Wednesday, April 27, 2011

But newspapers seen as most effective for advertising

Coming just after reading the bad news on newspaper profits in the first quarter, I read on MediaPost's Research Blog that newspapers are the most effective advertising medium. Quoting research from the Frank N. Magrid outfit, the blog says that "newspaper advertising is the leading advertising medium cited by consumers in planning, shopping and making purchasing decisions."

Meanwhile, MediaDailyNews says that newspaper websites reach two-thirds of all Internet users. Seems to me that there's a disconnect somewhere.

Newspapers have bad quarter for profits -- again

The first quarter wasn't a good time for newspaper company profits, Poynter reports. As in other recent reports, digital revenues are growing, but with such a small base that their overall impact is very little.

Meanwhile, the Business Insider reports that while the New York Times has returned to profitability, it has some major long-term problems. The problem, of course, is continued revenue declines in print. Of greater interest, though, is the swerve taken in comments that moved from profits to political attacks. As usual in comments, stupidity and ignorance rule, but there are some insightful ones worth reading.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

A column on Milwaukee media that is a must

I was getting ready to urge people to read Erik Gunn's latest column , this one about an internal spat at the Journal Sentinel between conservative columnist Patrick McIlheran and managing editor George Stanley, when I thought, What the heck, urge people to sign up to always read Gunn's column on Erik is a solid reporter who does a great job rounding up media news from Milwaukee and Wisconsin. His judgment is sound and his scope is wide. His weekly column should be among everyone's regular reading.

Click-through ad effectiveness questioned

For some time, I've wondered about the effectiveness of online advertising. Supporters have always said, "Look at click-through rates." A major study, reported by MediaPost, says those rates are virtually worthless. According to MediaPost, "99% of stable cookies examined by ad network and technology provider Collective Media show no evidence of clicks." And, it says, when they do show up, there's little evidence of actually purchasing anything. That's my experience. I have inadvertently clicked on ads, but never used them to buy anything. If I were an advertiser, I'd be looking carefully at how effective my ads are.

Slate moves ahead in its media view

A nice look at Slate from Nieman Journalism Lab as the now-Internet-old-timer rethinks itself yet again. The new Slatest site is an updating of Slate's late "Today's Papers" feature, now offering the latest multimedia. The new site will be more visible to search engines and more social-media friendly, Slate says. Both the story and the site are worth visiting.

New Al Jazeera show, site may be TV news' future

Want to see one possible direction for future media? Look to Al Jazeera's new show and website called "The Stream." It's an indication of where television might be headed, according to this view.

What Al Jazeera has done is formalize a technique it used during the Mideast unrest, especially in Egypt. The show uses a social media service to gather content and interact with the community. The Stream is unique in its use of tools like Twitter, YouTube and Facebook to both source the news and interact with its audience.

The website, called "The Stream, is here; the TV show is here. Keep your eyes on this because it may well be the future for TV network news.

Monday, April 25, 2011

JS tries to pull us in with new entertainment site

You might want to check in with the Journal Sentinel's newest website, The site is the product of a lot of thought in an effort to build another destination for visitors. Jill Williams, who heads the entertainment area, says in today's paper that "communicating with readers and hearing from them in real time are what we're all about."

First impression is that the site suffers from the problem of "too much." There's an awful lot going on in a design that seems overly-complicated (not to mention the incredibly annoying ad hanging over the page whenever you access it, even if you are using the back-click after reading something -- which you must use since the site migrates you to pages rather than opening up new windows when you try to burrow into it).

The blog list appears to have a couple of new blogs that might be interesting, but both "The Foolishness Corner" and "Tuned In" didn't exist Monday morning, my click leading me to that wonderful "Page Not Found" notice that we've all come to love so much (it's really hard to be sarcastic online, isn't it?).

Anyway, the site has promise and, like with a new restaurant, I'll keep an open mind until all the kinks are worked out. The staff is good, and I hope the company is willing to put necessary resources into it. A cleaner look would help (see the problems with the sites for the importance of design), but a site like this will live or die on its content.

Adweek lists "most successful and influential" magazines

Do you regularly read Food Network News magazine? Maybe you should. It tops the list of Adweek magazine's "most successful and influential" magazines. The two-year-old magazine's circulation is now 1.3 million, Adweek says. I'm intrigued by the tie to a cable network. It's another development in the growing new media landscape (and, yes, there is new media beyond online). The rest of the list is interesting as well.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Study ties newspapers, open government

Everybody knows that open government victories have been won by newspapers, right?

No. But as law professor RonNell Anderson Jones of Brigham Young University reports in a new study, open government laws are directly the result of newspaper probes. She has concerns that the shrinking of newspapers -- and media capital in general -- might mean less effort in the future. The local news story reporting on her research quotes a blogger who just was elected to the state legislature saying, without any support at all, that she didn't think that would happen because some form of media would replace newspapers. Of course, the blogger offered no evidence or support nor did she indicate who would pay the lawyers needed to force open government.

New media comes under scrutiny

Good discussion of the new state of media at at Montana Watchdog conference. Covers a lot of topics.