Posts about: Newspapers
There have been a couple of articles recently (see below) proclaiming the slow death of RSS as a way for users to subscribe to websites. So how do the number of subscribers to newspaper RSS feeds compare?
Here's a table that compares the number of subscribers in Google Reader to each paper's most popular RSS feed 18 months ago and today.
I'm giving a talk at News:ReWired today about how specialist publishers can compete with large news organisations when it comes to SEO. One of the things I'm talking about is how to work out what people are searching for right now, so you can create content accordingly. There are some paid-for services that can tell you this. But here are some free ones.
Google's launched a new feature that analyzes reading level scores for websites. Here are the scores for national UK newspapers, plus the overall verdict Google gives on the site's reading level.
There's no right score - ...
Depending on your point of view, Girish Gupta is an idiot or is standing up for workers' rights. Girish is the journalist who did two weeks' work experience at the Independent - and then invoiced ...
The Daily Telegraph website has a new look - and a new name. The former Telegraph.co.uk is now simply The Telegraph. And the new look - described as "much more than adding a new coat of paint but short of a comprehensive redesign" - aims to "make the site easier to enjoy and easier on the eye".
The name change means that of the main UK national newspapers sites, only the Guardian and the Express keep their URL as their masthead. The Telegraph, Times, Mail, Sun, Mirror, Express and FT all just have their name as their logo now.
The reporting may have been lazy, but I've got hold of the actual breakdown of the Times paywall numbers. Including the joint digital/print subs (despite not knowing how many are active), that means they've got 150,000 subscribers to their digital products.
The Guardian is reporting the success of the Times paywall figures: "The hard figures for online subscribers to the The Times and the Sunday Times ... News International announced this morning that 105,000 people have paid to access either the papers' websites and/or the iPad andf Kindle apps."
This figure looks completely meaningless to me. People "paying to access" include those, like me, who have paid for a 24-hour subscription once.
That does not mean we are subscribers.
A lot is written about why newspapers don't link out more (such as this post about the Guardian's approach), with clunky CMSes and problematic workflows often cited as a reason.
Jemima Kiss's tweet made me laugh though after her review of the new Channel 4 news site was published.
Want a job as SEO manager at the Daily Mail? Check out their robots.txt file (just don't tell them you saw it here ...) in the middle it says:
# August 12th, MailOnline are looking for a talented SEO Manager so if you found this then you're the kind of techie we need!
As I've written elsewhere, there's some confusion over at the Times marketing department about how the paywall works. The basic idea ought to be that if content is behind the Times paywall, people might pay for it. If it's not, they won't.
Before you agree to hand over your money, here are 11 bits of the new Times site you can access for free.
iDosing is the made up internet craze where teenagers download digital drugs in the form of MP3 sound files and get high. Or something. I'm not making it up - the Sun and the Mail have reported it. The Mail got there first by an hour or so.
Now compare and contrast the reporting ...
There have been several attempts to work out how many people are paying to access the Times website now its gone behind a paywall. My estimate is: 46,154 a day. This is based on the number of comments on stories compared to other news sites.
The Sun decided last week to run a story about the rumours circulating about Steven Gerrard. I don't know what Gerrard's lawyers made of this story but they might want to have a word with Google. If you get as far as typing Steven Gerrard into Google News, the auto complete function throws up this list ...
I usually try to avoid any discussion about the difference between blogging and journalism. But in Labour MP Tom Harris's defence of newspaper paywalls, he draws a distinction, arguing that blogs are:
"amateur affairs, offering plenty of subjective opinion and the occasional interesting fact, spun in a particular direction."
Which made me laugh. Substitute "professional" for "amateur" and you surely have the description of many newspapers ...
I was invited to a preview of the Times / Sunday Times paywall tonight, which revealed some interesting things they're planning.
It also threw up a number of questions - which no doubt they'll be mulling over before the new site goes live. The most difficult one for me is why users would want to pay for two different websites covering the same subjects?
The Times and Sunday Times have made a video about its new paywall. Here it is.
Google says it has "taken action" and no longer trusts links from a major UK newspaper group - apparently referring to the Daily Express website.
The Express and OK sites appeared to suffer page rank penalties in April - and Google has now confirmed it has taken action against a UK newspaper site.
Mobile versions of websites - what a train crash they often are. As I write this, at 10.30pm on Monday night, neither the BBC nor Guardian mobile websites are mentioning that Gordon Brown has promised to resign ... a story that their web news pages are unsurprising leading with - and have been doing so for several hours.
I'm not quite sure why the Sun runs Sun Vote as it just ignores it (EG when its readers aren't that fussed over a hung parliament). But its own on-site poll from last night about who won the debate (and unlike other sites, these aren't easy polls to vote in - you have to go through a lengthy sign-up process) reveals that Clegg won.
The Salisbury Journal has revealed that its "dog bumps nose" story (no, I'm not making this up) has received 130,000 page views. You'll realise how extraordinary this is when your read the story ...