Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Let readers see (and edit) their own data

Work's been heavy lately. Tomorrow, a post on triaging limited programming resources. (As if there's some other kind...) Today, a quick suggestion for winning trust: let readers access their own usage data.

Job one, of course, is to start collecting readers' usage data. Seriously. Let readers know about it, tell them how they'll benefit, let them opt in or out, but start it right away and do it any way you can.

Job two is inspired by this Fredshouse brainstorm (courtesy Lifehacker): Google should create a digital privacy tool for all its users that would let them view, delete and set expiration dates for all data that's collected about them.

We should do that, too.

Continue reading...

Monday, October 02, 2006

Not the feed you were looking for?

Move along; move along.

If your feed's been acting up in the last week, it's not your fault or imagination -- I've been upgrading to the new Blogger Beta in order to add features like topic tags (below every post), improved archives (at right) and peekaboo summaries (rather than always sending you to a separate page to read the full post). Thanks for your patience.

Continue reading...

Sunday, October 01, 2006

Newspapers should be classifieds clearinghouses

Everybody and his brother's startup has a free classified service these days. Even if you're ignoring all but the bigger players -- Craigslist, Base, Edgeio, eBay -- who can keep track?

Hint: they're black and white and read in large but ever-decreasing quantities.

For the moment, newspapers in the smallest markets should probably still be trying to minimize the content that leaks onto competitors' sites. But in mid-size markets (and, before long, in the smaller ones) papers can keep offering value to classified advertisers by offering a service the big boys don't: syndication of your ad throughout the Internet. Anybody who pays for a classified should get it listed on all the free sites in addition to the print edition and the newspaper's Web site.

Three startups called Mpire, vFlyer and Postlets are trying to make this service into an entire business, the
New York Times reports today. (While they're at it, they check your spelling and suggest an effective layout.)

It's not clear whether these guys are going to make money for such a relatively simple service. But if newspapers can seed their ads into both the Web-savvy and Web-illiterate markets, they'll be saving their clients a lot of time.

No time for the staff to do all these postings, you say? Well, I happen to know of three fledgling Web sites who might make great partners for your classified department...

Continue reading...


Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.5 License.