10 more sites that stupidly try to ban you from linking to them
July 15, 2012 – 6:44 pm | One Comment

Even more sites that try to bank you from linking to them in the terms. Make it stop.

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6 tiny New Year’s resolutions for newspapers
January 5, 2011 – 8:00 am | 2 Comments
6 tiny New Year’s resolutions for newspapers

Here's a few small changes that I would like to see newspapers make in 2011. If you could just get a developer or someone to sort these out, that would be awesome, thanks.

Is RSS dead? Newspaper subscriber numbers now and 18 months ago compared
January 4, 2011 – 12:32 pm | 12 Comments
Is RSS dead? Newspaper subscriber numbers now and 18 months ago compared

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.

Google’s reading level scores for UK newspapers
December 11, 2010 – 3:45 pm | One Comment
Google’s reading level scores for UK newspapers

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 - ...

Some meaningful numbers on the Times paywall
November 2, 2010 – 9:03 am | 4 Comments

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.

Why the reported Times paywall numbers are meaningless.
November 2, 2010 – 8:37 am | 5 Comments
Why the reported Times paywall numbers are meaningless.

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.

Read the Times for free: 11 ways to sneak behind the paywall
August 15, 2010 – 7:56 pm | 6 Comments
Read the Times for free: 11 ways to sneak behind the paywall

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.

Behind the Times paywall: 46,154 readers a day
July 20, 2010 – 9:00 am | 26 Comments
Behind the Times paywall: 46,154 readers a day

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 Times paywall – some questions to mull over
May 25, 2010 – 8:47 am | 2 Comments
The Times paywall – some questions to mull over

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?

Promotional video from the Times about new paywalled sites
May 25, 2010 – 8:46 am | No Comment

The Times and Sunday Times have made a video about its new paywall. Here it is.

Glimpses behind the Times paywall
April 27, 2010 – 12:33 pm | No Comment
Glimpses behind the Times paywall

I got an email yesterday about what the Times will be offering once the paywall is up. Here's a screenshot of the main bit.

NewsNow vs the Times: I’ve decided I’m not sympathetic
January 9, 2010 – 2:19 pm | 3 Comments

I wrote yesterday that I was sympathetic towards NewsNow and its ongoing row with newspapers, especially the Times. I've now decided that I'm not.

NewsNow crawls the Times site in order to gather information for its paid service to businesses.

NewsNow vs the Times: Right to crawl vs right to link
January 8, 2010 – 5:41 pm | 5 Comments
NewsNow vs the Times: Right to crawl vs right to link

I am sympathetic towards NewsNow over the newspapers attempts to block it linking to them. The site has been blocked from showing Times Online stories. But I think it's campaign is a little overblown:

National newspaper Twitter account growth gets ever slower …
December 2, 2009 – 10:57 pm | 2 Comments

UK national newspaper Twitter accounts are continuing to grow - but the rate is getting slower and slower, according to the latest figures for the 129 accounts I'm tracking. November to December growth was just 6.6%, down from 17% earlier in the year.

Growth of Newspaper Twitter accounts running out of steam
November 3, 2009 – 8:45 am | 4 Comments

Newspaper Twitter accounts are continuing to grow - but at an ever slower rate, according to the latest figures for the 130 accounts I'm tracking. October to November growth was just 8.3%.

September ABCes: How the Guardian and Telegraph overtook the Mail
October 25, 2009 – 11:31 pm | 2 Comments

June 2009 saw the Mail Online unexpectedly overtake both the Guardian and Telegraph in the ABCes, partly on the back of US traffic and Michael Jackson stories.

Fast forward to September and the story is the same as earlier in the year - Guardian first, Telegraph second and Mail third. So what's changed? To find out, I've compared the ABCe figures for UK and foreign visitors in June and in September. The difference between the Guardian's performance and that of the Telegraph and Mail is revealing.

Rate of growth slows for newspaper Twitter accounts
October 5, 2009 – 10:26 pm | 4 Comments

National UK newspapers had 1,665,202 followers of their Twitter accounts at the start of October - an increase of 193,266 on September 1st (when they had 1,471,936).

The rate of growth has slowed, however. This is a monthly increase of 13.1%, compared with 17% from August 1 to September 1, and also from July 1 to August 1.

Cervical cancer jab: Google fuelling unnecessary fears
October 1, 2009 – 9:43 am | 8 Comments
Cervical cancer jab: Google fuelling unnecessary fears

Anyone turning to Google to look into the cervical cancer jab is unlikely to be reassured. Although these results are generated algorithmically, Google's results are anti-jab. There is very little in the way of balance in the results, with a mixture of old and new scare stories, and only a couple of positive stories.

Papers continue shameful coverage of vaccination death
September 30, 2009 – 10:19 am | 7 Comments

I posted yesterday about the shameful reporting of the tragic death of a girl who died on the same day as getting the cervical cancer vaccine - and how, without any evidence of a link, the papers were giving the impression that the vaccine, which will save hundreds of lives a year, is unsafe.

So, how are the papers covering the news that, as the BBC news site puts it in its 3rd most important story "Cancer jab 'unlikely' death cause: A girl who died shortly after being given a cervical cancer vaccine had a 'serious underlying medical condition', an NHS Trust says"?

Cervical cancer jab: how the newspapers have learned nothing from MMR
September 29, 2009 – 11:00 am | 12 Comments
Cervical cancer jab: how the newspapers have learned nothing from MMR

The UK media have learned nothing from the debacle over the MMR vaccine - where they relentlessly covered stories doubting the safety of MMR, putting the lives of children at risk.
They are continuing their habit ...

UK newspaper twitter followers up 17% from August to September
September 2, 2009 – 12:14 pm | 3 Comments

National UK newspaper accounts had 1,471,936 followers at the start of September, an increase of 213,892 or 17% on August 1 (when they had 1,258,044 followers).

You can see the September figures in the table.