The online newspaper, 1981 style

February 27, 2009

WE’VE been forwarded this classic video about the original online newspaper in 1981 – it’s worth a look for a bit of nostalgia and a laugh.

Our favourite part was the fact they identify the user as “Home Computer Owner”. It was also interesting to know that they thought monetising the medium was a challenge 28 years ago too!

Vodpod videos no longer available.

more about “You Need To See This Video“, posted with vodpod


Adobe gets deeper into mobile space

February 17, 2009

A MAJOR supplier to the newspaper industry, Adobe Software, has announced a slew of new products and initiatives. While not all of them affect the core area of newspaper production, the company is getting more closely involved in mobile phone applications.

I recommend you pay attention to this, as Adobe is a trusted and long-time supplier to many newspaper companies in the region, and its strategy and advice on the direction of mobile applications, and how they might embrace a business model for publishers, would be worth seeking at some point.

Mark Hollands

ADOBE and Palm announced that they are working together to deliver Flash Player 10 on the new Palm webOS platform to enable users to benefit from a more complete web experience on their phone.

The collaboration is the result of Palm joining the Open Screen Project. Flash Player 10 for smartphones is expected to be available to handset manufacturers at the end of 2009.

Adobe has announced Flash Lite 3.1 Distributable Player, new, over-the-air mobile runtime enabling developers and content providers to create and directly distribute applications to WiMo and Nokia S60 devices.

Adobe Flash Lite 3.1 Distributable Player is the first step for a direct distribution of the mobile player and a runtime that is updatable over the air, a vision set by the OSP. The player is launched as a beta in the U.S., Spain, Italy and India, is already supported by a series of content aggregators and developers.

Adobe’s Reader Mobile SDK, a software development kit has been released. It is designed to enable companies to deliver mobile devices that can easily download, manage and display PDF content and eBooks.

The new software engine delivers reflowable PDF technology, Adobe content protection technology, as well as the EPUB file format, the XML-based eBook standard.

The SDK is available today and several companies also announced plans to ship devices that integrate the technology including Bookeen, iRex Technologies, Lexcycle, Plastic Logic, Polymer Vision, and Springs Designs. Sony already integrates the engine in the Sony Reader.

The perils of online video

January 30, 2009

ONLINE video is definitely a boom area for all sorts of media companies at the moment. But when it’s of the news variety, care must be taken to make sure the basics of journalism are covered.

By Brett Taylor, PANPA

I came across this video on the ABC’s website today and posted a news item about it. It’s interesting stuff…but if you don’t want to click through – I’ll get to the point of this blog entry.

The video is about a trial of digitally broadcasting video onto mobile phones – so you can watch TV anywhere without having to download it through the net. The ABC’s video comes with a brief caption with a similar summary. In the footage, a strip comes up identifying the man talking as Tim O’Keefe from Australian Digital Testing.

That’s all well and good, but I don’t know what Australian Digital Testing is. I don’t know who funds it – the government? The telcos? The TV networks? The mobile manufacturers? The video also didn’t reveal when the trials are expected to end, and what the possible outcomes might be.

Of course there is only so much depth a short video can provide, but I felt this one was full of nice soundgrabs but completely bereft of context.

It’s just a small snapshot, but a lesson nonetheless that online video news, while sexy, shouldn’t compromise proper journalistic principles at the expense of the viewer.

News Digital to sell Aussie ads on WSJ site

January 21, 2009

AUSTRALIAN visitors to some of News Corp‘s biggest online brands will now see local ads after News Digital Media (NDM) became their exclusive online sales representative in this region.

The NDM team can now add space on newspaper websites,, and, as well as business sites and, to their portfolio of content vehicles.

“The Wall Street Journal is the world’s most respected and recognised financial news source. Combining this with The Times business pages and our recently relaunched Australian Business website, News Digital Media now has one of the most attractive online business products in the market,” said Ed Smith, NDM chief commercial officer.

Obama gets in your Facebook

January 20, 2009

This is a great example of a website thinking outside of the usual parameters of publishing, and building an alliance that bridges the gap between breaking news and social networking.

THE inauguration of president-elect Barack Obama promises to be the biggest online social networking event ever early tomorrow morning (AEST time). and Facebook are linking up so anyone can make a comment on the CNN website about the coverage, and have that comment dynamically featured on their Facebook page, US-based Mediaweek reports. Live will stream live footage. A mini-Facebook window which will be integrated on screen so that those who comment can see responses from their friends on Facebook.

In addition, as users make comments while watching the inauguration on, their profiles on will be instantly updated—along with links carrying the phrase “via Live”, potentially driving more viewership, said CNN.

“We’re building the technical infrastructure for the possibility that this may be the most watched event ever on the Internet,” said president KC Estenson.

CNN has signed several of its top advertisers to sponsor the event, reports Mediaweek. During breaks in its webcast, Live will run video ad spots, as well as adjacent banner ads.

Gaza conflict drives new media use

January 8, 2009

LIKE the recent Mumbai terrorist attacks before it, the Israeli-Gaza conflict is emerging as a testing ground for the use of new media and social networking as reporting tools.


The development of new trends in communication is being accelerated by crisis events such as those aforementioned in the Middle East and India, and closer to home, Queensland’s wild weather late last year (as I discussed here).

When information is limited, access is restricted and timing is critical, the use of tools such as Twitter and blogs is a necessity – not a novelty – for journalists trying to know what is going on at ground level.

The has brought together a summary of who is using what in the current Middle Eastern conflict, from journalists trying to access new sources of information, to the combatants turning to social networks to win the public relations battle while fighting under the world’s spotlight.

If your job is to keep on top of digital communication trends, it is worth a read.

How to sell online in three easy steps

December 17, 2008

DO you have a small newspaper website? Are you looking for any tips for selling ads online?

We’ve just posted a column over at the Sales and Marketing blog that’s sure to be of some use to you. Gary Sosniecki, an American newspaper consultant, has advice for getting those advertisers to embrace your website, particularly in a small-town environment where they are reluctant to go beyond the print medium.

Click here for the story or click on the Sales and Marketing blog on the blogroll to the right for more sales ideas.

New tools help online ads hit the target

December 1, 2008

NEWS Digital Media (NDM) has launced a two-pronged strategy to improve its advertising service, coinciding with News Ltd announcing a special creative book to boost sales in the print side of the business.

NDM’s Audience Targeting and Contextual Targeting tools are “two powerful advertising targeting initiatives created to help advertisers connect with their target audience”, the online publisher said in a statement.

Audience Targeting tracks a reader’s browser history to segment them into categories that are useful to advertisers, such as ‘health conscious’, ‘parents’, ‘small businesses’ and ‘media savvy’.

NDM would work with advertisers to develop more segments as demand dictated, the company said.

Contextual Targeting relates advertising to the content it would appear in conjunction with. Advertisers can target desirable readers by nominating certain meta data – background information within articles and other content such as key words and headlines.

A hybrid car manufacturer could primarily appear next to articles about global warming and climate change, for example. Alternatively, the tool could be used in an exclusive application, such as preventing a car ad from appearing next to any stories about car accidents.

Online ads can be brand boosters

November 26, 2008

THE Interactive Advertising Bureau today released a case study proving the ability of online ads to lift brand awareness.

In a joint project between five key online publishers – including Fairfax Digital, News Digital Media, ninemsn, MediaSmart and Yahoo!7Nielsen Online research and Kelloggs, an online campaign for breakfast cereal Sultana Bran was measured for effectiveness in lifting brand awareness and intention to buy. Five-point increases were achieved in areas such as awareness, consideration.

One point of interest was that the evidence showed increases were disproportionate to the number of survey respondents who reported they remembered seeing the campaign.

Nielsen’s Tony Marlow said this indicated an effect on a subliminal level during the presentation of the findings at Cafe Sydney this morning.

You can read more at IAB here and;

Download the full report at

The $300 newspaper website

November 18, 2008

IT’S not easy for smaller newspaper publishers to keep up with the digital times – particularly those independents among you who don’t have a template website to use such as Fairfax’s YourGuide pages or News Ltd’s WhereILive, writes Brett Taylor, Editorial Coordinator, PANPA.

But using technology that is freely available, your online presence doesn’t have to be difficult or expensive to implement.

If you’ve been paying close attention to PANPA’s new website and these blogs, you’ll have seen that we’ve done two things.

We’ve launched a website at that hosts all our static pages, and we’ve created a series of blogs on the WordPress blogging system. The beauty is, through a bit of coding by Realview (a member of ours) who built our new site, the content on the WordPress blogs automatically feeds straight onto the main website.

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