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Posts Tagged ‘Huffington Post’

HuffPo Poised To Rival Cable News With Upcoming Huffington Post Streaming Network

The Huffington Post continues to position itself for world domination with a soon-to-launch 24-hour online news network poised to rival cable networks like CNN and Fox. The channel, which Forbes reports will be called The Huffington Post Streaming Network (HPSN), will bring the work of HuffPo’s editorial staff to video, with popular columnists and reporters offering analysis on various news topics throughout the day. According to Forbes, “The idea, according to sources, is to harness the considerable editorial talent of the 320-person Huffpo newsroom while at the same time fulfilling rising advertiser demand for premium video content.”

One interesting aspect of the yet to be announced project is that it will feature on-air editorial meetings, further breaking down the wall between journalist and reader and allowing readers access to the inner workings of the HuffPo editorial vision.

With cable subscriptions continuing to drop, it should come as no surprise that online news companies like AOL-HuffPo are poised to steal their market share. But for now, HPSN is still in its infancy. The channel is set to preview on February 2nd at AOL HQ in Manhattan.

Good News Is Good (And Now Easier) To Find Online

Good News DigestLast week, the Huffington Post launched its Good News section in a public bet that people will click and read articles online that don’t include sex, violence or celebrities. As one of the holdout optimist journalists (we exist), I’m rooting for the Good Newsies.

Arianna Huffington: I’ve long said that those of us in the media have provided too many autopsies of what went wrong and not enough biopsies. It’s a belief that goes hand-in-hand with HuffPost Good News’ editorial mission to turn our attention to what is working.

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Study: Behavior Of News Organizations On Twitter ‘Resembles The Early Days Of The Web’

Thirteen major news organizations. One week in February. More than 3,600 tweets. And only 1 percent of those tweets sent followers to another news site.

That’s perhaps the most striking finding in a study released yesterday by the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism and The George Washington University’s School of Media and Public Affairs.

The researchers, Jesse Holcomb, Kim Gross and Amy Mitchell, concluded that Twitter is mostly being used as a promotional vehicle for news organizations:

This behavior resembles the early days of the web. Initially, news organizations, worried about losing audience, rarely linked to content outside their own Web domain. Now, the idea is that being a service-of providing users with what they are looking for even if it comes from someone else-carries more weight. It bears watching whether Twitter use for mainstream news organizations evolves in this same way.

I couldn’t agree more. Especially the last sentence. Linking outside of your website is commonplace now. It’s like a gentleman’s agreement of sorts actually. It goes something like this: you linking to my website is great for search engine optimization, so when I have a reason to link back to your website I’ll do the same thing. Read more

Optimizing News Websites for Google TV

Google TV

In late 2010, Google developed their new smart TV platform entitled Google TV. The service is built on the Android operating system, and functions as a set-top box to allow users to watch on-demand video services, such as YouTube, Google Reader, and Google Chrome. This integration allows users to subscribe to your site and have regular updates pushed to their Google TV devices (similar to an RSS feed with an RSS aggregator). Mobile phones and tablet devices are changing the landscape of the web for organizations, and soon you may even ask “how does my site look on TV”? This is especially important since Google TV will soon be able to access the Android Market, according to recent news. Since Google TV lies somewhere between mobile devices and desktops/laptops in terms of functionality and user experience, here are a few helpful guidelines to make sure your site is ready for prime time on Google TV.

Design for the Big Screen

According to the Leichtman Research Group, as of 2010, 61% of US households own at least one HDTV, with 26% owning more than one. These high resolution displays mean that there is an increased distance between the user to the television, which means that elements on websites need to be large enough to be seen across the room at a glance. Larger elements also means increased white space between elements. Lets take a look at the New York Times on Google TV.

New York Times on Google TV

New York Times on Google TV

Along with this, websites need to make sure that the most important information is at the top of the page. Web designers call this property “above the fold”, meaning that you include information at the top of a page to prevent users from scrolling vertically to find more information. Since HDTVs will more than likely be widescreen displays (either 720p or 1080p), this means that organizations should rely on either horizontal or grid navigation to make it easier for users to go through your site.

Function over Form

Keep in mind that the processors for most Google TV devices will be somewhere between your mobile phone and your desktop or laptop in terms of processing power. Google has partnered with Intel, Sony, Logitech for current Google TV devices, and new partnerships with Samsung and Vizio ensure that new, faster devices will be coming to the market by the holiday season. Websites designed for Google TV will need to be able to load quickly without a lot of extra animations or Flash videos. Google TV can display Flash content, but it will not be at the same speed as a desktop or laptop, so keep that in mind. Let’s take a look at Al Jazeera on Google TV.

Al Jazeera on Google TV

Al Jazeera on Google TV

Make Navigation Big and Simple

One thing the Al Jazeera site illustrates is that you should also look to use access keys for navigation, such as arrow keys or letters on the keyboard. The mouse pointer on Google TV is small and hard to see, so enabling navigation by keyboard to access a menu or a section of the website creates a great user experience. The key is to simplify user navigation as much as possible. Primary actions for the user should be available in one click; don’t hide key features for your site in menus. You should also provide a legend to explain your keyboard-based navigation system. Don’t make your users think too much about how to navigate your website on Google TV, or else they may change the channel.

Zoom, Zoom, Zoom

The Chrome Browser in Google TV supports the non-standard CSS property called zoom. What does this do, you ask? According to Sitepoint, this property controls the magnification level for the current element. This means that text, videos, and other elements on your page can be enlarged to allow for viewing across large distances or for visually impaired users. Because zoom is a non-standard property, you would probably have to test this on Google TV for troubleshooting purposes.

KQED on Google TV

KQED on Google TV

Overall, these are just a few things developers can do to optimize news websites for Google TV. Other news organizations have already started developing for Google TV, including USA Today, Huffington Post, and KQED. Google has provided a full optimization guide, as well as a number of optimized templates. What news organizations have you seen on Google TV? Share your findings in the comments.

Nostalgia: 11 Retro News Website Homepages

Inspired by a recent Facebook album posted by Jim Brady, the former washingtonpost.com executive editor and TBD general manager, here are a couple of old homepages from news sites we know well. Any notable omission is due to the Wayback Machine not being able to crawl the site.

washingtonpost.com: June 19, 1996

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