An idea. We've noticed over the last year or so that more and more magazines are joining the sidebar with blogs that eschew the standalone, editorial-mimicking layout of early magazine websites and utilizing the traditional blog format (AJ
, Creative Review
, etc.). Granted, the thrust is from the creative community, where a steady drip of news and inviting imagery finds the perfect outlet online. There's also the sudden interest in print on demand, via a more curatorial, bespoke approach - with sites like The Newspaper Club
(born out of the 'Things Our Friends Have Written On The Internet 2008
' project) and The Blog Paper
, which promises to collate comments, photos and comments with 'the highest rated and most discussed content ... promoted to a printed paper published in London.'
What was once in print and paid for is now online and free. What was once confined online - the long-form blog - is now breaking back into print. There are some inversions at work. Traditionally, the most valuable commodity was imagery, yet now pictures seep online for nothing, given away like candy to entice people to actually do more than merely click around. Instead, long form journalism
, whether in the form of the multi-thousand word piece of investigative writing or even the dense, multi-layered blog post, is the new in-demand media commodity. The challenge is to get people to pay for it.
The gradual proliferation of paywalls and rumblings that large media outlets are toying with moving online content away from the free model (if it ever was a model) suggest that someone needs to come up with a subscription system that just manages everything
, from international publications to rural newspapers (Johnston Press websites start charging for news
). Although there's apparently a move to creating an 'iTunes of the press' (Magazine publishers said to be 'very close' to digital distribution deal
), we think a personal subscription service, a splice between a paperboy
, rss and micropayments, would be far more attractive, providing a 'click to read button' on every pay-protected story that simply leeches a tiny micropayment - literally a few cents - from your online wallet.
project would be the Oystercard
of the internet, preventing you from accumulating excess charges once you've reached a site's maximum charge, with usage, options and history all available through a web interface, app, widget, what have you, with credit that can be topped up, won, given away, earned or transferred. Something the Open Intelligence Agency
would like to take on? *
Speaking of seeping imagery, there is an overwhelmingtendency for websites to mimic their print counterparts, particularly the women's lifestyle trope of offering 'XYZ Beautiful Things' as a cover line come-on to entice the reader into a purchase. Only there's no purchase, just the all-seeing eye of Google. Hence the success of aggregators like Alltop
, which are rife with this kind of article, initally conjured up by picture blogs and link blogs and now adapted by popular newspapers with a high profile online presence (e.g. Dailys Mail and Telegraph). Sometimes the association is less tenuous than others (ten fantastic kitchen concepts
, transportable homes
), sometimes the collections are purely prurient (10 worst high speed crashes
, 10 worst sporting injuries ever
(can't even click on that one)), but they are all linkbait at heart. Occasionally, just occasionally, the list post offers a springboard into something with a little more sustenance: the 50 most interesting articles on wikipedia
Other things. Thiepval in August
, at Continuity in Architecture
/ Dave Wyatt's photographs of Thames Town
) / Wide Area Network
, panoramic photographs by Phil Wolstenhome
(via David Thompson
).History is Made at Night
stumbles upon the crepuscular ruins of BlobbyWorld, highlighted by the uk tabloids
, as well as the Chard and Ilminster News
. The original forum post
, at the excellent 28 days later
, seems to be missing its images. Related, maybe, Zombie Outbreak Simulator
Genuinely perplexed by the Swiss decision to 'ban' minarets
. From a country with such a fine tradition of modern church-building - often by entirely secular architects - the idea that you can a) dictate that a particular architecture form cannot exist and b) how it should look in the first place.
Illustration at top of post comes from the Project Gutenberg
edition of A Short History of English Printing, 1476-1898
, by Henry R. Plomer.
Labels: ideas, technology, things