Random Unorganized Thoughts

Primary Media/Journalism Paradigms

Everyone approaches the media, and journalism in general, with a pre-conception of what it is and what it should do.


Journalism is often noted as, "The first draft of history". Chronicling the events as they happen, and providing the context for a society to remember itself through.

Fourth Estate

Eugene Meyer described a newspaper as a public trust, intended to serve the public in a democracy.

Web/Print buy

In a perfect world, a newspaper website would have a page within the physical paper daily (and vise versa).

Ad Weight

Ads need to be assigned a "weight" based on the amount of interactivity, file size, and height/width.

Classifieds - Textual Advertising

The trend in ads is moving both bigger and smaller. By simply using Google's AdWords services, newpapers are missing out on a big upsell opportunity.

The Cost of Advertising to the Consumer

One of the problems with online advertising is that you're making the reader pay every time you put an ad on their screen.

Classifieds Monitoring With RSS

RSS has emerged as the defacto method to passively monitor content online, it makes sense to offer this functionality within the classifieds sections.

Pay-per-click Cross Promotion

Encouraging readers to leave your site for another site doesn't necessarily make economic sense. What if payment and reciprical links were offered as an incentive?

Building the Memex

How can readers form trails through a media website for others to follow?

Engaging vs. Entertaining

Entertainment is a tool, not a goal of journalism.

9am Crossword Challenge

Crosswords are a personal challenge, but it is also often an inter-personal challenge.

Drawing The Line

Most hot button topics are far from black and white (abortion, death penalty, war, etc), this "game" would encourage readers to draw their own line in the sand.

Community Maps

I like the idea of a community map based on themes.

Community Conversation

Communities exist through the communication ties between individuals.

Weblogs and "Media Reality"

Weblogs offer individuals the quickest method of becoming part of media's reality.

Interactive Indexes

Newspapers should consider allowing users to build weblogs surrounding popular topics.

On-Page Chat

Online chatting should be treated similarly to offline chats, spontaneous and omnipresent.

Semantic Conversion of Print Stories

The conversion of a printed story to be used online, needs to be thought of in a semantic context, not just a presentational context.

Reponse to "Amazoning the News"

Hypergene's article "Amazoning the News" presents an interesting way to present the news. However, the recommendation algorithm would need to be figured out first.

When I Am Not Me

Implicit personalization is a powerful tool, unfortunately, it rarely understands when I'm not acting like myself.

Opinion Leaders

Everyone has something to say, however media sites should use karma-based methods to bring out the best their citizen writers.

Timeliness and the Out of Market Reader

Out of market audiences have different expectations then local audiences, deliver them the local "big picture" and leave out the national news.

Writing in Real Time

Journalism schools would be wise to teach students the structures of writing in a real-time medium.

"We React too Much..."

"We react too much and we anticipate too little. We struggle to be the first with the obvious."

Personalities of Emerging Technologies

New technologies gather their "personalities" through the interaction of three primary forces: the technology itself, the policy, and the use.

Constructing a Better Chat Metaphor

The established metaphor for chat applications is a conversation, which is completely blown apart when entering any chat room.

Full-text Footnotes

It is becoming increasingly important for media sites to bring together information that is associated, but not necessarily a part of the original story.

Liability within message boards

The best offline metaphor for message boards would be graffiti and graffiti walls.

Locating "Connectors" Through Subscription Surveys

"Connectors" should be actively sought by advertisers and to a news site's promotional department. Finding them online, should be a priority.

Storytelling and chatbots

Chatbots are an interesting type of communication.

Dead Link Porn

There's a business opportunity for a group to help keep dead newspaper links clean.

Site Redesigns

I hate full website redesigns. Was the previous design so egregious that a slow evolution couldn't fix it?

Push Tools: News Aggregators vs. Email Newsletters

The knock-down drag out fight between the current heavy-weight champion email, and the scrappy contender RSS.

Information Cascade

The difference between data, content, news, and journalism.

Strengths of the Internet

Each new medium has its own strengths and weaknesses (sometimes one and the same thing)

Speculative vs. Concrete Value

Media websites would be wise to strike a balance between the concrete and speculative value of their advertising inventory.

Partnering with Ebay

By using a newspaper's strength in the local market, and ebay's national reach, a partnership between the two could provide a great value to sellers.

Shared Connections

A newspaper makes regularly makes connections between different articles, it is time to allow readers the same functionality.

Links Do Not Convey Enough Information

The problem with hyperlinks is that it doesn't give you enough information to make the decision of "where to go from here".

Shackling Readers Inside Frames

Yet another rant against the use of frames, especially when used to link to outside sites.

Reciprocity vs. Reach

As communications technologies and techniques grow, they have a balance they strike between reach and reciprocity.

College Newspaper Sites

Ideas and suggestions for building a successful/sustainable college website.

Casual vs. Protected Personal Data

By seperating the casual and protected data into two different systems, the ease of use can remain high, without an increased risk of identity theft.

The Transition Between Orality and Text-based Traditions

Are we in a transition between a text-based communication tradition, into a model that more closely resembles a oral tradition?

The Information Hourglass

The traditional information hourglass is getting a wider neck through the increase in sources of information online.

User-Created Content Fragments

Full stories and write-ups often pose too high of a barrier to entry. News websites should also facilitate user contributed content fragments that add to the whole.

Advanced Site Searching With Semantic Standards

The promise of the semantic web is still in its infancy, however that shouldn't limit a site from building it within their own structure.

Skills Needed for Online Media Librarians

Newspaper archivists and librarians are best positioned to bring about the next stage in news site publishing, however several skills are more important than others.

Trust Levels in a Participatory System

In any participatory system, where users are expected to come back over time, there needs to be a slope of trust.

Backing Into the Semantic Web

We've been working our way back into the semantic web. From a presentational, to the logical, and then into the semantic layer.

Bottom-up Intelligence Online

A bottom-up strategy often leads down a trail of broken eggs that lead to the golden goose.

Swarm Ad Serving

By monitoring the results of each delivery and recording the local variables for each click-thru, an ad system could be taught to optimize itself automatically.

The Celebrity Factor

Right now there are leaders and celebrities being established online on the national, regional, local, and topic levels. News sites would be wise to establish their own personalities in this space.

Attracting Topic-Based Elite

Each media site, needs to not only attact the best writers and reporters for employers, but as readers and contributors.

Aqua Navigation and Digital Photojournalism

With digital photography, it shouldn't be a big deal to put all images taken during an event online.

The DeCoupling of Journalism

There is something terrifying but natural about the roles of a traditional journalist being seperated.

Nesting links to create a story package

Teasing a story package from the front page of a site using traditional html links is the equivalent of rubber-banding together a stack of pages. A better solution is needed to display their relationship.

Find your own doorways to content

You should place links to your newest and best content in the places a user is most likely to look in their daily workflow.

Linking Within a Story

Every link is an editorial decision.

Bruce Almighty as Personalization Parable

People rarely ask for, wish for, pray for what they really want or really need. Don't make miracles, be the miracle.