VSS report attributes to the increased efficiency of utilizing digital media.

I’m always amazed by the number of publishers and broadcasters—all busy shoveling their content online—who not only believe that consumers will spend as much time using new-media as they did old media but believe that consumers will also pay them as much for it. If new-media is more efficient than old media, consumers will logically spend less time and money using it.

The lead story in The New York Times‘ business section (free registration required) today is about the National Broadcasting Corporation’s attempt to use iVillage.com as a mass medium after NBC last year purchased the site for USD600 million. Among the missteps were efforts to increase traffic by ‘synergyzing’ it with a syndicated television program, iVillage Live, which instead resulted in reduced traffic and low TV ratings for the program. The story focuses on “the snags that can arise when trying to bolt a new media operation onto an old one.” I think the problem instead was simply what happens when a company mistakenly tries to use a new medium as a mass medium.

Jim Chishold to Speak at 'Beyond the Printed Word'

chisholm-100.gif There are two people who have more knowledge than anyone else about how to revive the newspaper industry, and one of them is iMedia Joint Principal Jim Chisholm.

As co-chairman and co-moderator of the 14th annual Beyond the Printed Word conference next month in Vienna, I’m pleased to hear that Jim has kindly agreed to speak there on the topic of newspapers’ use of video

Chisholm is the joint principal of iMedia, a joint consulting venture with Ifra. He has spent nearly a quarter decade in the newspaper industry; was the commercial director of the Scottish Daily Record and Sunday Mail, and was formerly the strategy advisor to the World Association of Newspapers and director of its Shaping the Future of the Newspaper project.

The addition of him to the 14th annual Beyond the Printed Word conference on November 9-10 finalizes its schedule:

Thursday, 9th November
10.15-11.00 hrs., Keynote address, The new web 2.0 players: MySpace, YouTube, Flickr — What can we learn? by Robert S. Cauthorn, CEO, CityTools, USA.
11.30-12.15 hrs., Launching a community site: www.stomp.com.sg, by Jennifer Lewis, Editor, STOMP, The Straits Times, Singapore Press Holdings, Singapore.
12.15-13.00 hrs., Buying a community site: www.familjeliv.se, by Gunnar Springfeldt, Development Director, Stampen Group, Sweden.
14.30-15.00 hrs., Traditional media and the blogosphere, by Colin Daniels, Acting-Director, New Media Lab, Rhodes University, South Africa.
15.00-15.30 hrs., Decentralised content- will there ever be a business model? by Simon Waldman, Digital Director, The Guardian, UK.
16.00-16.45 hrs., Local Search- Sesam, by Mikal Rohde, CEO, Sesam, Norway.
16.45-17.30 hrs., Search Marketing, by Julie Rutherford, Marketing Director, Washingtonpost.com, USA.

Friday, 10th November
9.15-10.15 hrs., Keynote address: Innovative uses of digital media, by Rob Curley, VP New Product Development, Washingtonpost. Newsweek Interactive, USA.
10.15-11.00 hrs., Web TV & Video, by Jim Chisholm, iMedia, France.
11.30-12.15 hrs. Young Persons Panel: What news formats do they like & why?, featuring students from the International School in Vienna.
12.15-13.00 hrs., Digital Success down under, by Mike van Niekerk, Managing Editor, Fairfax Digital, Australia.
14.30-15.15 hrs., New revenue ideas, by Kyoo Kim, VP Sales, msnbc.com, USA.
15.15-16.00 hrs., Online classifieds – Speurders.nl, by Quintin Schevernels, Managing Director, Telegraaf Classified Media, The Netherlands.

Annelies van den Belt, the new media director of the Telegraph Group Ltd., UK, is my fellow co-chairman and co-moderator of the conference.

This roster is nearly my dream team for new media. Only the lack of a third conference day prevents it from being perfect. I’d probably add Steve Yelvington of Morris Digital Works, former El Mundo graphics wizard Alberto Cairo, and — did I earlier say that the there was another person besides Chisholm who has more knowledge than anyone else about how to revive the newspaper industry? International Newspaper Marketing Association Executive Director Earl Wilkinson.

Beyond the Printed Word (Nov. 9-10) preview

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Although was on sabbatical much of the Northern Hemisphere summer, I was inregular contact with Ifra, the world’s leading association for newspaper and media publishing, helping to organize their annual Beyond the Printed Word conference about new-media. Last year’s conference in Madrid sold out attendence and this year’s in Vienna on November 9-10 is well towards that.

I’m particularly proud of the speakers we’ve enlisted.

The keynote address about ‘Empowering the Community’ will be delivered by Robert. S. Cauthorn (top left above), the founder and CEO, CityTools.net, former vice president of digital publishing at the San Francisco Chronicle, and an early winner of the Newspaper Association of America’s New Media Pioneer award.

Julie Rutherford (top row, 2nd from left) of The Washington Post will speak about marketihng websites through search engines. The topic of Simon Waldman (top row, 2nd from right), group director of digital strategy for The Guardian Media Group in London, will be ‘Decentralized content business models.’ The British consultant Suw Charman (top right), will speak about whether news publications are using social software correctly.

Jennifer Lewis (middle row left), the editor of Singapore Press Holding’s STOMP community site, will speak about how to launch a community site. Gunnar Springfeldt (middle row, 2nd from left), the development director of the Stampen Group in Sweden, will talk about how to buy such sites. And Michiel van der Meer (middle row, right), the managing director of Speurders.nl, will talk about online classifieds.

On the second day of the conference, Rob Curley (middle row, 2nd from right), the director of new media and convergence at the Naples Daily News in Florida but who on October 1st will take the new post of vice president of product development at Washingtonpost.Newsweek Interactive, will give a keynote address about Innovative uses of digital media.

Kyoo Kim (bottom right) MSNBC’s Vice President of Sales and formerly of Belo Interactive, will talk about new revenue ideas. The progress of new-media in Australia (which Bob Cauthorn today told was quite advanced) will be covered by Mike van Niekerk (bottom row, 2nd from right), the The managing editor of that continent’s Fairfax Digital. And Mikal Rohde (of whom I don’t have a photo), the CEO of Norway’s Sesam, will talk about home-grown search solutions for publications.

Annelies van den Belt (bottom left), the new media director of the Telegraph Group in London and I (bottom row, 2nd from left) co-chair and will co-moderate the conference, which will be held at the Vienna Hilton.

When Trade Associations Do Dumb Things

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Night Safari, Singapore, July 2006  – © Vin Crosbie

When the newspaper industry is already limping, why do some of its major trade association further shoot it in the feet?

That’s what the World Association of Newspapers, the Federation of International Periodical Press, and Ifra have done. I won’t directly tell you which of these associations is to blame, but you’ll probably be able to deduce which from this posting.

For years, WAN, Ifra (whose name I’ll explain beneath this posting), and FIPP have together organized Beyond the Printed Word, an annual conference about publishing on more than paper. It’s held in the autumn in a European city (Prague in 2004 and Madrid last year). Attendence at last year’s was sold out. This year’s Beyond the Printed Word will be held November 9-10 in Vienna.

Ifra, which has been the general organizer of the conference, recruited me in April to be this year’s co-chair/co-moderator (the other is Annelies van den Belt, the new media director of the Telegraph Group Limited of the UK). This year’s conference venue was set; the conference program outlined; and invitations were sent to proposed speakers (almost all of whom accepted).

But WAN and FIPP then decided to split from Ifra, hold their own new media conference — the World Digital Publishing Conferenc and Expo — and scheduled it in another European city two weeks before Beyond the Printed Word.

I don’t know about you, but I see no reason for the newspaper industry to hold two similar conferences at approximately the same time in two different cities. It’s counter-productive and will dilute or muddy either conference or probably both. It’s a lame idea for this limping industry.

Because I’m a co-chairman of this year’s Beyond the Printed Word, you might think that I know a lot about why the split occured. But in fact I don’t. I found out about the split weeks after it had occured, and only then because I’d read WAN’s announcement of its World Digital Publishing Conference and Expo and asked WAN why they and FIPP were announcing their own digital publishing conference a fortnight before the conference that I had thought I was co-chairing in Vienna for their organizations plus Ifra.

One reason why most trade conferences are so expensive to attend is that the associations use them as a revenue generators. Attendee registration fees can rage anywhere from $500 and $3,000. Attending Beyond the Printed Word will cost you between €850 and €1,290 or the World Digital Publishing Conference and Expo €980 and €1,450.

I suspect that WAN and FIPP (which generally goes along with WAN) didn’t like the revenue split they’d been getting from the Beyond the Printed World conferences. Deciding to hold their own conference, they intentionally scheduled it right before Beyond the Printed Word to preëmpt as much of the latter attendence as possible.

Too bad. If WAN wanted to pull out of Beyond the Printed Word and run its own digital publishing conference, it should have scheduled its conference at an antipodal date — such as in the spring — rather than attempt to preëmpt the annual Beyond the Printed Word conference it, FIPP, and Ifra had spent years promoting and developing. That would have better served the newspaper industry than holding two similar conferences at approximately the same time.

I personally regret the split because I like the staffs of both WAN and Ifra. But because I now find myself to be co-chairman of a conference organized only by Ifra and WAN wants to compete with it, I’ve got a duty to make sure that Ifra’s Beyond the Printed Word is a better conference than WAN & FIPP’s World Digital Publishing Conference and Expo. I regret that my friends at WAN have put me involuntarily into that position. I wish it wasn’t so.

[By the way, Ifra was originally named the INCA-FIEJ Research Association. INCA meant International Newspaper Colour Association and FIEJ meant Fédération Internationale des Editeurs de Journaux.]

Beyond the Printed Word 2006

I thank the International Federation of the Periodical Press and Ifra for naming Annelies van den Belt, the New Media Director of London’s the Telegraph Group Limited, and me as the two chairpeople for those trade organization’s annual Beyond the Printed Word digital publishing conference. The conference will be held November 9-10 in Vienna.

Attendence at the 2005 Beyond the Printed Word sold out. We hope to do the same this year. We’ll be focusing on four themes: Empowering the community, ‘Search-mania,’ Online advertising, and New news formats.

Among the confirmed speakers are Naples Daily News Director New Media & Convergence Rob Curley, MSNBC Vice President of Sales Kyoo Kim, Speurders Managing Director Michiel van der Meer, Fairfax Digital Managing Editor Mike van Niekerk, Sesam Managing DirectorMikal Rohde, and Guardian Unlimited Digital Director Simon Waldman.