links for 2010-05-13

  • Kevin: Brian Casel at Mashable has a look at five most important features in WordPress 3.0, set for release in June 2010. Those features include custom post types, menu management and multi-site capabilities. WordPress already was a very powerful blog CMS, and now it's starting to get sophisticated features that will appeal to a much wider range of online publishers.
  • Kevin: A Firefox plug-in to scrape data from websites.
  • Kevin: Some very interesting numbers if a very brief piece. What's unclear to me is where the table with the revenue and costs comes from. Is this a national average for US newspapers? However, what is really stunning is the fact that subscription revenue is only 3% of total revenue. That is utterly shocking. The other figure that is totally gob-smacking is that in print 52% of the costs come from production, distribution and raw materials. _52%_ That begs the question of when print will be completely economically unworkable. That day is not long off.
  • Kevin: Michelle Minkoff at Poynter's E-Media Tidbits highlights a great new tool for scraping data from websites. What is scraping data? Before the days of APIs, developers and hackers would often 'scrape' data from websites. This would take data, often from an HTML table, and output the data in a useful format such as CSV that could be more easily manipulated using data tools such as spreadsheet or database software.
    Minkoff writes: "It often takes a lot of time and effort to produce programs that extract the information, so this is a specialty. But what if there were a tool that didn't require programming?

    Enter OutWit Hub, a downloadable Firefox extension that allows you to point and click your way through different options to extract information from Web pages."

  • Kevin: The New York Times asked followers of its Lens blog: "Attention: everyone with a camera, amateur or pro. Please join us on Sunday, May 2, at 15:00 (U.T.C./G.M.T.), as thousands of photographers simultaneously record “A Moment in Time.” The idea is to create an international mosaic, an astonishingly varied gallery of images that are cemented together by the common element of time." It's a beautiful, simple call to action with a stunning result. As Flickr has shown, digital cameras have made amateur photo enthusiasts of us all, and we love to share our images both with friends, family and complete strangers.
  • Kevin: JESSICA E. VASCELLARO writes: "Overall, served 176.3 billion display ads on its website over the first three months of 2010, or 16.2% of the total, said comScore. Yahoo served 131.6 billion banner ads to Yahoo users, and Microsoft served 60.2 billion, according to comScore. The data don't include ads that Yahoo and Microsoft delivered to other Web sites through their networks, a major source of revenue for each."
    I'm curious whether the well documented competitive advantage in dwell time on Facebook is helping them sell advertising at premium rates, premium CPMs, or whether the dwell time is offset by low click through rates. Some people have posited that selling advertising on social networks is difficult due to people not wanting their social interactions interrupted by commercial messages.