Browsing articles from "May, 2011"

Study: Many iPad apps are confusing users

May 31, 2011   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

by David Silverberg

A study from the Nielsen Norman Group found many iPad apps are clunky and confuse their users. They believe an iPad app shouldn’t expand on an iPhone UI and touch controls should be improved.

The authors discovered inconsistent controls for, say, touching a picture, which could do any of five different things (such as flipping to the next pic or enlarging the pic). Apps didn’t spell out which parts of a screen were tappable and which were not, and users couldn’t find a proper Back or Undo button, features commonly found on websites.

They also found a host of other problems: “Users disliked typing on the touchscreen and thus avoided the registration process,” the authors wrote, and “Several new iPad apps have long introductory segments that might be entertaining the first time, but soon wear out their welcome. Bad on sites, bad in apps. Don’t.”

The authors offer some advice, as Wired points out: “The appeal of an iPad app increased when it was more functional than the site in way geared towards regular users of the brand…and [the authors] concluded that not every company needs to have an iPad app, and that far too many companies are putting out suboptimal versions of their content, seemingly just to get in on the platform.”

The study looked at a group of 16 people interacting with iPads they’ve owned for two months would experience during use. The subjects were asked to do a variety of tasks on different apps and a few websites.

Photo courtesy of 7073dk

Huffington Post Canada launches

May 26, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  4 Comments

by David Silverberg

Today, Huffington Post Canada unveiled its new website to the masses, redirecting Canadians automatically to

The popular online news site has now arrived in Canada, and its front page is full of Canadian stories readers normally wouldn’t find on the front page of the American Huffington Post. Some stories are taken as RSS feeds from mainstream sites, some are full copies of CBC stories and other are written by HuffPost staffers. Also, many prominent Canadians are writing columns for HuffPost Canada, including David Suzuki, Green Party leader Elizabeth May and legal expert Stephen LeDrew.

Arianna Huffington explains more about the new site in a welcome letter: “Canadian politics and business will be at the forefront of our coverage, which will make the site a go-to place both for Canadians and for Americans looking to get some insight into their neighbors to the north.” She also points out how her group poached many writers and editors from The Globe & Mail, including Kenny Yum, Rashida Jeeva and Brodie Fenlon.

Launching international editions of Huffington Post has always been a goal for the new company since it merged with AOL, Huffington points out. There have been reports of a UK edition coming this summer.

According to many comments on Huffington’s welcome article, some Canadians don’t welcome the Canada-branded site. The main complaint? Canadians automatically going to and not having any way to switch to There isn’t a link on the Canadian site to redirect users to the original American site.

In other HuffPost news today, the site and its co-founders are being sued by two political consultants who say Arianna Huffington and Kenneth Lerer stole the concept of the liberal news site, reports.

mesh 2011 liveblog: Don’t Call it Hyper-Local – Community Level Media

May 25, 2011   //   by admin   //   Blog, Media blog  //  No Comments

How does community-level media affect the wider journalism landscape? What benefits does automated aggregation offer? These are some of the questions that will be answered at a panel discussion held at the mesh conference in Toronto. Future of Media is there to report on the many intriguing sessions on the digital media industry, including today’s panel on hyper-local media.

Below is a liveblog you can instantly access to follow the action. We’ll be covering the talk led by CNN correspondent and OpenFile founder Wilf Dinnick, Topix CEO and co-founder Chris Tolles and Reuters staffer and founder of Neighborhoodr Anthony De Rosa. The liveblog will run today May 25 from 3:40 to 4:20 p.m. ET.

Join the liveblog and feel free to ask us any questions or comment on what’s happening. The liveblog’s coverage will be available after the event ends.

Video: Jeff Jarvis talks bias, transparency with Michael Arrington

May 24, 2011   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

Michael Arrington talks transparency, bias with Jeff Jarvis

By Chris Hogg

Media guru Jeff Jarvis sat down with Michael Arrington at TechCrunch’s Disrupt conference yesterday.

The conversation focuses on objectivity and transparency in journalism, new journalism and what it means to be a reporter today.

I’ll let the video speak for itself without too much primer, but for those interested in bias, transparency and the discussion around the role of journalists, it’s an interesting talk:

The pros and cons of personalization

May 20, 2011   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  No Comments

Facebook Newsfeed

By Chris Hogg

Personalization can deliver tremendous benefits to both companies and readers. Facebook’s Newsfeed or Google’s Search results learn from what you like and don’t like, and they get better at showing you more information they think you want to consume. If you stop clicking on certain links, personalized information feeds stop showing them to you.

From the user’s point of view, personalization helps cut through content overload and it takes users right to content they’re likely to want to consume.

From a company’s point of view, it increases the amount of time a user spends on a website, users return more often and higher engagement levels are seen by delivering personalization.

But what about the content we’re not seeing? How do our perceptions of the world around us change when we have content curated, automatically for us? The subject of personalization is something I often discuss with friends, colleagues and businesses I work with. I believe that as we see more and more content coming online, deciding what not to show is just as important as what we do show.

Editors have historically been tasked with curating the world of information and showing people not only on what they think they want to know, but also things they don’t know they need to know. The boring stuff is often important.

Then along came the Internet and businesses started looking at ways to automate curation. Facebook is built on this very technology. Increasingly, we’re seeing both individuals and media companies turn to technology to help curate content in this way.

Today I stumbled upon this TED talk from Eli Pariser that addresses this very subject, and he gives a few good illustrative examples. Pariser is the author of a book called Filter Bubble which addresses personalization, and his talk is quite insightful:

And in response to this, there is an alternative perspective worth reading at (Thanks @ScepticGeek)