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Nieman Journalism Lab
Nieman Journalism Lab
Pushing to the future of journalism — A project of the Nieman Foundation at Harvard

@niemanlab archives: August 2009

21
Aug
Barney Frank went viral: 1 million views in 4 days. Detailed stats shed light on how news videos spread http://tr.im/wQdZ 
 
@cattwitter Inorganic, yes, but also invisible to the naked eye, apparently. Cheers from Cambridge! 
 
@themediaisdying He is not, however, killing the news. The site’s traffic has plunged http://bit.ly/Sj3bc 
 
New term for me: “visual affordance.” LA Times, NPR websites chided for not distinguishing links in text http://tr.im/wPGN 
 
Mind-bending and screen-bending: Invisible LEDs promise flexible, transparent displays http://tr.im/wPz6 (HT @nickbilton
 
Why did Newser’s readership fall off a cliff? A lesson that not all traffic is created equal http://tr.im/wPbn 
 
Good morning! Average headline size among popular news sites is 25.6px, and sans-serif fonts are the norm http://tr.im/wP9H 
 
20
Aug
@dankennedy_nu Higher prices, focus on profitable circulation, and lack of new subs (which is cannibalization). Remaining readers loyal. 
 
@dankennedy_nu Point taken, but evidence of cannibalizing current print readership is thin. Longterm, yes, but we agree: not the issue. 
 
Think giving it away on the web cannibalizes the print edition? @peterfeld offers a succinct rebuttal http://tr.im/wMS9 
 
Silicon Alley Insider: “Go ahead, embed this post!” In comments, @hblodget says they might seek sponsors http://tr.im/wMKe 
 
Before Photoshop: How the LA Times used to draw clothing on bare-chested celebrities. Hilarious http://tr.im/wMp5 
 
Serendipity, you say? YouTube is trying to improve its recommendation engine to avoid “Van Halen fatigue” http://tr.im/wLOz 
 
The Guardian, already the UK’s leader in database journalism, is making a smart “local data landgrab” http://tr.im/wLmo 
 
@gwfrink3 Also more likely that *new* organizations will experiment with new models, rather than existing for-profits making the shift. 
 
What’s holding back the “low-profit” model for news? As with paid content, there’s a “you first” mentality http://tr.im/wL8L 
 
Good morning! Bigger isn’t better: Study finds smaller online ads can be more effective than large banners http://tr.im/wL4s 
 
19
Aug
@LisaSink Searching for cases without a docket number is a pain. And I guess, generally, I don’t think the government should charge for it. 
 
@ClaraJeffery @AndrewKroll So glad it’ll be put to use! http://dockets.justia.com is also really helpful. 
 
Sky News ran @Joe‘s crime-scene Twitpic. He asked for pay, launched a hashmob: #skypic. Now he’s getting £330 http://tr.im/wHrs 
 
If you ever tangle with the federal court system’s tortuous PACER database, this Firefox plugin is for you http://tr.im/wHlu 
 
Newspaper ally to share sports content: Online, the rule is brief excerpts and a link back to source http://tr.im/wGSe 
 
@rowlikeagirl Fine line between “distracting” and “attention-grabbing.” I don’t mind the BMW or Apple ads, but it’s a tricky balance. 
 
@ryanchittum @megangarber I think, like most media, news sites will push advertising to the limits of user tolerance. It didn’t bother me. 
 
While we’re on the topic, here’s the New York Times R&D Lab’s vision for the future of advertising http://tr.im/lqYi 
 
BMW calls its takeover of NYT homepage “edgy.” Times calls it “unique.” User calls its “super-annoying” http://tr.im/wGzY 
 
Quick video (2:25) to start your day: Why news sites are like pointing TV cameras at radio shows http://tr.im/wGlB 
 
Good morning! 54% of Google’s most-popular search terms trend in predictable patterns. Other half? Call it news http://tr.im/wG9N 
 
18
Aug
Background for #focas09: What Walter Isaacson (and Arthur Sulzberger) said about charging for news — in ’95 http://tr.im/wCRM 
 
Appeals court in D.C. lays down strict guidelines for protecting anonymous speech on the Internet http://tr.im/wBMq 
 
Where to turn for the lowdown on health care reform? @megangarber makes a great case for Wikipedia http://tr.im/wBGs 
 
Exclusive: Pay wall brewing in Milwaukee? Journal Sentinel signs with Steve Brill’s firm, Journalism Online http://tr.im/wBDd 
 
Good morning! “How the web has changed job searching” spells out why newspaper classifieds aren’t effective http://tr.im/wBCz 
 
17
Aug
Update: @AdrianHolovaty says he talked to a “bunch of people” about acquiring EveryBlock, won’t say if any were newspapers http://tr.im/wzrs 
 
CUNY’s verdict on non-profit news: It’s no reprieve from selling ads http://tr.im/wz6i #focas09 
 
The making of NPR’s new iPhone application http://tr.im/wyxX (Follow this blog! It’s endless insight.) 
 
New York Times vs. Wall Street Journal: the quietest newspaper war in America http://tr.im/wyru 
 
@CodyBrown FWIW, MinnPost CPM for ads served to local readers is $15, though that’s highest I’ve heard among local sites http://bit.ly/Ds8OO 
 
@greglinch @jeffjarvis @CodyBrown @mathewi Yes, and Knight News Challenge is open to for-profit ventures. I imagine Knight is thrilled. 
 
@greglinch @jeffjarvis @CodyBrown @mathewi @semmerson My read of @adrianholovaty‘s post is that code won’t be open-source going forward. 
 
MSNBC buys local data aggregator EveryBlock. @AdrianHolovaty says they’ll become “something much bigger” http://tr.im/wxIW 
 
Catch “Mad Men” last night? From our archives: How the show’s ads keep you on the couch http://tr.im/wxs0 
 
Diving into the just-released “New Business Models for News” report. Lots of data http://tr.im/wxjJ (It’s a @jeffjarvis project at CUNY.) 
 
Plugins are the scourge of news sites with custom media players. BBC demos the plugin-less future of HTML5 http://tr.im/wxib 
 
NBC’s local news sites getting in touch with your emotions: New feature is aimed at audience engagement http://tr.im/wxcP 
 
Cover of this weekend’s NY Times style magazine used a Flickr image. Photographer credits her use of tags http://tr.im/wx8x 
 
Good morning! Overnight, the English-language Wikipedia published its three millionth article http://tr.im/wx0O 
 
14
Aug
Have a great weekend, everyone! Thanks to tr.im’s resurrection, here are my 40 most-recent links, ranked by clicks http://nieman.40twits.com 
 
@MaryBrace Yeah, they’re both owned by Tribune Co. and were part of a company-wide redesign. Makes sense they’d reuse code, but still funny. 
 
@brianboyer @ckrewson Haha indeed!