Browsing articles from "May, 2012"

Postmedia makes changes to Sunday newspapers, paywall access

May 29, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by Andrew Moran (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Postmedia Network Canada, the publisher of the largest chain of Canadian big-city daily newspapers, continues to struggle. The company announced Monday that it will be making several revisions to its business model.

The publisher of the Vancouver Sun, the Star Phoenix and the Leader-Post, stated Monday in a news release that it will be ending Sunday newspapers in Calgary, Edmonton and Ottawa and suspend the Monday edition of the National Post through the summer, which will be the fourth straight summer of such a move. These changes will begin next month.

An unspecified number of layoffs will occur in newsrooms between Vancouver and Montreal starting in autumn. According to a memo obtained by the Globe and Mail (via Reuters), the Montreal Gazette plans to get rid of 20 journalists, while Postmedia will transfer its copyediting services out of its metropolitan newsroom to a centralized location in Hamilton.

The company is looking to sell its Toronto-based headquarters.With many news outlets experimenting with the paywall model, Postmedia Network is trying out a metered system access to its Montreal, Ottawa and Vancouver publications – the Globe and Mail recently laid out plans to implement a paywall this fall. It is also trying to revamp its digital titles for its websites and smartphone and tablet apps.

“[We] must accelerate the pace of change so that the new company we are creating is the strongest, most future-focused and successful that it can be,” said Paul Godfrey, Postmedia chief executive. “Creating compelling content is still a major focus at Postmedia Network and we are proud of the exceptional work appearing on our print and digital pages every day.”

This news comes as Postmedia partnered with the Canadian Press to publish breaking news, which led to the end of approximately 24 editorial jobs.

The publication’s announcement coincides with its financial updates. The company posted revenues of just under $200 million in its fiscal second quarter and reported a modest $11.1 million loss. Postmedia was formed by former creditors of Canwest Global Communications Corp. two years ago.

This article originally appeared in Digital Journal [Link]

Why the reddit IamA Q&A posts can be the future of interviews

May 28, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog, Media blog  //  No Comments

by David Silverberg

The Q&A interview has been done. You’ve seen it countless times in newspapers and magazines, with the usual back and forth from a journalist looking for that great pull-quote from an interviewee trying to come up with something pithy. Often, the Q&A focuses on celebs, innovators, well-known names.

But something interesting is happening on reddit, the popular online community billing itself “the front page of the Internet.” This website of sub-communities offers a page called IamA, featuring people available to be questioned by anyone joining the sub-reddit. Essentially, this idea is upturning the Q&A norm and letting the readers participate directly by asking questions and getting direct answers.

The community might feature a celeb such as Jack Black or Joss Whedon once in a blue moon, but what I find most appealing by IamAs are the average regular folk who open themselves up to questioning. I really enjoyed learning about my favourite TV show, The Daily Show, thanks to an intern who revealed behind-the-scenes tidbits about Jon Stewart and the writing crew. There’s the fellow who lost his dad to a stroke and is walking across the U.S. to honour his memory. Or the 24-year-old living with albinism. Or the retired drug dealer. Or the Iraqi who lives through horrific war. And this is just the past four days.

What is compelling about these interviews is the unfiltered truth. No editor is hand-selecting what questions are answered. It’s up to the interview subject, who truly says Ask me Anything! (thus, AMA). The editorial gatekeeper is bypassed to bring readers an honesty you won’t find anywhere else.

Could this be the future of the Q&A? Will this upend how journalists approach interviews? It very well could be, if progressive publishers take note. Some outlets try to bring in guests to take liveblogged questions, but it feels so quick and curated, as if publishers are worried a question might upset their precious guest. That’s an old-school way of thinking. reddit lets the reader ask any question without any censorship (barring vulgar and abusive language of course); that kind of respect for the reader goes a long way. I’ve seen IamA threads with more than 2000 comments, and the interviewee has done his best to reply to most of them.

I can picture how this type of Q&A can be used in the mainstream media: the Globe & Mail, say, can invite someone of interest, like an open-heart surgeon, to answer any of the questions submitted within a 12-hour period, structured not too differently than a reddit IamA. The doc takes a few hours to answer the questions he can, offering as little or as much insight as he wants into his career. Readers can be notified with their question was answered, either via email or (dare we say it) SMS. This can all take place on Facebook too. Then, after the Q&A session, the Globe editor can compile the best answers into a succinct article summing up the doctor’s statements. The Q&A remains active on the website so anyone can see the answers the editor couldn’t include in the article.

Is this crazy talk? Too ambitious? I don’t think so. If news publishers want to embrace digital media as they say they do, they need to look at successful communities such as reddit to see what works. Otherwise, they’ll just be doing the same boring thing we know and don’t love.

Facebook Camera for iOS makes its debut

May 25, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by Leigh Goessl (Guest contributor/Digital Journalist)

Facebook has launched its new image tool to be used for photo sharing. Facebook Camera is a standalone app that can be used in conjunction with iOS.

According to Facebook’s newsroom page, the new product, Camera, was made available to some users yesterday.

What is Facebook Camera?
Camera is a new product from Facebook that was created to simplify photo sharing for mobile users. It includes a photo upload tool and several editing tools.How can it be used?Facebook is touting this app as a simplified way to share photos and also to see friends’ photos all in one place. Users can upload multiple photos at once rather than the tedious method of one by one.

The app also is explained as having a photo edit tool, including the ability to crop, rotate and add filters to any image.

Additionally, the network explains mobile users will be able to explore friends’ photo albums, or if one wants a closer look, users can enlarge individual images with ease. There is also a tagging tool which includes a way to edit to add captions or note locations.

TechCrunch examined the pros and cons of Facebook’s Camera, and also compares it toInstagram, a product Facebook recently purchased for $1 billion. Reportedly, Facebook plans to maintain Instagram as a separate service, at least for the time being.

Where to get Camera?
It looks like there are two ways to download Camera to your iPhone, either through this Facebook page or at Apple’s App Store. At this time the app is limited to English-speaking countries, but this will open up internationally over the next few weeks.

There was no notation in Facebook’s announcement if/when this app will be built for other platforms, but according to TechCrunch, Facebook told them, “While we don’t comment on future products we are carefully looking at what might make for a good Facebook photos experience across other platforms.”

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

Digital Journal among Top 20 most promising startups in Canada, invited to C100 event in Silicon Valley

May 22, 2012   //   by admin   //   Media blog  //  2 Comments

Digital Journal announced today it has been hand-picked from hundreds of companies across Canada as one of the 20 most promising startups by the C100, an organization representing accomplished Canadian entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.

Twice a year, the C100 holds an event called 48 Hours in the Valley designed to offer 20 of Canada’s most promising startup companies a chance to visit Silicon Valley for two days of mentorship, workshops, investor meetings, strategic partner visits and networking.

Digital Journal is happy to say it has been recognized along with 19 other Canadian startups as “best-of-the-best of Canadian entrepreneurship” and the company has been invited to Silicon Valley for the exclusive 48 Hours in the Valley event in June that caters to Canada’s best-in-class companies.

“Being named in the Top 20 is a badge of honour for Digital Journal,” says Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal, “especially given the fact that media companies never show up on a Top 20 list of technology companies. It really speaks to our unique business advantage in the media space, the power of our platform and our ability to execute.”

The C100 is a non-profit, member-driven organization whose focus is to support Canadian technology entrepreneurship and investment. The organization is made up of a select group of people based primarily in Silicon Valley, including startups CEOs, top executives of companies such as Apple, Cisco, EA, eBay, Facebook, Google, Microsoft and Oracle, and venture investors representing more than $8 billion in capital.”

Digital Journal has an exceptional management team who has built a company and product from the ground up, and we are looking forward to playing a big role in the future of media,” said Hogg. “We are also very fortunate to be backed by some of the most talented Digital Journalists in the space and we look forward to moving ahead to the next stage with them and bringing more opportunities to content creators everywhere.”

More information on Digital Journal, the team, its product and the company’s technology, can be found here. Digital Journal also hosts an annual speaker series called Future of Media dedicated to following the evolution of journalism, news and media. Past speakers include executives from Facebook, BBC, Globe and Mail, Global News, CBC, CTV, Rogers, blogTO, Polar Mobile, National Post and more.

Everything you need to know about Facebook’s IPO today

May 18, 2012   //   by admin   //   Blog  //  No Comments

by David Silverberg

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg rang Nasdaq’s opening bell this morning to usher in a momentous day in business history: Facebook’s initial public offering is one of the largest in history, elevating Facebook to be one of the most valuable US companies.

The IPO raised more than $16 billion, making it the richest after that of financial giant Visa in 2008, according to Renaissance Capital, as AFP reports.

The company is valued at close to $104 billion.Facebook is pricing its offering at $38 a share on Thursday, “but the price could be higher when shares begin trading under the FB symbol on the Nasdaq at 11 a.m. Eastern time (1500 GMT),” as Reuters reports. Close to 421.2 million shares are being offered.

Early interest in the new stock was so intense that Facebook this week raised the potential range of its IPO price, the San Jose Mercury News reports, “which was originally listed as $28 to $35. At the final price of $38, most of the shares sold in the IPO went to institutional funds and other big clients of the IPO’s underwriters.”

“Given the demand that they had, it doesn’t take a genius to predict the stock is likely to have a pretty good day,” said Sterne Agee analyst Arvind Bhatia according to the Mercury News. “How high does it go? It’s hard to tell.”

Zuckerberg couldn’t help but promote his company’s major move this morning, posting a Facebook status update detailing how Facebook is now listed on the Nasdaq.

Mashable notes the pressure is on Facebook now more so than ever, since the social media giant has to now answer to shareholders, “and those shareholders will expect their investment to grow substantially over time, both short-term and long-term. Facebook needs to choose the projects that will pay off for its investors while still keeping its users happy.”

The website, founded in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, has rocketed into the world’s most popular social network with 900 million users.

To compare IPOs, Apple debuted with a market value of less than $2 billion in 1980, while Microsoft took its bow in 1986 with a market value of less than $1 billion, as AP writes.

This article originally appeared on Digital Journal [Link]

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