Lovely close to the New Yorker piece announcing the new website:
Publishing the best work possible remains our aim. Advances in design and technology are tools in that effort. In all forms—digital and paper—we intend to publish in the same spirit of freedom, ambition, and accuracy as Harold Ross did when he prowled the halls nearly ninety years ago, the latest model of pencil stuck behind his prominent left ear.
If the relationship between journalism and technology was viewed in that spirit more often, we would not be in the mess we are right now.
The New Yorker website was not looking healthy this morning:
However, it wasn't that bad for everyone:
And that triggered a little bell in my memory. A few days back, I saw, via Matt Mullenweg, that the New Yorker is rebuilding its website:
The new site, designed to be cleaner, with new typefaces, will be based on the WordPress publishing system. It is expected to be easier to navigate for mobile users — among the fastest-growing segments of the readership.
I was told for years by publishing company IT people that blog CMSes would never be good enough to run serious sites. In the meantime, they kept adding more and more technology costs into the business, for less and less gain. Big IT projects have an awful lot to answer for in the current debate about the viability of online journalism.
Also noted: Variety, a title sold by RBI a few years ago, is now running on WordPress:
Right now, your operation needs a really good reason for NOT running on a cost-effective, cheap, and rapidly developed CMS like WordPress. And yet, the custom, bespoke magazine/newspaper CMS still reigns supreme.
UPDATE: In the time it's taken to write this post, the site is live.
The view of my home town from the Adur Ferry Bridge.
I told you I'd be changing the header pretty often...
Noted in an otherwise positive story about Matt Hill crowdfunding a rebooted Media Talk podcast:
Asked by Press Gazette last month whether The Guardian’s decision to axe Media Talk was an indication that podcasts have had their day, Hill said: “Actually I think we are seeing a resurgence in the medium.
I wonder if Press Gazette asks if magazines have had their day, every time they report on one closing? Not much evidence of it in the archives.
In which case - why the double standards on media type? It's a strange old industry that will deny that very old media forms are under serious threat, but eagerly await any sniff of mortality in newer ones…
Well, it was rumoured earlier in the week, and now it's official: Amazon has announced Kindle Unlimited in the US. What do you get? Unlimited access to a library of books for $9.99 a month.
Amazon.com today introduced Kindle Unlimited—a new subscription service which allows customers to freely read as much as they want from over 600,000 Kindle books, and listen as much as they want to thousands of Audible audiobooks, all for only $9.99 a month. Finding a great book is easy, and there are never any due dates—just look for the Kindle Unlimited logo on eligible titles and click “Read for Free.”
There's 600,000 books available in the service right now, and I'd expect that to grow. No word on a UK launch date just yet, but there is a rather breathily-voiced video, if you want to watch it…
I wonder how prevalent the renting media model is going to become? Streaming music and film services are certainly eating into traditional sales already.
This one goes out to subs desks everywhere...
Weird Al, of course.
Four good reads that I think are worth your coffee time this morning:
Looking for a job in journalism? Kevin Anderson, who recently landed a great one, has some really excellent advice for preparing for the journalism job interview. His point about researching the community the title serves is very well-made, and all too often neglected by job hunters.
Meanwhile, Paul Bradshaw has some excellent advice for journalists looking to the security of their work, their online presence and their sources. You're not paranoid if they're out to get you, and given the nasty piece of legislation that was pushed through yesterday, I think we can assume that no online communication is secure, unless completely encrypted.
An interesting look at the media consumption habits of the under-24s. Consume with caution because we know that people habits change with age, but that's more than balanced by the fact that they're starting from a very different place that earlier generations.
Google has finally given up on its "real names only" policy for Google+. I'm not going to make the standard joke about G+ being a ghost town - as I can see clearly from my feed over there that it isn't. However, the activity there is limited to select communities - but that was the case for Twitter and Facebook at the same stage (time-wise) in their evolution.
Enjoy your coffee.
Life in an online magazine startup:
But children were not our biggest obstacle to harmonious working hours; while the older of Charlotte’s cats was perfectly content to share her home with us, the younger one objected violently – and I still have the scars to prove it! When he wasn’t attacking us in defence of his territory, this ferocious kitten was getting himself lost or stuck in trees; holding the ladder while Charlotte climbed onto the shed to coax him down very quickly became part of my job description. There were other perils too, from protecting our laptops from the water pistol that 9-year-old Anna was using to train the cat out of his aggressive behaviour, to occasional baked bean or tomato ketchup splatters adorning our notebooks. Never was the expression “never work with children or animals” more relevant.
Of course, there are more serious issues, as Sarah highlights, including the lack of work/life balance and the difficulty in conducting sensitive interviews.
Sadly, that startup - Feminist Times - is closing.
To know what you think, write it down. Forcing myself to write something down, to structure it, to let it see light is the best way for me to clarify what I actually think about something.
It's from a list of 30 things he's learned, and unlike most such things, it's pretty good.
Euan Semple captured what happens after that:
Secondly, by sticking it out there magic happens. People either reinforce your idea, modify it, disagree with it or just take it in and mull it over. All of these are worthwhile. Just being seen to know things and be thoughtful about your work is good for your career. But beyond this your ideas get tested, they get expanded, you can adapt. This is a powerfully evolutionary idea. We get to test and improve our thinking in real time.
So, this is why I blog.