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America’s most popular news blog goes local, takes on Chicago

Huffington Post – the fast growing US news and politics aggregator and blog machine – has launched a beta version of their new local news model.Here’s how cheif Huffer, Arianna Huffington, described the new site:

HuffPost Chicago is part local news source, part resource guide, and part virtual soap box — featuring a collection of bloggers who know and love Chicago, and are looking to share their takes on everything from the Cubs to City Hall to the hot new local band to the best place for Greek food (and I can testify that there is a

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NY Times Top Twitter-er, But Newspaper Readers Not Flocking to Sign-Up For The Service

Twitter has been called everything from a game-changing microblogging tool to a mind-boggling waste of time. 

Here’s how Wikipedia describes it:

Twitter is a free social networking and micro-blogging service that allows users to send updates (otherwise known as tweets) which are text-based posts of up to 140 characters in length.

But the key to Twitter’s success lies in the fact that users can subscribe to each other’s tweets and receive them via their PDA’s, their smart phones, as text messages, or in emails, or via the web.

It’s an odd idea, but the funny (and with

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Readers reading web news just like it’s the morning paper

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Forty percent of the Top 50 US newspapers are bleeding red ink, says top CEO

Business Week’s Media Columnist Jon Fine did us all a favour by reproducing in it’s entirety a speech given by newspaper chain CEO Dean Singleton at the World Association of Newsapers’ annual conference, held this year in Sweden. Singleton (whose chain, News Media Group, owns Denver Post, San Jose Mercury etc.) opened his speech with a well-placed kick to the midsection of a prone Lord Black of Crossharbour:

Thank you for once again inviting me to address the World Association of Newspapers. I spoke to you at the 2003 meeting in Dublin. My speech was followed by a presentation

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“Most Read” stories may be a matter of luck, not quality as research discovers ‘hits’ are almost random

Good news: trends probably aren’t started by cool kids who are way smarter and more influential than you or I. Instead, products and ideas catch on in society because we’re ready for them – and just about anyone can start up the the wave of acceptance for that new idea. Some of the critical research on this was published back in Feb 2006 in Science, the magazine of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, but most of us learned about it in a recent Fast Company piece by tech writer (and Canadian) Clive Thompson Is The Tipping

Continue reading “Most Read” stories may be a matter of luck, not quality as research discovers ‘hits’ are almost random

Gin, Television, and Social Surplus: Clay Shirky calls us out of our stupor

Author and journalist programmer Clay Shirky gave a powerfully thoughtful talk at Reilly’s  Web 2.0 conference last week: Gin, Television and Social Surplus. In his relaxed, 16 minute talk, Shirky drew up upon the thoughts of a British historian who theorized that the most significant technology of the early industrial revolution was gin, because it allowed the population to dull the pain and fear that accompanied the switch from agrarian to industrial society; dull it long enough for them to make the switch and then wake up to take advantage of the riches industrialization brought them –

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Hey Look! A brand new newspaper launched in Baltimore

Well, ok, it’s freebie, available in 1,000 bright orange newspaper boxes and at gyms, convenience stores and drugstores (?) across the city. And, well, yeah, it’s a "youth" paper. Oh, and a hip new web site. Sigh. Here’s how the Baltimore Sun Media Group described their new offering, ‘b’:

The tabloid newspaper and Web site will focus on news, sports and entertainment news and blogs and listings geared to readers in the 18- to 34-year-old range. It plans to rely on reader-generated material for about a third of its content. The rest will come from its staff

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US experts see sharp decline in Real Estate print advertising

First employment classifieds. Then automotive advertising moved massively online. And now a (the executive summary) of new report out of the US by Borrell Associates suggests real estate advertising dollars are going to jump to the web in a big way.

For newspapers the situation is worse. We project that coming off last year’s high of almost $5.2 billion in print advertising, there will be a 6.8 percent decline this year (2007), almost the same again in 2008, followed by a stunning 16 percent fall in 2009 and 13 percent in 2010. By then, real estate marketers

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Is free the future of our business?

Another thought-provoking piece (soon to be a book) by Wired editor Chris Anderson examines the future of free, as a defining element of a digital economy.

"It’s now clear that practically everything Web technology touches starts down the path to gratis, at least as far as we consumers are concerned. Storage now joins bandwidth (YouTube: free) and processing power (Google: free) in the race to the bottom. Basic economics tells us that in a competitive market, price falls to the marginal cost. There’s never been a more competitive market than the Internet, and every day the marginal cost

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