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Russia passes law to make high traffic bloggers part of media

Russia has changed their law to make high traffic bloggers part of the media, forcing them to adopt the same checks and balances other media organisation adhere and are subject to.

Not sure they have got the numbers right, but I guess you have to start somewhere.

The amendments to the law On Information, Information Technology and Information Protection plus other related laws, informally referred to as the law on bloggers, have become effective on August 1, RIA Novosti writes.

The law requires individuals whose blog attracts a daily readership of more than 3,000 to take on the full responsibilities of mass media outlets. President Vladimir Putin signed the bill into law on May 6 this year.

Before the enforcement of the law, the telecommunications authority, Roskomnadzor, published a methodology for calculating the number of subscribers of personal websites and social networking pages. Personal bloggers will be rated by the number of unique visitors and session duration (full loading estimated at no less than 15 seconds).  Read more »

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Compare and contrast

It is interesting to compare articles by different media on the same topic.

A case in point was yesterday when they were reporting on Cam in the High Court.

First up lets check out the headlines.

Blogger wants journalists’ privileges
-Stuff.co.nz -

Blogger argues for media protection
-New Zealand Herald

Whale Oil flaunts Canon award as evidence he is a journalist
-National Business Review

Journalist/Blogger complex debated today
-Newstalk ZB

Read more »

It all started nine years ago…today

Today is the blog’s birthday…it is nine years old today.

The first post  was a photo of my desk, my phone, some keys and a knife.

Nine years on…this was the start

Things have changed somewhat…back then I was the only reader…and people wondered what I was doing wasting my time on a thing called a blog…what was that anyway?

For nine years I have lived my life in public…sometime too much in public, but that is how it goes.

This was where it has ended up so far.

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and;

Read more »

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APN buys 100% WOBH, Appoints Slater as New Media Editor

MARKET ANNOUNCEMENT

APN TO ACQUIRE 100% OF WHALE OIL BEEF HOOKED  BLOG ASSETS
- APN to move to full ownership of WOBH for $4.273 million
- Purchase price represents an a random number dreamed up by all concerned.
- APN confident in new media as a growth medium and in the ability of WOBH to continue increasing market share
- Majority of APN’s earnings post-Acquisition expected to be in growth businesses (radio, outdoor and digital)
- Exclusive 10 year agreement with WOBH and editor Cam Slater secured to operate WOBH and broadcast a new blog radio show via the iHeartRadio digital radio platform in New Zealand
- APN appoints Cam Slater as New Media Editor

Overview
SYDNEY, 19 February, 2014 – APN News & Media Limited [ASX, NZX: APN] today announced that it will acquire full ownership of Whale Oil Beef Hooked (‘WOBH’) for an enormous amount of hooter (the ‘Acquisition’). The purchase price represents a big truck load of cash beeping backwards into the loading bay of Slater’s bank.

As a result of the Acquisition, APN will own 100% of the largest and most effective news and political blog with an audience that exceeds most of the rest of their stable of newspapers. and even some of their radio assets. WOBH writes for an audience that exceeds 2.5 million page views each month. Read more »

Daniel Hannan nicely sums up MSM v Blogs

Daniel Hannan explores and explains the sometimes unhappy relationship between traditional media and blogs…from his own blog, that is ironically part of The Telegraph.

Back in the pioneering days, blogs were seen as a challenge to the established media. And, in one sense, they were. When Guido scalped his first minister, Peter Hain, in 2008, something changed, though the newspapers were slow to notice. When, the following year, he aimed his tomahawk at Derek Draper and Damien McBride, old-style pundits were still laboriously explaining to their readers what these blog thinggies were. By the time Tim Yeo became Guido’s latest victim, no one needed to ask any more.

When a dozen dead tree newspapers determined the agenda, the media’s chief power lay in not reporting a story – not through conspiracy, but from shared assumptions about what constituted news. Take the leak of the “hide the decline” emails from climatologists at the University of East Anglia in late 2009. At first, the astonishing trove was reported only by bloggers. It wasn’t that environment correspondents were meeting behind drawn blinds and vowing to repress the discovery; it was that, being uncomplicated believers in the AGW orthodoxy, they couldn’t see why the emails were a story. Only when repeatedly needled by online commentators were they were eventually forced to report perhaps the biggest event in its field of the century.

The key moment came when the story was picked up by James Delingpole, whose post attracted 1.6 million hits. Tellingly, that post appeared here, on Telegraph Blogs. Blogs were now part of the established media. In the early days, some had believed that the MSM would be displaced, others that the old brands would conscript the upstarts. In fact, something more interesting happened: the distinction broke down.   Read more »

Whaleoil is mobile again

The Team at Cre8d implemented the new theme for Whaleoil late on Friday.  You may have noticed some small visual changes for the main site, but the objective was to fix the mobile view for Whaleoil.

We pretty much didn’t have much to “fix” – we needed something that worked, at all!

So try it out on your phones, tablets, iPads and phablets – it’s going to zoom along.

This is last month’s breakdown of platforms

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It will be interesting if those stats change significantly now that Whaleoil does a better job of delivering mobile content.

Now that the Mobile Theme project is off the list, the next thing we need to focus on is to get the merchandising store up and running!  We have a supplier – next to-do is to put up a little e-shop.  Will keep you informed.

Another month gone, how did we do?

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With February a short month, we still got our coveted 2 mil.  Always hard with the additional public holidays, so that’s made the Team happy.

Thank you, and goodbye… to Nick.  Nick Bird has been a faithful Whaleoil volunteer for well over a year, and it’s sad to have him leave us.  Thank you for all your help Nick, and all the best with your studies.  Whaleoil volunteers may all be doing a relatively small part every day, but add those together and it allows Cameron and I to spend more time on the meatier stuff.   Read more »

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We are in the finalists

The ESET NetGuide Web Awards Finalists have been announced and we are in the finalists for Best Blog.

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So…we are competing with a travel, arts and fitness blog, a blog about cats and dogs, a blog about a wedding that hasn’t posted a single thing since October last year and a blog by a librarian with a kid.  Read more »

Does anyone still read the news?

Apparently not according to research by Microsoft. 

If analysts at Microsoft Research are correct, a startling number of American Web users are no longer paying attention to the news as it is traditionally defined. In a recent study of “filter bubbles,” Sharad Goel, Seth Flaxman, and Justin Rao asked how many Web users actually read the news online. Out of a sample of 1.2 million American users, just over fifty thousand, or four per cent, were “active news customers” of “front section” news. The other ninety-six per cent found other things to read.

The authors defined an active news customer as someone who read at least ten substantive news articles and two opinion pieces in a three-month period—if you remove the requirement of reading opinion pieces, the number of news readers climbs to fourteen per cent. The authors studied U.S.-based Web users who, between March and May of 2013, accumulated a total of 2.3 billion page views.

News can be a vague category; the authors defined by collecting news sites with appreciable traffic (the New York Times, the Huffington Post, and Fox News), blogs (Daily Kos and Breitbart), and regional dailies (the Seattle Times and the Denver Post). Using “machine learning” algorithms, the authors separated what, based on word usage, they considered front-section news from the other content on news sites, like sports, weather, life style, and entertainment. What’s left is the narrow, classical news article, about, say, the State of the Union, as opposed to one about the latest adventures of Justin Bieber or Farrah Abraham.

Various influences shaped the study. The data was collected only from Internet Explorer users (who, the authors say, tend to be slightly older), and it represents only those who agreed to make their Web-browsing history available. Additionally, just because people don’t surf news Web sites doesn’t mean that they don’t get news from other sources, like physical newspapers, talk radio, Twitter, “The Colbert Report,” or the evening news.

That said, the sample size, 1.2 million, is impressive—far greater than that of a typical survey. And the number of people whom the study shows to be paying attention to the news online is consistent with the low ratings of cable news during the same period. Also, as opposed to relying on what people said they did, the Microsoft researchers drew on a record of what they actually did, which is significantly different. In a 2012 Pew survey, for example, thirty-nine per cent of people said that they had read news online the day before. The difference between the two numbers—fourteen and thirty-nine—may, in part, reflect different definitions of “news.” (The Pew survey did not define the term.) And, of course, what people like to think they do is often different from what they do.   Read more »

The Axis of Envy or The Overton Window as it applies to blogs

A reader emails some thoughts about media, blogs and the future:

Hi Cam

On holiday now and have some time to ponder the role of Blogs in NZ.

The New Zealand Herald, TV3 and TVNZ (The Main Stream Media or MSM) are not comfortable with the rise of Blogs and especially the rise of Whaleoil.  I have spent some time considering this and believe the major driver for their concern is that they fear the loss of their privileged position as the ordained elite guardians of enlightened thought in New Zealand.

To understand this we first need to understand the Overton Window.  The Overton Window concept comes out of an American Think Tank (www.mackinac.org) and was created by Joe Overton in the mid 90’s. Joe wrote an essay in which he observed that any collection of public policies within a policy area, such as education, can be arranged in order from more free to less free (or from less government intervention to more).

He also noticed that debates on policy tended to be limited by the boundaries of public acceptance, and ideas outside those boundaries are usually rejected with little examination. If the change you are pushing is outside of those boundaries, your chances for reasoned debate and more importantly changes to public policy or law are very low. Overton called these boundaries a window and hence the term The Overton Window.   Read more »