A few links from the past week or so.
The Guardian revealed a new url for the US – guardiannews.com – marking the start of its digital operation in New York. The new venture – headed up by Janine Gibson, formerly editor of guardian.co.uk – will create a hub for Guardian readers in the US, combining the innovation and energy of a start-up with ground-breaking journalism and the backing of the Guardian brand.
Media companies and content creators may not see themselves as having anything in common with a giant retailing entity, but the reality is that they need to understand the behavior and interests of their users or customers (which they call readers or listeners or viewers) just like Walmart does. Why do people click on certain stories and not others? How long do they spend on a page and where do they go after they leave? That’s the kind of information that tools like Omniture and comScore can provide — but real-time tools like Chartbeat and the new analytical offering from Twitter can add another element that provides even more data about activity and intent.
Hearst Magazines is aiming to improve its digital strategy through the integration of HTML5, the company announced plans early Tuesday to implement the platform on the majority of its websites through out the fourth quarter of 2011 and into 2012, according to Mark Weinberg, vice president of programming and product strategy for Hearst Digital Media.
Facebook will delay its initial public offering until the end of next year so employees can focus on developing products for the social networking website, the Financial Times has reported.
A prominent group of US banks and investment funds with substantial investments in News Corporation has issued a fresh legal complaint accusing the company of widespread corporate misconduct extending far beyond the phone-hacking excesses of News of the World.
The number of people playing social media games is shocking. Hundreds of millions of dollars are spent on it every year and that number is expected to top a billion. Social Media Gaming is as Astounding as Social Media Itself. Online social networking sites like Facebook and MySpace have become unexpectedly successful new additions to the Internet, and their success is partly attributable to the unbelievable success of social gaming.
The award-winning Independent columnist Johann Hari has apologised for plagiarising the work of others to improve his interviews and will take unpaid leave of absence from the paper until 2012. Hari also apologised for editing the Wikipedia entries of people he had clashed with, using the pseudonym David Rose, “in ways that were juvenile or malicious”, saying he was “mortified to have done this”. He admitted calling “one of them antisemitic and homophobic, and the other a drunk”.
Allegations of quote-stealing and factual embellishment by Mr Hari have been swirling for months, at first in the blogosphere and then in the mainstream media. I have not posted about the whole sorry saga to date because—at the end of the day—a hack is only a hack, and the press already spends too much time talking and thinking about itself. But something about the weasel wording of Mr Hari’s apology today sticks in the craw. I have also been depressed to see a chorus of well-known journalists leap to Mr Hari’s defence, arguing that what he did was silly or foolish, but is not really his fault.