links for 2010-01-19

  • Kevin: Mark Briggs explain how to use the power of open-source CMS Drupal to aggregate content. He also explains some of the ethics behind aggregation, saying: "It’s always best when users submit this content voluntarily, rather than if you as a site admin just go out and scrape it." I really like the example of a Drupal administrator in Dalian China on how he aggregated photos tagged with the name of his site. He also describes how bloggers using WordPress can use Drupal to easily cross-post. Powerful stuff.
  • Kevin: "Readbility is a simple tool that makes reading on the web more enjoyable by removing the clutter around what you are reading." The site gives you the choice of styles, font size and margin. It's an interesting experiment.
  • Kevin: Fascinating piece by Peter Kirwan about internal thinking at News Corp about paid content options. The real interesting bits are estimates for the "premium" online display ad market in the UK by the Guardian Media Group. A few other things to flag up.
    Les Hinton, the former executive chairman of News International and now the chief executive of Dow Jones, was widely quoted saying beware of geeks bearing gifts and rattling off a list of era mantras such as "clicks and cash". He says that he's learned a lot since then. Well, most of us learned back in 2000 that business mantras were bullshit. Quoting these mantras to heap scorn on current digital business thinking is pretty feeble. It reflects how News Corp has failed to develop credible digital businesses, not that digital businesses are without merit.
    Kirwan raises some good points. Sadly, it's probably too late for many news orgs.