Why Google is pulling the plug on Frommer's - Fortune Tech: "Spotting a tourist used to be easy. Just look for someone toting around a travel guide. Today, vacationers are organizing their trips entirely online. All they need to carry with them is a smartphone to occasionally look up tourist attractions and navigate around town. Travel guide publishers are in upheaval amid this new reality. Sales of guidebooks are down sharply as people instead turn to sites like TripAdvisor for hotel and restaurant reviews. . . . BBC's sale of Lonely Planet, happened earlier this month. The British broadcaster disclosed plans to sell the guide-book publisher for $78 million, far less than the nearly $200 million it had originally paid. . . . "
The end of Google Reader: Have I got news for you | The Economist: "Tens of millions of internet users embraced RSS feeds via Google Reader and other software that mostly relies upon the search giant's news-aggregating engine. That may sound a lot, but it pales into insignificance next to the more than a billion who get their fix of news via Twitter or Facebook, not to mention e-mail. Still, Brent Simmons, who developed a popular news-feed reader called NetNewsWire, notes that in contrast to Twitter and other services, RSS links users and websites directly through a distributed network without intermediaries. No central authority dictates how feeds are displayed, decide whether to include ads, or shut down a feed (unless the news provider goes under). . . ." (read more at link above)
A Tale of Two Newspaper Interfaces | MIT Technology Review: "The New York Times revealed a “prototype” of a new online “article experience” yesterday. Was it a bold technical experiment, a new multimedia whatzit, a paradigm-busting business model? No. It was just an article, laid out… readably. That is, in such a way to encourage reading. Ian Adelman, director of digital design at the Times, told me in an email that this “prototype” is intended to “create an appealing and engaging environment for our readers/viewers, as well as for advertisers.” You’d think that the essential, obvious point of a newspaper website interface is to do exactly that, and that the essential, obvious way to accomplish it is to set said interface up in a way that encourages reading, which is the essential, obvious thing that someone comes to a newspaper website to do. This, apparently, is innovative and risky enough to require prototyping? Counterpoint: The Daily Mail, a newspaper website whose interface intentionally doubles down on anti-readability – a strategy that wins them more unique users than any other news website and a 500% increase in revenue since 2008. Said interface won a prestigious award last month for its “effectiveness.”. . . " (read more at link above)
PCWorld Exits Print, and the Era of Computer Magazines Ends | TIME.com: ". . . it’s sort of a shock it didn’t happen several years ago. After slightly more than thirty years in print, PCWorld magazine is ceasing publication, effective with the current issue, to focus on its website and digital editions. If I have to explain why, you haven’t been paying attention to the media business for the past decade or so. The web has been awfully hard on magazines, and no category has suffered more than computer publications. Both readers and advertisers have largely moved online. Many of them did so years ago — especially the sort of tech-savvy people who once read PC magazines. At the end, PCWorld was about a quarter the size it once was in terms of pages and had lost two-thirds of its readership. I don’t even want to think about what had happened to its profits. . . ." (read more at link above)
Polaroid was taken by surprise: "It's amazing, but kids today don't want hard copy anymore"
What was Polaroid thinking? | YaleInsights: "Through the 1990s, Polaroid executives continued to believe in the importance of the paper print. Gary DiCamillo, CEO from 1995 to 2001, said in a 2008 interview at Yale, "People were betting on hard copy and media that was going to be pick-up-able, visible, seeable, touchable, as a photograph would be."" (read more at link above)
Miami Herald Prepares to Leave Bastion on the Bay - NYTimes.com: " . . . the demise of The Herald’s longtime home and the newspaper’s gallop away from the heart of the city are symptoms of a much larger problem: the retreat and retrenchment of newspapers in the digital age and their waning influence. . . The Miami Herald has scooped up 20 Pulitzer Prizes and has inspired dread in wrongdoers. It also minted talent like Carl Hiaasen, Dave Barry, Edna Buchanan and many others with less recognizable names. Reporters on the dwindling staff still wade into the muck, winning accolades and respect. With the newspaper thrashed by budget cuts and scores of departures in recent years, reporters find themselves overwhelmed by the never-ending news cycle and hustle for online clicks. “The building was symbolic of being a powerful institution in the community, and I think that many newspapers are not as powerful as they used to be in the community,” said Kelly McBride, a senior faculty member for ethics, reporting and writing at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla. “You were downtown because you needed to be close to all these institutions,” she said. “But with the digital environment and the mobile environment, you can do your reporting from anywhere, and often you are doing it across the transom. . .” (read more at link above)
NEW YORK: Study: Nonprofit news sites need business help | National | FresnoBee.com: " . . . Pew said 93 of these sites completed surveys, and 54 percent said that their greatest need came in business, marketing or fundraising, compared to 39 percent who cited reporting or editing help. Nearly two-thirds of the groups said it was a major challenge to find enough time to focus on the business aspects of their operations. Many of the sites are bullish about their futures, however, with 81 percent saying they are confident they will be financially healthy in five years, Pew said. The organizations tend to be small, with 78 percent reporting having five or fewer staff members, Pew said. They also tend to work in specialized niches, including the environment, health and foreign affairs, the study said."
Tracing the "most-hated" meme was easy enough. A half-dozen Web stories all led to the same story: A piece by Victoria Woollaston published the day before in that bastion of quality journalism, the Daily Mail. The headline: "Apple's iPhone 5 is the most hated handset -- while the majority of people love the Samsung Galaxy S4, study finds" (source infra)
How A Great Google Workplace Turned Into A 'Nightmare' - Business Insider: " . . . After speaking with a number of sources, some of whom worked in Google's Zagat division for the past year or so, we have a story that answers those questions. It's a story about coming close to having something awesome, only to see it slip away. It's about the collision between the wealthy dream world of the technology industry and the scratch-and-claw meager existence of freelance writers. . . ." (read more at link above) more news below
Facebook Aims to Become Newspaper for Mobile Devices - WSJ.com: "This month, Facebook rolled out hashtags, a feature popular on rival Twitter Inc., that lets users find public conversations based on words marked by the "#" sign. Earlier this year, Facebook unveiled a redesign of the news-feed portion of its main Web portal that features a more prominent display of content from news publishers. At an event to unveil the redesign, Mr. Zuckerberg said he wanted Facebook to be "the best personalized newspaper in the world.""
James Somers – Web developer money: " . . . The price of a word is being bid to zero. That one magazine story I’ve been working on has been in production for a year and a half now, it’s been a huge part of my life, it’s soaked up so many after-hours, I’ve done complete rewrites for editors — I’ve done, and will continue to do, just about anything they say — and all for free. There’s no venture capital out there for this; there are no recruiters pursuing me; in writer-town I’m an absolute nothing, the average response time on the emails I send is, like, three and a half weeks. I could put the whole of my energy and talent into an article, everything I think and am, and still it could be worth zero dollars. . . ."