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Month: January 2012

ABC cuts out UK TV networks with new Spielberg series

The River on iTunesABC is going to sell its new US series direct to UK iTunes users:

The much-anticipated new US thriller series “The River”, from Steven Spielberg, and Oren Peli, the creator of “Paranormal Activity”, is set to make its UK debut on iTunes (www.itunes.co.uk/tv/theriver) on 8th February, just 24 hours after its US broadcast on ABC. iTunes customers will be first in the UK to see this chilling drama series. A Season Pass of all eight episodes of the much-anticipated show will be available to pre-order from today, with episodes one and two launching on 8th February.

The UK networks – non of which have bought the show – are cut out completely. It’ll be interesting to see how this goes…

[via The Medium is Not Enough]

Science publishing ripe for disruption?

I wonder how long scientific publishers can cling to their existing models when they’re eliciting this level of active hostility from their customers:

Once I did hear about Elsevier’s behaviour, I made a conscious decision not to publish in Elsevier journals and I started to feel bad about cooperating with them in any way. I didn’t go as far as to refuse, but if, say, I was asked to join the editorial board of an Elsevier journal and wasn’t quite sure I wanted to, then the fact that it was Elsevier was enough to make my mind up. (This actually happened. I was a little cowardly and gave it as an additional reason for reluctance rather than the main reason, but I did at least mention it.) I am not knowingly on the editorial board of any Elsevier journal, and haven’t been in the past either.

Stay for the comments, if you want to see a broader range of opinions.

I’ve noted a surge in posts about Open Access Publishing and other alternative methods of publishing scientific research over the last fortnight – anyone know why that might be?

I work on it, why should I read it?

John Robinson wants to know what we would do if…

* Half of your employees — including those in the newsroom — don’t read the paper (except for their own stories)?

Sadly, that’s been the case in pretty much every big magazine I’ve worked on. News reporters are particularly notorious for never bothering to read the features, in my experience, leading to the occasional embarrassment when the run something in news that was published in a feature a month before…

Content Strategy, Like Lightning…

Content Strategy London

When I left RBI at the end of last month, with my potted plant in my arms and a cheque in my back pocket, I realised that high on my priority list was figuring out exactly what I'd just spent the best part of six years doing. Wait. That sounds bad. I knew exactly what I'd been doing; I just wasn't sure how best to describe it to the outside world, especially as it's more than possible that my next employer won't be a journalism organisation. Outside that rarefied field, the job title "editorial development manager" doesn't mean much. I'm not sure it meant much even within that profession...

Fundamentally, I'd been working with content teams to help the define their content propositions for a digital, social and multiple-channel age. So... content strategy? Seemed like a good description, which begged the question: are there other people who define themselves in that way? A quick dose of the Googles proved that there were, and that they had a meetup and everything.

So I paid my fiver, trotted along and took some notes, sat alongside my arch-event blogging rival Martin "currybet" Belam. (Never quite figured out which of us is the super villain and which is the superhero. And that worries me.) These are pretty raw notes, typed rapidly into an iPad as the speakers, uh, spoke... They only had five minutes apiece, so the notes are by necessity rather brief. I found some talks compelling and insightful, and others rather obvious. No, I'm not telling you which are which. :-)

Mags Hanley

Mags rattled through the case study of a small business auditor who'd quit to launch to ForMums - a Chiswick-based hyperlocal and hyperniche site.

4 Things:

1. Kate doesn't have a proposition without a content strategy. The blog is the stickiness. Essential, because it brings people in, timely so it brings them back. What is a free listing? What is paid? What is the content for an advertiser? How much should it cost? All these things had to be decided.

2. Defining taregt audiences. There are gwo kinds of mums in Chiswick. Yummy mummies, who stay at home on their partner's income, and then the dual income families. Second audience is local businesses. And how do we ensure it's not overwhelming for Kate herself?

3. How do we get the structure right, so it old be sold to other areas? Kate intended to sell franchises to other West London areas.

4. Reviewing the tactical - what should she do every week? Every month? The event schedule was critical.

Tom Bamford

Semantic content - do we give people too much choice on their writing toolbars. It's distraction-free. Proper content is good for SEO. It's also accessible. Basically a quick rattle through familiar semantic markup.

David Farbey

Websites are what corporations do to talk to their customers. They're great because you can get all sorts of information out of them. The websites at probably only 10% of the content being produced by a corporation. People don't realise they're creating content; it's a sales pitch, or a presentation, or a user guide... and they're all working in silos.

Lots of the "back" content on your site is from the rest of the organisation. So you need to work with people to find what they've got that you can work with.

Steve Parks

Open Source CMSes in Enterprise. Advice: collaboration. Teams working together, collaborating with the community. Gartner spoke to 500 IT leaders. Essentailly three thpe of software in use: Proprietary (provided by vendors) - Open Source - Internal (custom written for the company, usually by internal teams). In the years between the first time Gartner did the survey and the most recent, internal and OS have both grown at the expense of the proprietary. His theory is that Internal and Open Source can feed into each other. Companies can contribute code back as they build internal solutions on OS software. Three big platforms: Alfresco for document managers, Drupal for big sites, WordPress for smaller sites. Cited a Lullabot example (you reading Jeff? :-) ) in which Sony and Warner ended up collaborating on sites through shared code.

Rick Yagoditch

Context is the third part of the site. There's content, structure and context. Context brings meaning. If you don't understand your customer! You can't put content in context. Contextualisation has been hijacked by marketing - segmentation. Google tells you that you can't contextualise - one URL, one piece of content. But Google contextualises... Each context is a rock that diverts some of the stream. But how do you apply context to CMSes? They're built on segmentation. Context needs to happen on the word level, not the page level. You have to contextualise for your customers.

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Testing iPad blogging with Blogsy

The Blogsy app in action

For a long time the iPad blogging landscape has been a horrible, barren mess, with barely any decent blogging apps to be seen. Most blog platforms’ editors didn’t function in mobile Safari in any useful way. Blogging using the iPad was, at best, a challenge and, at worst, an impossibility.

Hopefully, this has just changed. I saw on the Everything Typepad blog that the Blogsy app now supported that service and, as an optimistic soul, I napped a copy, downloaded it to my iPad, and was pleased to see that it supports Movable Type as well. So, this is a first test run to see how well it works. 

This far into the post it’s been a pretty impressive experience – but I’m getting the impression that I need to watch some of the videos to get a good handle on how some of the dragging and dropping works, especially around links. 

Time to publish and see if I’m still impressed…