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Posts in Content

Facebook's next trick: become the web

Facebook isn't just a social network. By almost every reasonable standard, it is officially the winner of the social networking wars. While other popular social networks, including MySpace, may not disappear into the void completely, Facebook has left them in the dust.

But the war to become the world's dominant online social network is just one battle in a larger war that seeks to shape the future of the web. And Facebook is gearing up for battle.


Is this the first salvo in the 'hot news' war?

Few traditional publishers like aggregators. They never have, and they never will. The problem: consumers do.

While publishers have made a fuss about aggregators for years, for the most part, there has been little they can do. And for all of their efforts, aggregation, in all of its various forms, isn't going anywhere. But a lawsuit filed by Dow Jones & Company could signal a tougher fight ahead if Dow Jones wins.


Tips for planning multi-language websites

Having a global channel literally at our fingertips obviously does not mean that our message is being understood globally. Whilst some organisations have made much progress in resolving the issues of acting globally online, for others it remains a complex problem.

So what should a company be thinking about when considering the globalisation of its website? 


Is 'free' finally falling out of favor?

Back in 2008, online social networking startup Ning couldn't give away free, hosted social networks fast enough.

The company, which was co-founded by Marc Andreessen of Netscape fame, reportedly estimated that by New Year's Eve 2010, it would host approximately 4m social networks. Social networks which would produce billions of daily page views for the startup. Ning's projected trajectory excited investors so much that they invested more than $100m in the company.


Are websites a growth platform?

The internet is growing up. And with that, a cottage industry of web developers and coders was born. While it isn't universal yet that everyone has a web site, many people do have outposts online, whether it's a web site, blog or social profile.

But just as websites become more common, questions are being raised about their long-term future.


Six things you can do in-house to improve your SEO

I believe in encouraging people to do things for themselves. SEO is a vital part of evolving a website yet many businesses struggle to understand what SEO means and how they can get to grips with it.

SEO is not a dark art, it is an incredibly intuitive process that encompasses many disciplines, from research to writing content and building social media presence. Nobody is a master of all of them but you can take control of key components of your SEO strategy, helping you focus spend on areas where you need the greatest help.

That's not to say that investing in the services of a dedicated SEO partner (freelance or agency) isn't a good thing - if you don't have the resource or inclination to do this properly, then paying a specialist can be a commercially sound decision. SEO is a long-term commitment, you can't treat it like a toy to be played with for a few months, then thrown to the back of the cupboard. 

This post outlines the top six things that you can do in-house to improve your website optimisation with links to free online tools to help you on your journey.


How big a problem is digital piracy? Who knows?

One of the best ways to start a flame war online: make a claim about the costs of online piracy.

Some, of course, argue that online piracy isn't a problem. Free downloads are free promotion, the argument usually goes. Others, especially those in media industries that have found adjusting to the internet difficult, claim that online piracy is responsible for their woes.

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Google Buzz finally gets an official 'share' button

Google made quite a few mistakes when it launched its Gmail-based social network, Buzz. Some mistakes, namely those related to privacy, overshadowed smaller mistakes.

One of those smaller mistakes: not giving publishers an easy way to encourage users to share their content on Buzz. With Facebook, Digg and Twitter 'share' buttons being almost ubiquitous across the web today, the fact that Google didn't release a 'share' button of its own is perhaps additional evidence of just how rushed the Buzz release was.


Check in with Foursquare, tear down FT.com's pay wall?

The Financial Times is lucky. It's in the minority of newspapers that can legitimately claim to have found 'success' with an internet pay wall. The company's subscribers pay upwards of $180 a year to access content on the Financial Times' website, FT.com, which is behind one of the more solid pay walls around.

But that pay wall isn't impervious; it may be coming down if you're a certain type of mobile internet user in certain geographic regions. That's because, according to Business Insider, the Financial Times will soon launch an initiative with Foursquare that will give some Foursquare users who check into certain businesses in certain locations the ability to access FT.com without a paid subscription.

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USA Today turns to the content farm as the ship sinks

USA Today, like the majority of dailies in the United States, has a problem. Last year, its circulation suffered a significant drop, and it's now the number two daily after being surpassed by the Wall Street Journal.

So what's USA Today to do? Obviously, it needs to change. And a small change is coming in the form of a deal the newspaper has struck with Demand Media to provide 'Travel Tips by Demand Media' on USAToday.com.


Mobile: Less phone, more data

mobile dataTwo recent studies this week underscore a trend obvious not only to smartphone owners (a segment rapidly achieving dominance in the mobile phone market), but also to those early adopters of Kindles, iPads and the like. What matters in mobile is the data, not the vox.


CNN's irrational fear of social media

CNN has a big problem: its ratings are dropping. Big time. A New York Times article this week pointed out that CNN's main hosts have lost almost 50% of their viewers over the past year.

And while CNN's viewership is plummeting, its competitors are gaining viewers. Several FOX News hosts have registered year-over-year viewership gains in the range of 25-50%. And lest you think the drop in CNN's viewership is primarily the result of demographics or political preferences, CNN is even being beat out at certain hours by MSNBC and CNN's lightweight news channel, HLN.