Recent posts in my Daily Mail Category

February 13, 2012

“The alchemy of media business model innovation” - François Nel at news:rewired

François Nel’s talk about media business models at news:rewired drew a massive contrast between the fortunes, financially, of the Mail and the Guardian, and sparked a discussion about the Guardian’s digital strategy which made for some uncomfortable listening for those of us in the audience involved in trying to implement it. Here are my notes from that session - including a big disclaimer reminding you that this is a personal blog...

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January 29, 2012

Online newspaper metrics? The grey lady doth protest too much, methinks

There’s been quite a fuss around the latest set of usage figures for news websites, with comScore suggesting that Mail Online has overtaken the New York Times as the world’s leading online newspaper. The Times has taken the odd step of both disputing the figures and the relevance - saying the inclusion of thisismoney distorted the number by adding an extra million or so. Spokesperson Eileen Murphy added: “a quick review of our site versus the Daily Mail should indicate quite clearly that they are not in our competitive set.” The grey lady doth protest too much, methinks

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May 29, 2011

The Mail Online, the N-word, and their American audience

Could it be that having a large American audience online means that the Mail is now treating issues like "The N-word" differently editorially in print and in digital?

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March 29, 2011

Just when you thought Daily Mail comments couldn't sink lower......they let "Rupert, Yorkshire" discuss rape in Libya

The Daily Mail has published vile comments pre-judging the situation involving Iman Al-Obeidi in Libya. It is worth noting that the comments go through pre-moderation and sub-editing.

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December 20, 2010

news:rewired - “SEO is a four letter word”

As part of my series of notes from the news:rewired event I attended last week, here is what I made of the search engine optimisation session, where, frankly, Malcolm Coles just talked filth...

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October 18, 2010

London 2012 Olympic ticket prices accessibility failure

A long list of numbers is the very definition of tabular data, easily represented in an accessible HTML <TABLE> structure. And yet the ticket prices for the Olympic games were only made public as a PDF file...

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October 12, 2010

London 9/11 truthers rely on the Daily Mail as a 'source'

We had some '9/11 truthers' demonstrating all day outside The Guardian and Observer offices yesterday. I can't help but think that if you are trying to convince me of the existence of a worldwide conspiracy, you are going to have find some more authoritative sources than relying on what the Daily Mail says about Muslims.

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August 31, 2010

No computer-generated serendipity please, we are Daily Mail columnists

Harry Mount's Daily Mail column about the death of the printed edition of the OED suggested computers cannot produce serendipity. Nonsense. Computers do what they are told to. If you program them to produce random or semi-random content selection, then that is what they will do.

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July 28, 2010

Would the Mail Online be better off ditching some print-based Daily Mail content?

In a recent piece about the success of Mail Online, Peter Preston argued that it didn't matter if the online version of a newspaper had different brand values and served a different audience from the print edition. I'm not so sure. The Mai's website is hugely successful, but being forced to carry all of the print content does seem to lead to a constant series of awkward moments and juxtapositions online.

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June 7, 2010

Proof that the Mail itself uses Twitter to 'spy' on people complaining about it

If the Mail is so worried about companies using Twitter for reputation management, why does it do it itself?

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June 2, 2010

Whitehaven shootings illustrate the Facebook 'Like' problem for news

Online coverage of the Whitehaven shootings illustrate why the Facebook 'like' button is unsuitable for generic use on all news stories.

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March 9, 2010

"We should have hung them when they were ten. Killing children is wrong" - Retweeting without verification

Best ever user comment in the Mail about the James Bulger killers? "We should have hung them when they were ten. Killing children is wrong". This article looks at what happened when I tweeted a link to it...

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January 29, 2010

African Cup of Nations online coverage review: Part 4 - British and American online newspapers

I started this series looking at some of the British press coverage in print of the African Cup of Nations, and today I wanted to look a little bit further at online coverage in the main papers. My impression - and this is an unscientific one - is that there has been more coverage of the tournament than in previous years. I think this is in part because it allows news organisations to gear up for covering another football...
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January 4, 2010

Too much David Tennant on TV? More like too many politicians if you ask me...

In response to claims that David Tennant was on BBC television too much over Christmas, a Conservative MP seems to think he appeared on over 200 channels.

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October 20, 2009

What Jan Moir can teach us about handling an Internet brand crisis

What Jan Moir can teach us about handling an Internet brand crisis
How prepared are you for finding yourself in the middle of a perfect Internet storm?

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October 19, 2009

Guess which Jan Moir article is missing from the Daily Mail's search results?

Funny old world, the Internet, eh? If you search the Daily Mail website today for the most recent articles by or about Jan Moir, there seems to be one missing. I wonder if you can guess which one it is? I think it must just be one of those weird coincidences that looks more suspicious than it is when your site is under intense scrutiny on the web. If you click the 'All by this author' link the notorious Stephen...
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Has Jan Moir hastened reform of how the PCC handles 3rd party complaints?

Has Jan Moir hastened reform of how the PCC handles 3rd party complaints?
In the face of over 21,000 complaints about Jan Moir's hateful Stephen Gately article in the Daily Mail, can the PCC really maintain their usual stance that third party complaints do not count?

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October 6, 2009

Revenue share deal spikes newspaper guns about England's pay-per-view Internet World Cup qualifier

The confirmation that England's World Cup match against Ukraine will only be available pay-per-view on the Internet reminds me of 2000, when an away game against Finland was only available on short-lived and obscure pay TV service u>direct. Perform, the rights holders this time around, have made a shrewd move in allowing newspaper websites to sell the game on a revenue share basis. Whilst I'm not suggesting filthy lucre has unduly influenced editorial decisions, it is certainly a lot...
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September 9, 2009

Mail homepage goes indigo - well, 'Indigo Collection' anyway

When I first saw this homepage advertising campaign last week from Marks & Spencers on the Daily Mail website, my initial reaction was to tweet that it had burned my eyes. Aesthetics aside, I did think it merited further mention. It is very interesting to see a British newspaper experimenting with advertising formats like this. For the Daily Mail's online audience it seemed likely to be totally 'on brand', perhaps much more so than the Evening Standard giving pages 2...
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August 7, 2009

Does the embedded video deal lead to papers burying bad BBC news online?

The deal to share BBC video content with leading national newspapers websites, including that belonging to The Guardian where I work, moves us into some murky uncharted waters. Joanna Geary of The Times, who are not taking the video content, said that: "I’ve got this horrible feeling that the BBC deal proves that many articles produced by newspapers provide little or no uniqueness to help distinguish them in a flooded market." It is early days for the deal, but it...
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July 20, 2009

Let there be humbug!

Yesterday in the Mail On Sunday was an article entitled "The Genesis enigma: How DID the Bible describe the evolution of life 3,000 years before Darwin?". The premise of the article was an outline of Professor Andrew Parker's theory that the Book of Genesis features an accurate description of how scientific evidence has chronologically ordered evolution. It includes perhaps one the most entertaining couple of paragraphs I've seen in a British newspaper in recent months. "On the third day, we...
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June 26, 2009

How major publishers are using social media to drive traffic - Part 3

This is the third of a series of posts based on a talk I gave during May 2009 at WebCertain's "International Social Media Summit" in London. You can find the first part here, and view the original presentation slides on SlideShare. The social bookmarking feedback loop The ratings you get on social bookmarking sites are valuable feedback, and some major news publishers utilise them to add value to their site. The Telegraph, for example, has a 'Most Dugg' widget...
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Michael Jackson's death sweeps BBC expenses from the front pages

"Michael Jackson's death spares the BBC"
What would have been on Friday's front pages.

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June 11, 2009

"Dead men don't sue" - the Mail's HTML refuses to clear Air France 'terror suspects'

Earlier this week there were reports that Islamic terror suspects were amongst the passengers of Air France Flight 447. It seems that these were based solely on the names on the passenger list, and with subsequent checks it has emerged that this wasn't actually the case. The Daily Mail has altered this online story accordingly. However, if you look at your browser furniture when you visit the page, you'll note that whilst the headline of the story says one thing,...
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June 10, 2009

So where DOES the Daily Mail stand on 'green' lightbulbs?

As part of your 'event swag' at the "Grand Designs Live" exhibition that I visited in early May, you got a booklet sponsored by British Gas with all sorts of tips on how you could save energy around the home. Prominent amongst them was the switch to more eco-friendly light bulbs. There was even a voucher to get some money off when you purchased some. But lo and behold - look who is the main newspaper sponsor of the booklet......
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April 9, 2009

When RSS ads go bad...

One of the risks of context-driven text advertising is that occasionally there will be some uncomfortable juxtapositions of editorial content and advertising. It happens on currybetdotnet from time to time. I particularly recall Google deciding that one of my lengthy pieces about working in a record shop and collecting records suited adverts saying "Do you need help with your autistic child", which I took slightly personally. It can be even worse when the adverts are being served in an RSS...
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April 3, 2009

The PCC turns a deaf ear to complaints about press coverage of Alfie Patten

As a result of my blog post last week about the Alfie Patten case, I found that another related issue cropped up regarding the PCC, and the self-regulation of the British press. I received a comment from 'Pat H', who had written to the PCC to complain about The Mirror's apparent breaching of the initial reporting restrictions. Needless to say, since she is not directly involved in the story, her complaint was, as usual, dismissed out of hand. Just like...
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February 28, 2009

Can the Daily Mail and online dating really be soulmates?

Yesterday, Jemima Kiss mocked the Daily Mail's online dating service: "Single? Lonely? Bitter? Having trouble finding a life partner who hates immigrants, bleeding heart liberals, the BBC, Gordon Brown, hoodies, TV filth, feminists, Channel 4, the loony left, rip-off Britain, feral children, the French, the PC brigade, yobs, lesbians, single mothers, the Euro and Jonathan Ross quite as much as you?" It didn't take very long at all for a few comments on the article to point out that it...
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February 12, 2009

Wireframing the front page: Part 3 - The Daily Mail

Earlier this week I started a series called 'Wireframing the front page'. I've been looking at different ways of comparing the printed front pages of UK newspapers with their online equivalent. In today's post I'm going to concentrate on one paper in-depth. What I've done is break up both the printed page and online 'viewport', and look at the relative percentage of space occupied by different types of content including things like the masthead, advertising, navigation, and self-promotion slots. I've...
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February 11, 2009

Why the PCC is broken - a case study in trying to complain

Navigation teaser

Why the PCC is broken...
I'm not allowed by PCC rules to complain about a named 13 year old girl being called a slut in the press

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February 9, 2009

Wireframing the front page: Part 1 - The "homepage"

I've been giving a lot of thought to the way that people navigate through newspaper websites, and it has made me consider the different functions that the homepage and the front page serve. Navigation, for example, is mostly redundant on the printed front page. Occasionally a paper might have something like "Turn to Page 7" to link to the continuation of a story, or a promo for the sports section, but generally the front page functions to sell one major...
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February 6, 2009

A big thumbs up for the Daily Mail's comment rating system

I've been for some time meaning to write a series of blog posts along the lines of 'things I like about online newspapers' looking at what they do well, but I wanted to pre-empt that with a look at one thing in particular on the Mail's website. It is a very simple interaction that they added in December, but one that I think really enhances the site. I'm talking about the ability for users to give comments a virtual 'thumbs...
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February 3, 2009

Navigating newspapers: Part 4 - The 'red tops' and the 'middle market'

Last week I started publishing a series of posts about the primary and secondary navigation on 9 of the UK's national newspaper websites. Today I want to look more closely in depth at the red tops and the 'middle market' papers.  Daily Express Alongside The Sun, the Daily Express is the only paper I looked at to still utilise a left-hand navigation. There are a lot of links, and I didn't include in the study a second similar panel of...
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December 1, 2008

Mail Online the first national to allow you to rate the comments on their news articles?

Excuse the pun, but I haven't seem much comment around the net on the Daily Mail's latest addition to their comment functionality. This thread on This Is London is all I've seen about it I first noticed it over the weekend, but now users have the ability to rate comments with a vote up and vote down mechanism. At the moment, it doesn't seem as if the voting re-orders the comments or changes which three are displayed in the default...
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October 29, 2008

BBC fails the online Brand damage limitation test

One of the joys of having the web as a corporate communication channel is that it is very flexible and can be very, very dynamic. Not all businesses take full advantage of that, though. The BBC has not been very nimble in its response to the Brand / Ross / Sachs sex scandal, and this has been especially true on the web. At lunchtime today, even as the Corporation announced the suspension of Ross and Brand, if you visited /programmes...
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October 28, 2008

NOW Brand and Ross have f*&$ed up my vow not to rant about newspaper editorial...

So I vowed that when I got back to the UK I wouldn't expend energy on blogging about the editorial side of the media, just the technical side of things. It has taken about two days for me to tear up that pledge because I've got so aggravated about the Brand / Ross / Sachs sex scandal. As far as I can tell from the reports in the press, between the programme being broadcast and the story appearing on the...
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October 14, 2008

Naked hypocrisy in the Daily Mail

Occasionally the Daily Mail veers into the territory of self-parody. Take last Wednesday's edition. On page 22, there was an article about rugby player Danny Cipriani, illustrated with a massive picture of the star with only a rugby ball to protect his modesty. Page 37 had an article about how hippies have turned into their parents. Of course, the Daily Mail can't illustrate a story about hippies without a picture of a carefree hippie-chick showing her breasts. And on page...
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September 19, 2008

The impact of duplicate content on social media success for newspapers

On Monday I published an e-book entitled 'Measuring UK newspaper success with social media'. This featured the results of a study which captured 3,500+ URLs from 50+ media websites that proved popular across 8 social media and link sharing services. I've also been blogging about some other results from the study, concerning local newspaper and freesheet content. Today I wanted to look at the impact duplicate content publishing has on social media, and search engine, success. Duplicate content 'Duplicate...
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September 13, 2008

$num XL passengers stranded somewhere

It is a commonly held belief that arithmatic in the UK has declined following years of dumbing down, A-level grade inflation, and Play School being replaced by Tikkabilla. There was a great example of how random numbers have become in the Chipwrapper news feed yesterday. BBC News: Thousands stranded by XL collapse Guardian: 10,000 XL passengers must pay to fly home Daily Express: 85,000 holidaymakers stranded as XL holiday firm collapses Daily Mail: 300,000 British tourists hit by XL collapse...
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September 8, 2008

No news is usually good news - unless it is the Chipwrapper feed

Those of you who rely on a live RSS bookmark of the headlines from Chipwrapper might have found the last couple of weeks to be slow news weeks. In fact, for some of the time, it even appeared to be a no news week, as the main RSS feed failed. I've vaguely ascribed the blame to a combination of Yahoo! Pipes, the Daily Mail and the Express. In fact, anything pretty much except my own shoddy Perl ;-) What appears...
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September 5, 2008

More on the Daily Mail and my comments about their 'suicidal five year olds' article

If you are interested in newspapers, the Internet and blogging, you can't have missed the growing blogstorm around the Daily Mail, following an article by Julie Moult that was rather ill-informed about the web. I don't need to pick over the bones of the story itself, as it has been covered in plenty of other places, but I did want to pass comment because my name has been mentioned a couple of times in the course of it. The piece...
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August 13, 2008

A brief history of Olympic dissent: Los Angeles 1984

I've been writing a series of articles looking back at the history of politics, protest and dissent at the Olympic Games. In the last part I looked at the boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics, which was led by the USA in protest at Soviet military action in Afghanistan. Whilst that boycott is often now regarded as a principled, if misguided, action, most observers regard the corresponding boycott of the 1984 Olympics by those in the Soviet sphere of...
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July 7, 2008

Daily Mail website review for the Press Gazette

If you were interested in my opinions of the Daily Mail's recent website re-design, but found you didn't have time to wade through my over-wordy multi-part review the other week, you might be interested in an article published in the most recent edition of Press Gazette. They asked me to contribute a much shorter review of the Mail for their 'Expert Eye' column - "Net gains for Mail Online". The longer review series has also been summarised on The Editor's...
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June 28, 2008

The Daily Mail site redesign: Part 5 - Sports section

Over the last week I've been reviewing the Daily Mail's recently revamped website. There have been some highs, like the innovative use of celebrity RSS feeds, and lows, like the heavy download footprint and annoying content preview overlays. Today I wanted to finish by looking at a section of the site which has been transformed for the better, and in the process demonstrates that the Daily Mail is really beginning to understand ways to utilise the power of the web...
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June 27, 2008

The Daily Mail site redesign: Part 4 - Hovering preview

I've been reviewing the recently updated Daily Mail website design. So far I've been impressed with some clever RSS feeds and some enticing ways of promoting the message boards. However, I've also been concerned about the very long loading times over dial-up caused by the sheer weight of the pages. I first reviewed the new design a couple of months back when it was a 'beta', stressing the new features that I liked. There were a couple of things that...
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June 25, 2008

The Daily Mail site redesign: Part 3 - Story layout and download footprint

This week I've been writing a review of the Daily Mail's new website design - concentrating on some of the aspects of navigation, the message boards, and their innovative use of celebrity-led RSS feed categories. Today I want to look at the individual story pages and the index pages that lead to them. Story pages The whole point of the re-design is, of course, to get more people to visit the site for longer, in order to get more eyeballs...
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June 24, 2008

The Daily Mail site redesign: Part 2 - Message boards

Yesterday I started looking at the Daily Mail's recently redesigned website, concentrating on some of the navigation aspects, and looking at the provision of RSS feeds. Today I wanted to look at an area that they themselves are calling 'new' and 'improved' - their message boards. Message boards Whilst some national newspapers have been indulging in tit-for-tat spats over what gets moderated in their user-generated content areas, the Daily Mail has set about re-vamping theirs. Comments underneath article still work...
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June 23, 2008

The Daily Mail site redesign: Part 1 - Navigation & RSS

Way back when I first started the currybetdotnet blog, the Daily Mail was one of the first newspapers to get its own category, as I alternated between writing about BBCi Search and having a go at the Mail's coverage of things like London's telephone numbering system. These days, I try very hard to keep my honest appraisal of the Daily Mail's site functionality apart from my occasional irritation with the editorial coverage in the paper of things like games and...
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June 3, 2008

The Daily Mail's moral stand over 'Emo' protests

If I had been eating my cornflakes when I read the Daily Mail's statement about the recent protests over its coverage of the 'Emo' music scene, I'm fairly certain I would have choked on them. The Daily Mail defended its coverage: "The Daily Mail's coverage of the 'Emo' movement has been balanced, restrained and above all, in the public interest." They also claimed their articles had used: "calm and un-sensational language" You might find that hard to reconcile with a...
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May 13, 2008

Daily Mail 'fat dog' article takes the copyright biscuit

Now, remind me again, what is it that newspaper publishers are always saying about respecting copyright? I only ask because of this article on the Daily Mail site today about fat pets. As I scrolled down I recognised one of the dogs pictured. He is a local chum of ours from Chania harbour. In fact, I recognised the photograph - posted to Flickr by polietileno. The unnamed Daily Mail journalist who put the article together appears to have simply searched...
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May 5, 2008

'Sorry - this page cannot be found': How newspapers handle 404 errors - Part 1

A comment when I started my recent 'Newspaper Site Search Smackdown' series of posts prompted me to go and have a look at which British newspapers use sitemap.xml files. As it turned out, it was only the Daily Mail and The Scotsman which did (well, and The Telegraph and The Mirror and Metro), which meant that I got to have a close look at the 404 error pages generated by the others. I thought it might be worth running through...
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April 28, 2008

7 things I like about the Daily Mail Beta

Regular readers may have noticed that I find it very easy to write article after article moaning "Well, I wouldn't have done it like that" about newspaper websites, so I thought I'd try a different tack for a change. Instead of the usual currybetdotnet "Here is where I think they went wrong" article - here are seven things I like about the Daily Mail's new beta design. Click through today in pictures People like pictures on the web - well,...
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April 12, 2008

Wikipedia users respond to Tom Utley's criticism in the Daily Mail

I bookmarked this piece by Tom Utley in the Daily Mail today - "Abortion and why, since my boy fiddled my Wikipedia entry, I've feared the sinister power of the internet" - with the comment that: "I'm willing to wager Tom Utley will have an expanded Wikipedia entry pretty soon after publishing this article which seems to pin the decline of Western civilisation on his son's ability to vandalise Wikipedia, the BBC and Google's stance on advertising" In fact, I...
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April 8, 2008

Newspaper "Site Search Smackdown": Round 1 - The Daily Mail vs The Sun

The other week I wrote about the potential threat to newspaper revenue from Google's new 'Search in search' feature. Links to the article appeared on a few blogs, and Kevin Anderson made the point that Google was doing search better than most newspapers: "Where I might disagree is Martin's argument that it negatively impacts user experience. He says that Google's position is that they can provide search better than the news sites. Well, the sad truth is that whether...
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April 5, 2008

Game for a laugh - Anne Diamond on games in the Daily Mail

I still haven't had a chance to read the recent "Safer Children in a Digital World" Byron Report in full, although from what I've skimmed through so far I'm still sticking by my original opinion when I bookmarked it - that I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't framed in the hysterical tabloid tone that usually accompanies any debate about child safety and new media. The analogies about how we teach our children to swim and cross the road despite...
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March 31, 2008

Google hijacks traffic from newspaper site search

There has been a controversy over the last couple of weeks about Google's introduction of 'Search in search' boxes. For some large web properties who appear at #1 for their brand name, Google has been adding a search box underneath their listing, allowing users to refine their search to get results for just the one domain. Amazon and Flickr are a couple of examples of where this has been introduced, although Amazon seem to have got the feature squashed. I...
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January 6, 2008

Who's deceiving who? The Daily Mail on Jools Holland's Hootenanny

"The Hootenanny is an idealised New Year's Eve party with a line-up that would surely be impossible to deliver on 31 December. The stellar cast and audience are, therefore, assembled to record the show in mid-December. The show is recorded 'as live', with a midnight countdown led by Jools." And with those words in early December, the BBC's Press Office launched the Corporation's cunning plan to deceive viewers about whether Jools Holland's annual knees-up was a live show... ...well, at...
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December 21, 2007

Biblical Christian names still out-number Mohammed for Britain's boys

The tabloids have been spluttering their outrage at the news that Mohammed is now the second most popular boys name in the UK. Well, provided you massage the figures of course, I mean, why let facts get in the way of your editorial line that 'the fuzzy-wuzzies are taking over our country'. To get that result, you have to add up all the variations on Muhammed, whilst steadfastly refusing to aggregate any other names - I noticed both Jake and...
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December 17, 2007

I'm not convinced online voting shows Rhydian was robbed on X-Factor

"In years to come when someone asks the question Where were you at 10:35 on 15th December 2007? most people will instantly know." Well, I'm not entirely sure about that, but there has certainly been a furore over the result of the X-Factor voting at the weekend. I always loved these spats - I remember well disgruntled Fame Academy and Strictly Come Dancing fans having it out with each other on the BBC's Points Of View message board with the...
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November 25, 2007

Trust me, the Child Benefit data loss risk to children isn't from paedophiles

One thing I noticed in the press coverage of the British Government's abject but predictable failure to protect personal data was this preposterous line of argument in an editorial in the Daily Mail: "The missing discs contain the names, addresses and dates of birth of every child in the country...Wouldn't fraudsters and child abusers give anything to get their hands on them?" Seriously, what are child abusers going to do with this information? Surely, and call me old-fashioned, if paedophiles...
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