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Posts Tagged ‘websites’

Newspaper Map: The coolest way to visually surf newspapers

If you have work to do today, don’t click on this link. No really. This — Newspaper Map — is quite possibly the coolest way to visually surf newspapers online that I’ve ever seen. It’s my new favorite use of Google Maps and one of the most original and ambitious uses I’ve seen: Practically every newspaper in the world — 10,000+ spanning every continent and many languages — is represented.

I can’t stop tweaking it and playing around with the settings. You can sort by language — only English, por favor? Or by address/city/country/etc. I’ve pretty much just enjoyed twirling through the globe in search of the most obscure or isolated newspapers. It’s fascinating, for example, that there are two publications in tiny Tahiti: Les Nouvelles de Tahiti and Tahiti-Pacifique. You can even load it on your smart phone and play around with the app version. Here’s a look at the US English papers to give you an idea of how extensive their listing is:

If you go to the map and click on one of the dots, it brings up a pop-up with a link to the page, a screenshot of the homepage, and links to social media sites affiliated with the page. It also — and this is especially cool when you’re looking at papers in languages you don’t speak — offers to translate the site.

From what I can tell, it’s not new (I saw some references to the site from January), but it’s new to me.  Thanks to David Carr of the NYT for linking to this map on Twitter. I saw it there first, and lots of places after that.

It’s not flawless, either. For example, under major newspapers it lists a bunch of suburan Cincinnatti papers, but not the Indianapolis Star? In fact, the Indy Star wasn’t appearing at all in Indiana, but seemed to be in the database somewhere. (I couldn’t get the add/correct a link page to work for me in Firefox, so if someone else has better luck, please fix this.) But it’s great that they are crowd sourcing to find the papers they missed or don’t know about. And honestly, it does seem a relatively complete collection.

So enjoy your lunch hour or waste the afternoon looking at the map and discovering papers and news from across the world. Want to follow Newspaper Map updates? They’re even on Twitter and Facebook.

NBC seeks to partner with local, non-profit news organizations

NBC announced it’s looking to expand on its successful partnership with the non-profit, investigative news site Voice of San Diego to markets beyond California. Its looking for similar set-ups in other markets where the complany owns local TV stations, including potentially New York City ; Los Angeles ; Chicago ; Miami ; Philadelphia; San Francisco ; Dallas-Ft. Worth ; Washington, D.C. ; and Hartford-New Haven, CT.

In a video announcing the news, NBC VP of News Greg Dawson described what they’re looking for as an organization that complements and expands what the local stations can do. Voice of Sandieo and the local station, for example, partner on three main features, including Fact Check. “The purpose of this is good journalism and serving the city,” Dawson says. “We wanted to do stories that are unique, that you can’t get somewhere else, that you wouldn’t necessarily get on our air, if we were doing it ourselves, or on Voice of San Diego’s website, if they were doing it themselves.”

While they don’t specifically say the applicants for the partnership need to be websites, the application makes it very clear they’re looking for already established, robust online communities by whomever is chosen. They specifically want to know about page and video views and about how much content your organization is putting out on various platforms, including specifically asking about blogs and in a separate question flat out, “How do you use social media?” It’s clear that the TV stations realize that’s how they’re going to reach people interested in these unique, untold stories.

NBC says the deadline for local non-profit, news organizations to apply is July 22. (So pass this link on to your favorite!) It wants to pick at least four other cities to launch these cooperatives in. It will be interesting to see which cities it finds an able and adept partner in, who those partners are, and whether the work there is as fruitful as what comes out of San Diego. What’s encouraging, either way, is that this is an example of a major company deciding to partner with rather than try to start-up and compete with local, home-grown news organizations.

5 Annoying News Site Ads And Why To Avoid Them

Anyone who visits a fair number and wide selection of newspaper websites can attest to what I’m about to say: Many newspaper websites are hurting themselves more than they’re helping with an overload of obnoxious advertisements.

It’s one thing to sell advertisements, and it’s another thing to annoy your visitors with them. Want to know the easiest way to get a reader to exit a webpage? Post an ad that detracts from your content and talks (or sings—true story), jumps in the way of the content, moves around so it can’t be closed, crashes browsers or floods users CPU with an abundance of pop-overs and -unders complete with seizure-inducing animation and headache-inducing jingles. Obviously, news site need to make money. Nobody’s against that. But if you want to make money, logic follows that you also don’t want to annoy readers into leaving/avoiding the site or into installing ad block software to cope, which undermines your site’s ability to make money and your journalistic mission to inform the community.

With that in mind, I arrived at these five annoying news site examples of bad advertising practices that annoy readers by thinking myself and asking friends what annoys them. I plan to follow this post with another this weekend on news site ads that work. So please, comment here or tweet @10000words with your advice on examples of sites that are the biggest ad offenders and which ones others can learn from. Now on to my top five…

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