Tuesday, December 29, 2009


Coming out of Xmas, starting to study the Guardian more carefully. There was nothing at all for two days last week. Then this week so far no section on Media or Education. I know the Technology has gone but this may be what 2010 may be like. The sections will vanish as and when the advertising drops away. Content will still turn up on other pages.

Today the theme seems to be the e-book. An actual advert from Sony on the whole back page. News about Amazon sales through Kindle overtaking hard copy, maybe just because of the number of Kindles as presents. LG are planning a range of devices and have a contract for e-paper. Not much news about education as such but a letter follows earlier reports on cuts to university funding. Lewis Elton suggests more use is made of the Open University, "arguably the most successful innovation in higher education in the past fifty years". Elton suggest that expanding the OU would be "far more cost effective than any other method to treat the present crisis."

However the OU methods could be applied more widely. I am following the Cloudworks site and suggesting e-books links. Hosted at the OU but globally connected. So far education technology has mostly been based on paper. The thing is my guess is that the Education section of the Guardian rarely covers how gigital changes this. There will be supplements soon around BETT.


No Media section but the Scotland Correspondent , Severin Carrell, reports that culture Minister Margaret Hodge is pressing for faster introduction of powers for libraries to archive UK websites. That is UK plus Trinity College Dublin. This story could have started in Scotland, the National Libray of Scotland as wel as the British Library is reported as "dismayed" at delays since legislation six years ago . Also mentioned the National Library of Wales, Cambridge University Library and the Bodleian in Oxford. Seems quite complicated as a structure. Many UK sites have a global reach so the archiving may not suit an arrangement developed for print.

Carrell reports that "the internet is fast becoming the dominant form of publication in the UK : about a third of all works now published are only in digital form and that number is incereasing." Included from 2010 will be the Technology section for the Guardian. I thought this was the most interesting news around the time of the Online Information event. OhmyNews editors changed my headline to make it more general rather than just about the Guardian. I think the Guardian could do more to explain itself. The Media coverage is often negative towards bloggers and web news. If there is a strategy to move the Guardian online, why not explain?

Sunday / Previously

Peter Preston claims that the industry structure for newspapers in the USA "bears scant relationship to anything in Great Britain". So the "Lear-like self-flagellation" from New York has no relevance. What is he thinking of? Fortunately Buzzmachine continues as a blog. The work around a future business model for news organisations is surely worth checking out.

37% annual growth for what Preston calls "Guardian and Observer" website. But this comes in a disjointed paragraph from what is happening with newspaper economics or the view from New York. By the way, book publishers in New York seem to be taking a different view on Scribd. London not connected at the moment.

Previously Preston wrote in the Guardian objecting to getting so much email greetings instead of proper printed cards, part of the "wasteland of cyberspace". Maybe in 2010 Preston will find something positive to say, even about bloggers. Readers of the Guardian and Observer may contribute content online and this could be part of a new business model. There were reports that the Business and Media section will be part of the main paper soon. The Simon Caulkin column was dropped but a LinkedIn complaint group continues. Search on "The Observer needs Caulking!" What would it take for this energy to be part of the Guardian/Observer website?

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

FT model makes a lot of sense

Still no news about news re Guardain Tech. They are closing down then print, moving online. But there is no comment.

Meanwhile the FT and Cengage launched a digital archive of FT to 2006 yesterday at Online Information. I did some video but don't know how it looks. More on this later.

Today spoke to people at FT stand. They have a subscription offer for digital content on any platform that includes Factiva Lexis Nexis etc etc - all the combiners of content widely regarded as legit, at least here in Olympia. The deal seems to be that FT results do not show up unless the password check out. If you go direct to the FT site you get three clicks, not five as in the new Google model.

This seems to combine reasonable access for free and an income for the hard working journalists. So a possible future would be that you need to subscribe to the News of the World to get the best value from Microsoft.