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

@niemanlab archives: November 2009

@spf2 @hourlypress Hah, guess that’s a peril of handing editorial control to the crowd. But with so many tweets, maybe that spam is news? 
Newspaper obits hardly dead, finds Medill report, which sees a future in social networks for the deceased 
Washington Post launches a “how the sausage is made” blog for the backstories and detritus of its articles 
Thanking its readers, Talking Points Memo lists the top 10 tips that have come through its inbox this year 
Why the Boston Globe’s local search project never caught on (and how they salvaged it) 
The Guardian’s whiz-bang developers help a Zimbabwean news site in exile with SEO, analytics, topic pages 
After a New Zealand news site began to charge, pageviews were down, of course, but so were other metrics 
Good morning! Amazon says Kindle sales set a record in November while the Nook is scarce 
Business Week executive editor @JohnAByrne is leaving “to launch a new digital media company” 
Handy chart on fundamental differences between TV and Web as “velocity of media consumption” increases 
Cartoonist, who calls herself an “information radical,” documents how she made $55,000 giving away her work 
Video, maps, deep links, catalog photos, and comparison shopping: Google reviews its newest ad formats 
Shoes you can use made of news 
@kboutelle I don’t have a great sense of newspaper pricing, but in general, higher demand = higher prices. It’s all about balance. 
Why are major newspaper companies charging double or more for their Thanksgiving editions? The ads, natch 
Small thing I like about NYT’s new BlackBerry app: Headlines dim to gray after you’ve read the story 
“Can news orgs be everywhere?” @Lavrusik ponders a ubiquitous social-media strategy. Good comments, too 
GlobalPost’s business model includes an investment research firm paying for special reports from China 
@meaghano Hah, yeah, it’s definitely a “better than nothing” strategy at this point. We’d love to and hope to do more. 
“Sometimes our search results can be offensive. We agree,” reads a new Google house ad 
@jcstearns All tweets hit Tumblr, Facebook, and FriendFeed using — sort of a “why not” strategy. Wish we did more in those spaces. 
@cophotog @mariancw Agreed. “Go where your audience is.” Like us: ~30% of traffic through Twitter. Only 9.5% of visitors are to front page. 
RT @bigboxcar: We have a tumblr, too. Not nearly nice as Newsweek’s | Us, “too!” 
Speaking of news orgs on Tumblr, @NYT_JenPreston says the NY Times is getting in on that “very soon” 
Nice. Newsweek has a Tumblr, and it looks good, links out (HT @bigboxcar
NYT’s Bill Keller dropped the term “living articles” in speech to staff; said it could be a “major venture” 
@jcstearns Hadn’t seen that. Thanks! 
@caaquino Thanks! We’ll be folding it into the site soon, but all credit for the concept and execution is due to @laheadle and his crew. 
NYT tries a “living article” for global warming Andrew @Revkin explains what he’s up to 
@jcstearns Sure have! We linked to it last week. 
Lots of news about news this morning. I was away, so I’m catching up algorithmically: 
Have a great weekend! Here are my 40 most-recent links ranked by your clicks 
@nickgould Hah, yeah, but not quite as polite as “refined.” 
How Steve Brill has adjusted his pay-for-news pitch: I take a close look at his public comments this year 
NYT’s Chicago edition debuted today without paid ads Bay Area edition had a half-pager 
The AP literally tore apart Sarah Palin’s book to scan and search their exclusive copy (HT @jenny8lee
Fox Sports challenging ESPN, Comcast, and regional newspapers in big fight for local markets on the web 
Important! Part two of @dannysullivan‘s interview with Josh Cohen of Google News. Lots of great advice 
Take a look at the huge infographic on A1 of the The Daily Herald in Everett, WA yesterday 
As the FTC takes a look at the news industry, an argument for giving nonprofits their due 
Good morning! BBC News gets 29% of UK traffic from search engines. And now its headlines are SEO-friendly 
Gawker calls it a “completely inexplicable media crossover” — animated New Yorker cartoons on the Xbox 
Intelligent failure: “What Happens When Stuff Breaks On” 
“What’s happening?” is Twitter’s new prompt for status updates Facebook asks, “What’s on your mind?” 
MSNBC may develop EveryBlock, the local-info aggregator, on its own instead of folding it into 
@mojo_girl Haha, yeah, that would definitely skew it. But, no, it was a self-reported survey. 
Need a lawyer? @citmedialaw‘s new Online Media Legal Network can help you out. Launching today 
Good morning! The median age of Twitter users is 31. On Facebook, it’s 33; MySpace, 26; and LinkedIn, 39 
Techmeme, the invaluable tech-news aggregator, adds three more human editors, doubling its staff 
New York Times is ditching Times Extra, which nobody used, and rethinking the best way to link out