links for 2009-07-31

  • Kevin: Steve Yelvington hits the nail on the head, once again, about AP and the horribly botched announcement about the hNews microformat it's effort to 'protect' its content.

    He writes: "Some geeks at the AP got together with some geeks in Europe and came up with a really smart idea. Unfortunately, that smart idea got sucked into the swirling vortex of panic and craziness that reigns at a lot of media companies these days."

  • Kevin: Charlie Beckett makes an interesting point, one close to home as a Guardian employee. Waitrose is part of the John Lewis group, a co-operative business here in the UK. John Lewis is a chain of department stores, and Waitrose is an upscale, values-led supermarket chain. The Guardian is also a value-led organisation supported by the Scott Trust and also by a wholy commercial wing, the Guardian Media Group. Charlie suggests:

    "The idea of the Waitrose model was that the John Lewis’ supermarket shares the same community and values as Guardian readers. North London, liberal, organic, quality, cosmopolitan, over-priced etc. So why shouldn’t Waitrose buy up the Guardian and deliver news as part of the groceries and a series of other services for the Guardianistas such as fringe theatre tickets, French film DVDs, Fairtrade banking etc? I already get a Times newspaper with my Ocado delivery, so why not go the whole (free range) hog?"

  • Kevin: Mark Glaser writes: "Recently, the "citizen photo agency" Demotix has had reason to celebrate. The site gained fame by selling front-page photos to the New York Times taken by Iranians who captured shots of protests after the disputed presidential election in Iran. Then came another seminal moment when the site got the only shot of Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates Jr. in handcuffs when he was arrested. That photo was featured on CNN, CBS and NBC and in the Washington Post, Boston Globe and other papers, bringing in more than $4,000 for Demotix and the photographer, William B. Carter.

    But the money-losing startup, which launched last year, still has a long way to go to prove that a citizen photo agency is a viable business."

  • Kevin: FeedDemon and NetNewsWire from Newsgator are great piecs of software, and they really show what is possible with standalone RSS readers. Journalists should be using these tools because they help manage huge amounts of information easily. Newsgator announced today that it was discontinuing its online RSS reader and suggesting to their customers that they use Google Reader. They say that they will be focusing on enterprise customers. I really hope that this is a move to focus on their readers and not a sign of distress for the company. They make a great piece of really useful software, and it would be a shame to see them go.