AOL, SEO mills, and the newsroom


News this morning is that AOL is going down the path already cleared by companies like Demand Media and Associated Content, and getting into the business of commissioning small content “piecework” based on consumer interest as gauged by search queries (and advertiser interest as gauged by keyword prices). In other words: if you know people […]

Levy: “Say Everything” 2009’s “best technology-related business book”

Forgive this author a moment of own-horn-tooting. It was always flattering and humbling to me to hear Dreaming in Code spoken of in the same breath as The Soul of a New Machine. With Say Everything I also had a model in mind: Hackers, Steven Levy’s groundbreaking and still-valuable account of the pioneering mavericks of […]

A geeky problem with Mac scripting

Here’s what turns out to be the most intractable problem I’ve encountered in my move to OSX as my primary work platform: For years I used a programmers’ text editor tool in Windows called Ultraedit. It worked great and allowed me to record macros. The most indispensible one, which I used constantly, was for automating […]

Miscellany of the moment

Over at MediaShift’s Idea Lab blog, where as a Knight News Challenge grantee I’m posting occasionally, I’ve published a discussion of an interesting problem we’re grappling with at MediaBugs: How do you organize a set of categories for all the different kinds of mistakes journalists can make? Do weigh in over there and help us […]

Why “junk traffic” isn’t so junky

I’ve been reading Ryan Chittum’s recent posts at Columbia Journalism Review about the whole Murdoch/WSJ “We’re seceding from Google” flap. Chittum applauds what he sees as a new appreciation in media circles for the “loyal readership” metric as opposed to the “total monthly visitors” tally, and argues, accurately enough, that the core readership — the […]

Mac life after Ecco

For years I organized my life with the wonderful, now-orphaned and somewhat antiquated Windows outliner Ecco Pro. For me Ecco was versatile enough to function effectively as both a todo-list manager and a repository for random information, scattered ideas and research. It really could do it all. I’ve always used both Macs and PCs but […]