Inevitably, questions and even tensions arose when the ingrained Times culture rubbed against emerging digital sensibilities. For years, getting a story published on page A1 of The New York Times — the holy grail for most reporters — was a protracted ritual that involved two meetings with a large cast involving increasingly senior editors. The process by which the stories were pitched and debated took hours over numerous meetings across all the different departments.
In comparison, the process of getting a story onto the home page of The New York Times Web site often involved lobbying a 20-something gatekeeper, generally via instant message. The editors of blogs, who had no guarantee their content would even appear in the paper, were strategic about what we would lobby for — and when to do it. The right home page “refer” could send page views soaring.
Archive for July, 2011
For an article on PBS’ MediaShift, I interviewed editorial directors at Conde Nast’s Golf Digest to get an inside look into how the magazine developed its iPad app.
Bob Carney, the magazine’s brand editor, is someone who grappled with this question in the months leading up to the subscription’s launch.
“For Golf Digest, I think at the very beginning we thought we’d add every kind of bell and whistle we can,” he told me in a phone interview. “And we found out that not only is that costly, but really for someone coming to Golf Digest, what they want is more of what they get in the magazine. So for the magazine, instruction and service information about the equipment are the most important things, and the iPad app ought to take that and extend it, not go somewhere else.”
For an article on The Next Web, I interviewed Jeffrey Harris, the social media director for The Aspen Ideas Festival, about how he optimized the conference events for wide online distribution:
As conference attendees become more digitally connected, news emerges from an event at a faster and faster rate. A word has hardly escaped Steve Jobs’ mouth during one of his keynote addresses before it’s tweeted out or live-blogged for the millions of readers who are following along at home. Panelists are no longer speaking to a small, select group, but can now have their speeches dissected in real time by people thousands of miles away.
Google isn’t just in a war with Facebook, it’s at war with multiple companies across multiple industries. In fact, Google is fighting a multi-front war with a host of tech giants for control over some of the most valuable pieces of real estate in technology. Whether it’s social, mobile, browsing, local, enterprise, or even search, Google is being attacked from all angles. And make no mistake about it, they are fighting back and fighting back, hard. Entrepreneur-turned-venture capitalist Ben Horowitz laid the groundwork for this in his post Peacetime CEO / Wartime CEO, saying Larry Page “seems to have determined that Google is moving into war and he clearly intends to be a wartime CEO. This will be a profound change for Google and the entire high-tech industry.” Horowitz is exactly right.