Spied in my daily I Want Media e-mail:

AdAge's The Media Guy, Simon Dumenco (who?), rants:

Dumenco didn't mention TV books and grids, weather pages or sports agate, but he could have....

THR: Morning Updates

Spied this via Middletown's morning news e-mail today: Morning Updates.

Also linked from the image on their home page (right).

If logistics allow for it, I'd recommend publishing it before 7 a.m., to capture that crowd commuting to the big city. Nonetheless, the concept is righteous.

Could The Afternoon Drive be far behind?


Pet Photo Contest 2006

Here is Sunbury's Pet Photo Contest 2006 that was referenced on today's call.



Test 1 2 3 4. Testing for the sports editors.


More sports competition

And from a friend of the media and long-time E&P columnist Steve Outing:

"The Enthusiast Group (TEG) develops websites that serve sports/recreation enthusiasts in telling their own stories without professional writing or photography help. Sports enthusiasts have compelling stories and images to share, but they typically are under-covered by traditional media. It's nearly always the stars of any sport that get the media attention. But everyday athletes and sports participants deserve coverage, too; many have compelling stories and images to share with fellow enthusiasts."

I see these groups as the youth groups, bowling leagues, softball, snowboarding, etc. Anyone doing stuff online to serve these markets?

Google link

Sorry, here's the link to the whole story on Google and Nike.

Google as publisher?

From Business Week's Tech Insider e-mail:

"Nike executives approached Google with the idea of creating a social-networking site revolving around the world's most popular sport: soccer."


"Joga.com (the name of the Web site) is a free network where members will be able to create Web sites and send e-mail, photos, and video clips, as well as access Nike content..."

This is our opportunity with local sports franchises, I think. And now with google in the game, where do they stop? An easy next step for them is to take the joga.com platform and open it up to our local sports teams. There are lots of platforms already being used by local sports teams but what of the promise of all being linked together by Google?

What are you all doing to capture the local sports market? Here at the Record, we're not doing much unfortunately. But not for lack of desire ... .

SPOTTED follow-up

Yesterday, the SPOTTED at St. Patrick's Day Parade photo gallery got 14,300 page views and catapulted the section to the number one spot above jobs and the front page. Yesterday's total page views were 75,530.

Not a bad showing for a Monday in a small market.


SPOTTED program helps boost weekend page views

Sean asked me to share this internal memo with you all:

Just a quick note to let you know the results of our new SPOTTED! program.

What is SPOTTED?

SPOTTED! is a marketing program to drive page views to our online photo galleries. We create event-specific galleries, go to the events, take pictures of the people in the crowd, hand them a business card with the tagline “You’ve been SPOTTED!” and the address of where the gallery is located online (http://www.poconorecord.com/spotted), and then on the same day upload the photos to the gallery. We promote the galleries on the homepage and yesterday (Sunday, March 19) there was a great promo on the front page of the newspaper letting people know we would be at the parade taking pictures.

Did it work?

Yes and No.

Our first event was the Chamber’s Business Expo on Wednesday and Thursday of last week. The first Expo gallery got a total of 1,609 page views which isn’t great when compared to our Pet Photo gallery (6,311 in March to date) and the Highrise Tragedy (8,286). The Expo on Thursday gallery got a little more (1,959).

BUT – yesterday’s St. Patrick’s Day parade got 2,928 page views YESTERDAY. That means on our slowest traffic day of the week, we boosted page views by 2,928. Moreover, the 80 photos were posted between 5 and 6 p.m. immediately after the parade so those page views came after 6 p.m. on a Sunday! That’s huge.

There’s more – between that last report of 2,928 page views (3 a.m. this morning) and now, we clocked another 2,256 page views for a grand total of 5,184 in the first 16 hours or so of the gallery’s creation.

The bottom line for Sunday: We doubled overall page views compared to previous Sunday page views (50,000 yesterday compared to 25,842 the previous Sunday).

Online Editors note: We used the photo gallery tool available in SAXoTECH to create these galleries. No extra cost except for the staff time to take and upload the photos. The SPOTTED! cards we hand out at the event cost less than $40 for 500 and we buy them online at VistaPrint.com.


Cool Stuff: Participatory Content

I ran across two nifty UGC ideas that relate to sports, two of which were linked from J-Lab's Cool Stuff: Participatory Content page:

Amarillo Globe-News - IBeatBeilue.com

The Amarillo (Texas) Globe-News invites its readers to go up against football columnist Mark Beilue in picking winners of local high school, college and NFL football games. Contestants who correctly pick more winners than Beilue in a week receive a free t-shirt, and the overall winner receives tickets to the Alamo Bowl in San Antonio, Texas."

St. Paul Pioneer Press - Average Joe Columnist

The Pioneer Press sports department and TwinCities.com are letting readers experience what it's like to be a sports columnist. In 2005, the second edition of the contest, over 150 columns were submitted. After the paper narrowed the field to 16, the finalists submitted columns on deadline for weekly head-to-head competitions. The columns were judged by a sports writer and a sports editor at the Pioneer Press and by an online reader poll. The winner wrote a live column from a Minnesota Vikings football game.

Poynter Online - On the Cusp of Tomorrow

I'll be inserting this into the sports editors' packets for next week, but thought it worth sharing with the online editors too:

Poynter Online - On the Cusp of Tomorrow: Where print journalists find themselves on the eve of 2006

Steve Klein writes about sports frequently for E-Media Tidbits. I've been exchanging e-mails with him today in seeking just such an article. He also shared this one:

CBS Serves More Than 1.2 Million March Madness Feeds In First Five Hours; So Far, So Good

The best line?

It's not a threat to TV viewing; it's a substitute when no TV is available and a supplement for those who want to watch more than one game at once but don't have DirecTV.
Same principle applies to what we do online. Online news AND information done right is not a threat to newspaper readership. It's a substitute for those who live out of market, and a supplement for our core at-work audience, who utilize us as their lifeline to the outside world from their offices and cubicles.

Poynter Online - To Capture Kids, Reconsider Definition of News

Poynter Online - To Capture Kids, Reconsider Definition of News:

Perhaps the most striking point in her presentation, however, was this one: "I don't think companies should spend a lot of time pandering to youth."


Santa Cruz kicks off another blog

Check out The Book Eater.

"Brave News World"

Gary Pruitt, the head of McClatchy, has an optimistic column on the newspaper industry in today's Wall Street Journal:

We certainly have competition from Google and others. But in each of the communities where we compete, almost every newspaper has the largest news staff, largest sales force, biggest audience and greatest share of advertising in its market. Whether it's on the Internet or off the presses, we are capturing that business.

Adding the unduplicated reach of newspaper Web sites to newspaper readership shows that, far from shrinking, our audiences are growing steadily. Simply put, more people want our products today than wanted them yesterday; this is hardly the profile of a dying industry.

Gawker Stalker

Spied in a roundabout way via I Want Media (as was the previous item, by the way): Gawker Stalker.

Talk about a mashup!

News flash: The celebrities don't like it.

The Sun to create MySun on MySpace

Worth paying attention to....

And how about this factoid:

In February MySpace.com overtook the BBC site in terms of visitor numbers and grew six-fold year on year, according to internet monitor Hitwise.

MediaShift - Dear CBS Sportsline: Close Down Live Streams of Tourney for Our Own Good

Mark Glaser has a pretty humorous take on March Madness as it gets underway today (Full disclosure: As I type this I have the CBS Sportsline live scoreboard open on an alternate screen, but, Andrew, for the record, I am NOT watching video...!).

Coincidentally, I am preparing a presentation titled "Photos, Photos and More Photos (and Maybe Video)" for the sports editors from around Ottaway who will converge on Campbell Hall for a 3-day conference next week, similar to the one we hosted for the online editors. At the end of Glazer's column was this little nugget:

UPDATE: As of 12:30 pm Eastern Time on Thursday, I couldn’t even get into the site to watch live video and was 101,776th in line to get in. If I had registered earlier in the week, and was a VIP member, I would have got in within five minutes. That means at least 200,000 people are watching the tourney video, with 100,000 more watching a “Waiting Room Meter” to see when they’d get in.
Now, live video is a labor-intensive and expensive undertaking. It's not likely that most of our locations could pull it off yet. However, it is fun to think about the possibilities for video clips of local, high-profile events that folks from throughout our regions and beyond would love to watch. Think Figawi for Cape Cod and Nantucket, Mavericks for Santa Cruz, or Bayshore Marathon for Traverse City. That's the message I'll be carrying forward to the sports editors: Corner the multimedia market for the quintessential events in your market, and expand from there.

(Any other messages you'd like to have delivered to the sports editors, particularly as it relates to what you heard when you were here?)

Three Connecticut papers going tabloid to boost revenue

Interesting... no mention of Web, though....


Record-Eagle's first audio slideshow

Record-Eagle's first audio slideshow: Bartko reads apology


That was Friday. Here's today.

Today's Romenesko posts on the sale are here.
And more came in later:


Knight Ridder and the future of newspapers

Oh, the irony of the graphic and headline juxtaposition on washingtonpost.com:

More coverage of the sale, via Romanesko....

p.s. re Blogfather

Calling Dave Winer the Blogfather was my idea, but it apparently isn't as original a moniker as I'd thought. Check out how many folks consider themselves to be more worthy of the title.

Winer's preparing to leave the blogoshpere

Dave Winer, considered by many to be the Blogfather, indicates today that he will stop blogging, probably before the end of this year.

Winer can claim several fames, including that he is among those instrumental to the development and improvement of RSS.


FW: Middletown map enhancement of Sunday package (an e-mail exchange)

This e-mail conversation actually applies to a feature on the Times Herald-Record Web site from last Sunday. Tardy, but still worth sharing.
Erik Gliedman:
Though you might want to check this out:
was our sunday top story
Sean Polay:
Love it! Anything that adds a three-dimensional quality to the storytelling is a win in my book.
Difficulty in pulling it together?
It did not take too much work to pull it all together. On Friday I found out that there was a large graphic illustration of the accident to go with the story. (It ended up running on black and white vertically in print).
I was able to reuse the house price map I developed last year, which cut down on the production time enormously. I resized the graphic that one of our print designers created, cut out the mini-maps and renumbered the dots so the map could be displayed horizontally.
Once that was done, I dropped the graphic onto the old house price map I had. All that was needed at that point was to re-script the map for the new layers and code in the new text for each spot.
Probably took about an hour to build late on Saturday night. Went live at around 3:30 am sunday.


Love this CourtTV Blog!

I love this new CourtTV blog, "Fluorescent Justice: Night Court in New York City."
Their synopsis: "By law, the roughly 900 people arrested every day in NYC must be arraigned within 24 hours. To keep up with the caseload, the city operates four night courthouses every day of the week."
The blogger is "an insomniac observer of this after-hours legal system."


Upgrade Your Podcast for Under $200

In addition to the multimedia resource materials Lauren Hertel put together in Stockton, you'll find this page useful too. It's podcast-specific, but the equipment would work for any in-house recording you undertake. A bit difficult to take Ludington's equipment on the road, but in my experience it is a good idea to have a dedicated space and equipment for in-house recording, so that a reporter or photographer can take portable equipment on the road and you still have a place at the home office for day-to-day multimedia efforts.

Incidentally, have you checked out Seacoast's robotic podcast? I'm a little uncertain as to how long the monotone voice can hold my attention, but it's a start, right? My unsolicited suggestion: Turn that midday video update into a video podcast, a la Rocketboom.

Anyone else dipping a toe into podcasting?

FW: NJ Bill Would Prohibit Anonymous Posts on Forums...

From: Alison Widmer [mailto:widmer_a@yahoo.com]
Sent: Tuesday, March 07, 2006 7:42 AM
To: spolay@ottaway.com
Subject: NJ Bill Would Prohibit Anonymous Posts on Forums...

ASSEMBLY, No. 1327
Sponsored by:
Assemblyman PETER J. BIONDI
District 16 (Morris and Somerset)
     Makes certain operators of interactive computer services and Internet service providers liable to persons injured by false or defamatory messages posted on public forum websites.
     As introduced.
An Act concerning the posting of certain Internet messages and supplementing chapter 38A of Title 2A of the New Jersey Statutes.
     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:
     1.  As used in this act:
     "Information content provider" means any person or entity that is responsible, in whole or in part, for the creation or development of information provided through the Internet or any other interactive computer service.
     "Interactive computer service" means any information system, service, or access software provider that provides or enables computer access by multiple users to a computer server, including specifically a service or system that provides service to the Internet.
     "Internet" means the international computer network of both federal and non-federal interoperable packet switched data networks.
     "Internet service provider" or "provider" means any person, business or organization qualified to do business in this State that provides individuals, corporations, or other entities with the ability to connect to the Internet through equipment that is located in this State.
     "Operator" means any person, business or organization qualified to do business in this State that operates an interactive computer service.
     2.  The operator of any interactive computer service or an Internet servi! ce provider shall establish, maintain and enforce a policy to require any information content provider who posts written messages on a public forum website either to be identified by a legal name and address, or to register a legal name and address with the operator of the interactive computer service or the Internet service provider through which the information content provider gains access to the interactive computer service or Internet, as appropriate.
     3.  An operator of an interactive computer service or an Internet service provider shall establish and maintain reasonable procedures to enable any person to request and obtain disclosure of the legal name and address of an information content provider who posts false or defamatory information about the person on a public forum website.
     4.  Any person who is damaged by false or defamatory written messages that originate from an information content provider who posts such messages on a public forum website may file suit in Superior Court against an operator or provider that fails to establish, maintain and enforce the policy required pursuant to section 2 of P.L.    , c.    (C.) (pending before the Legislature as this bill), and may recover compensatory and punitive damages and the cost of the suit, including a reasonable attorney's fee, cost of investigation and litigation from such operator or provider.
     5. This act shall take effect on the 90th day following enactment.
     This bill would require an operator of any interactive computer service or an Internet service provider to establish, maintain and enforce a policy requiring an information content provider who posts messages on a public forum website either to be identified by legal name and address or to register a legal name and address with the operator or provider prior to posting messages on a public forum website.
     The bill requires an operator of an interactive computer service or an Internet service provider to establish and maintain reasonable procedures to enable any person to request and obtain disclosure of the legal nam! e and address of an information content provider who posts false or defamatory information about the person on a public forum website.
     In addition, the bill makes any operator or Internet service provider liable for compensatory and punitive damages as well as costs of a law suit filed by a person damaged by the posting of such messages if the operator or Internet service provider fails to establish, maintain and enforce the policy required by section 2 of the bill.

Yahoo! Mail
Use Photomail to share photos without annoying attachments.

Speaking of audio...

Jeanne Hubbard in Traverse City points out this audio slideshow-building software: Soundslides.

Runs on Mac OS X 10.3 or higher, and costs $39.95. In use at boston.com, and elsewhere.


And here's the wireless article...

Hey Neighbor, Stop Piggybacking on My Wireless - New York Times

Just for the record, if you want to come park in my driveway and use my wireless connection, I've got no problem with the latter. Surf away.

But if you stay longer than an hour, I'm likely to start charging you for parking.

Such is wireless life in suburbia.

Never burn a bridge

OK, so minutes after my last blog post, NYT shows off its breaking news might.

I went back to find the wi-fi article I read earlier today in the print edition, and on their home page at 8:32 p.m. ET they already have the news of George Clooney winning best supporting actor, with a link to a nominees list that they're updating live by adding stars next to the winners.

Fixing a Hole - New York Times

House blogging inspiration comes today from Stephen Metcalf's feature in The New York Times Magazine. My wife and I have spent the last five years restoring our 19th-century Cape Cod home, so we enjoyed the concept of blogging the work and sharing lessons learned, trials endured, and costs overrun.

But even the esteemed NYT has landed in my doghouse tonight (and I'm sure they're shaking in their shoes...). Metcalf cites three blogs, one of which he names by URL. Thank you. But the print version neglects to pass along the addresses for Our Old House and Casa Decrepit. Count that as pet peeve number one. Pet peeve number two, and the bigger crime? No related links can be found in the online version either.

Why didn't I link to Our Old House above? Because it took me four tries to find the right one. Therein lies the challenge for the reader. Here's the links I hit upon in my search, with the fourth being the correct one:


Len La Barth: Media Man

Loving Len's blog. Good voice. Interesting, newsroom insider transparency. It's good stuff, Len. Hope you're finding it to be a fun experience thus far.

(Now there's some love for ya, buddy!)

The State of Blogging at America's 100 Largest Newspapers: Chart by the Blue Plate Special team

Spied via I Want Media today: The State of Blogging at America's 100 Largest Newspapers: Chart by the Blue Plate Special team.

For context, go here.

They're careful to note that this was simply a look at the 100 largest newspapers. They will eventually be looking at smaller papers too.

New York Times podcasts most e-mailed articles

Interesting podcast idea from NYT: Reporter James Barron describes the three most e-mailed stories every weekday.

But once the why-didn't-I-think-of-that novelty passed, a glaring weakness emerged: As I'm listening to the podcast on iTunes (or my new iPod), I can't click to read the stories.

(Surely Apple is developing wireless connectivity for the iPod, or how about a Bluetooth synch capability? Ah, what do you know... it's apparently in the works.)

Best case scenario for NYT? If I'm listening on the laptop and Barron hits upon a story that I'd like to check out, I have to go to nytimes.com, scroll halfway down their lengthy homepage to find the Most E-mailed module, and hope that the story is still there if I'm listening to that day's podcast (which won't always be the case because I am not yet in the habit of listening to my downloaded podcasts every day, though the recent addition of an iPod to my electronics arsenal may change that).

Phew! That's a lot of work.

If it's not in that module...? Well, NYT has already lost me. I've got to get back to work.

My criticism is in not intended to discourage anyone from podcasting. Instead, it's a reminder that as we experiment with such mediums, we need to be mindful of how the user will interact with it.

And you've read this far into my blog post, here's a treat for you: a direct link to the nytimes.com Most E-mailed page. Also, as a complete non-sequitur, here's a cool snowplow photo from Feb. 14.


FW: Breaking sports news: Manny arrives at camp

Of course, what I'm wondering is that if Manny arrived at 9:01, why did it
take until 9:34 to send a 1-sentence alert? Maybe I'm just being picky....

-----Original Message-----
From: Boston.com Newsletters [mailto:newsletters@boston.com]
Sent: Wednesday, March 01, 2006 9:34 AM
To: spolay@ottaway.com
Subject: Breaking sports news: Manny arrives at camp

Manny Ramirez arrived at Red Sox camp in Fort Myers at 9:01 a.m. this
morning, wearing a No. 81 Tim Brown Oakland Raiders jersey and accompanied
by his representatives, including agents Gene Mato and Greg Genske.