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Would You Let ‘Tablet Experts’ Handle Your Mobile Redesign?

logoIf PadSquad, a New York City based mobile advertising startup, has anything to say about it, 2014 will be all about tablets and native advertising for independent media companies. Dan Meehan, founder and CEO, explains that his company “sits between online publishers and advertisers.”

While large publishers like the New York Times, who’s redesign was actually more desktop-y than expected, have their own developers and sales teams to optimize the mobile experience for both users and advertisers, Meehan says that his company’s focus is on “the next tier of publishers, who have a large audience, and quality content, but rely on third parties to sell their inventory. We focus on categories — men’s lifestyle, sports, entertainment and are looking to power that long tail of independent media companies.” Currently, this means sites like GoldenGlobes.com, TheDailyBanter.com, and GadgetReview.com.

PadSquad provides its services free to publishers — they migrate the desktop content to responsive mobile sites. They make their money from the advertisers, Meehan says. “We handle everything on the backend and we work with national brand advertisers and facilitate campaigns across all the pubs that we power and then we share that revenue with the publishers.” Read more

Ebyline Launches WordPress Plugin To Pay Freelancers

ebylineEbyline, a platform that connects publishers and freelancers, has recently added a WordPress plug-in to their built in payment system.

Allen Narcisse, co-founder and COO, explains how simple it is:

The idea is that you use WordPress because you want to manage your CMS and all of your authors are organized within WordPress. It brings some of the best part of our services into it. Either the author or an admin can authorize the payment and the payment just goes to the freelancer. And then by going into our platform later, you can get a bigger picture of what you’ve spent over time.  Read more

Should We Be Archiving Everything?

rookiefreelancing1This Poynter post about Patch removing content from its sites has had me bothered all week. It just doesn’t sit right and raises a lot of questions about what we do with all of our content if things really go south.

The problem, for me anyway, is maybe that we’re calling it content. I know that, technically, it is. And if you call it content, it makes it easier to erase. Because all content does is take up space, and when that space is no longer serving its purpose — bringing in eyes, and clicks, and some sort of advertising money — you clear it out, like doing the dishes after Thanksgiving. The house is a wreck, you clean it up, and it’s like it never happened by the time you call it a night.

But if you start calling it journalism — which it is — it’s a little more tricky. Andrew Beaujon links in that Poynter post to an essay on Medium about trying to archive his work from TBD.com when it shut its doors and asks if deleting content ever affects anyone besides those who work there. I think it does. Sure, you might not need to go back and  read every news article about, say, a government shutdown, but news like that should be saved. Not just for reference or history’s sake, but because a lot of times, good journalism is also teaching or telling you about something new. It’s a resource. Not just a portfolio.

Then again, I save everything. But it’s not like it’s stacks of Sunday editions. Am I being sentimental?

Response: No Comments, No Problem

Be QuietI would like to claim responsibility for Popular Science removing its comment section, but I am sure it had little do with my rant a few weeks ago.

That said, I was thrilled to read their post that ‘in the name of science,’ they’ve turned their comments off.

John Kroll writes in this blog post that there is no good reason to turn off the comments. In fact, he says turning them off is lazy and has little to do with science, and much to do with the bottom line.

Maybe it did have to do with the bottom line, but let’s take a look at some of his points: Read more

No Reader Left Behind: What’s Wrong With a $1,000 Subscription?

It’s nice when a news blog grows up. If you don’t live in New York, or care about its politics, you’ve probably never heard of Capital New York, which was recently bought by Politico. And there’s plans to juice it up, in the style of Politico Pro, by charging an estimated $1,000 yearly subscription. Talk about a paywall.

This is good, because the quality of journalism over at Capital is first rate. It’s already a “must read” for political junkies here. And Politico is on point about using the ‘freemium’ model to make their brand of news a money tree.

But when you make something so exclusive that only Michael Bloomberg can really afford it, how does that fit into the mission of a news blog like Capital, whose mission is, according to their site (emphasis mine):

Capital is an online news publication about how things work in New York, founded in 2010. We report on important local people and institutions, with the aim of sustaining a conversation with a knowing audience about things they don’t already know.

There’s something to be said for running a publication and making it this valuable. But I’m still an idealist. What happens when the cheap content for the poor, but knowing audiences, starts to stink because it’s not profitable? The New York Times costs almost $200 a year, and even they’re launching cheaper products. I’m glad there’s options in terms of business models. I’m just scared about this one.  

 

Image via AMC

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