links for 2010-03-13

  • Kevin: Robert Andrews writes: "Total annual revenue at just five of the UK’s leading regional newspaper groups fell from £2.05 billion to £1.54 billion through 2009, according to our calculations now that the results are in. That’s £509.7 million wiped off our local publishers during the downturn year." They responded by cutting their staff by about a fifth, cutting 5,000 jobs.
  • Kevin: This is interesting. I think a lot of people talk about 'quality' or 'relevance' but their systems are geared for 'popularity', which isn't necessarily the same thing. Zemanta (a very useful blogging tool by the way) canvassed their users about 'What is the most important to you when choosing relevant articles?' Relevancy, popularity, recenty, authority. (A pollster might accuse them of a bit of priming because related primes the responsdent to choose relevancy, but that's a quibble.) The results showed: "It seems that our users don’t care about popularity of the sources, care a bit about authority and recency, but really mostly care a lot about relevancy."
  • Kevin: 37signals looks at how conversation has changed on the site since they made changes to their sign up procedure to curb anonymity. Things have improved. Looking at what they have done, it doesn't seem that they have verified identity as much as trying to get people to provide a name. Maybe the speedbump was enough to increase the quality of conversation on the site.