links for 2009-03-05

Martin Belam  by Martin Belam, 5 March 2009
  • "Here's a relatively new web service for publishers and developers that's a different spin on the semantic web. Amplify is mostly a semantic web service, although it tries to differentiate itself from other semantic services by saying it focuses on understanding content rather than classifying content — which is what the semantic web has been all about up until now. It's an interesting spin on things"
  • "Many mainstream news organizations are jumping on the mobile bandwagon and creating versions of their sites that are streamlined for iPhone users. Since many news sites are a cacophony of links, the more simplistic design helps mobile users get the news they want, fast."
  • "Even the Guardian's weekly technology section, which presumably has some very tech-savvy readers indeed, doesn't print URLs directing readers to the online version of the article. I suspect the demand isn't there. We estimate that it takes around three minutes per story to add these links. Spread across an entire edition of the newspaper, that's a considerable effort. It's not something we could undertake without significant demand". Interestingly, I was talking this morning about how newspaper workflow would look if you were starting a joint print & web business from scratch - and automagically assigning permanent URLs and comprehensive metadata to articles as they were written was something that cropped up
  • "Moderation is the most contentious part of managing social media services, and is frequently viewed as simply an attempt to stifle free speech. This is the first of three posts about the legal issues that arise when moderating the BBC's social media sites". I'm looking forward to parts 2 and 3 of this, surely the most visible attempt to date of the BBC to explain their moderation constaints.
  • "The key to long-term survival for papers, Scottish and otherwise, is a commitment to quality journalism - focusing on what they do best and what their readers want – and forgetting about rewritten agency copy and lazy features. They need to understand how the web works and how to make money out of it (and they really don't at the moment)....But before we despair we should remember that, thanks to the internet, there is a greater appetite for journalism than there has ever been. Where there is an audience that big, there is a living still to be made."


Print permalinks seem a bit pointless. But print tempolinks might work.

The logic as to which printed Guardian articles you'll be able to comment on online has been beyond me.

I've always thought a 'now comment online' box with a style link would be a good idea (EG, for instance, for today's g2 GCSE quiz - which i did want to comment on online, as surely the answer to the nuclear power station question is 'all of the above' ...)

And just as the paper is throwaway, so can these be, so there are no worries around duplication etc except over a 24/48 hour period.

And this surely wouldn't take 3 minutes to do - you already tag everything with keywords to generate the URLs - just use section-firstkeyword to generate the short URL

The quote about three minutes is Shane suggesting it would take that amount of time to do that for every article in The Telegraph's CMS. I couldn't say for sure how long it would take for staff at The Guardian, but I'd echo the sentiment.

Even if we were so much more efficient and could turn it around in 60 seconds, 60 seconds per print article adds up across the week to either paying a lot of sub-editor over-time.

Or, more likely, reducing the time to do the hundreds of other things subs have to do with articles like spelling, fact-checking and warning of impending legal peril.

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