A week in Ukraine

I'm back in the United States and mostly unjetlagged from a week in Ukraine, where I spent most of the time with the Chernihiv Media Group  in a program operated by IREX and funded by the U.S. State Department. Ukraine is a country at war, but it's a strange one, geographically isolated to an eastern region where pro-Moscow rebels (and covert Russian soldiers) are trying to break away and reconnect with Russia.

Once a pioneer, now a piece of history

Well, this makes me feel old: I'm now a source of oral history. I was interviewed recently for the Internet History Podcast by by Brian McCullough, whose attention was caught by my complaint about revisionist history and the "original sin" myth.

 

Killing the golden goose

One of the site engagement metrics that I monitor is pages per visitor.

It's a number that's under a lot of downward pressure as social media, especially Facebook, becomes more dominant in the user experience.

Revisionist online journalism history and the 'original sin' myth

A column by Aurora Sentinel editor Dave Perry is making the rounds on Facebook, I think primarily because the weekly paper is arguing that Denver is better off with a strong daily newspaper than without one, and that's something journalists like to hear. I happen to agree, but I gagged when I got to the part of the article that describes the impact of the Internet:

Most of you really don’t have a clue what’s happened.

Bluffton Today, ten years later

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Bluffton Today, a hyperlocal newspaper whose evolution reflects many of the major forces operating on journalism in this country.

Two decades into the "big digital hugeness"

The Star Tribune in Minneapolis is moving to an office tower down the street. In the process, staff archaeologists unearthed a video of the 1995 unveiling of Star Tribune Online to the staff. Jamie Hutt posted it on YouTube. It's an hour long, which is more of watching myself than I can stand, but Adrian Holovaty made it through and pointed me to this:

Responding to mobile trends

A couple of recent (re)launches that address the continuing growth of mobile Internet usage:

Business in Savannah got a shiny new responsive design last month. Chris White wrote about it. The BiS brand is used for the daily business coverage of the Savannah Morning News as well as a separate monthly business magazine.

Something to think about on Labor Day

What happens when your job is automated out of existence? "Knowledge workers" have imagined themselves immune, but machine learning changes everything. It is great that technology lifts the yoke of labor from humanity. It's not so great when humanity is left with nothing. In our economic system, the benefits of such change do not accrue to the freed labor. We may need to rethink that.

Traditional American values

It is the Fourth of July, Independence Day in the United States, a day when we dress up in red/white/blue outfits, eat hot dogs and barbecue, and set off small explosives. It also is a day for pontificating about what it is to be an American. We don't really need a special day for that, as we now are in a state of continuous political campaigning and under a barrage of propaganda from our "deregulated" broadcasting industry.

The episode in which I cause the sky to fall on journalism as we know it

I was part of a panel discussion of metrics and analytics in the newsroom a couple of weeks ago at the Journalism Interactive conference at the University of Maryland. I approached the subject with some trepidation. Some journalists are resistant to the very idea of measurement, often downright innumerate, and sometimes hostile to any idea that doesn't lead us all back into the honey and clover of the 1980s, before the Internet came along and turned it all into snakes and bees.