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–30– OnSquared (This time, for sure)

August 13, 2013

I retired this blog several years ago. I keep it around for archival purposes and a look back at the earlier days of the online news business.

Scott Anderson | August, 2013

Squared’s back

July 3, 2011

At least temporarily. Visit us at as we try out new curation platform We’re also now on tumblr. And Facebook.

Here are the latest heds:

It's a scary number, Jakob Nielsen reports. "Users often leave Web pages in 10–20 seconds, but pages with a clear value proposition can hold people's attention for much longer because visit-durations follow a negative Weibull distribution."

Unsaid in this piece on's use of "responsive design" on its new paywalled HTML5-based approach is it avoids the need for "responsive revenue sharing" with a certain Cuperinto-based company named after a fruit.

Judges have been pullling the teeth and claws out of copyright troll Righthaven for months. And now comes yet another crippling extraction -- a key customer bolts. 


"The new chief executive of MediaNews Group, publisher of the Denver Post and 50 other newspapers, said it was “a dumb idea” for the nation’s second-largest newspaper chain to sign up with copyright troll Righthaven.


"The Denver-based publisher’s year-long copyright infringement litigation deal with Righthaven is terminating at month’s end, said John Paton, who replaced Dean Singleton to lead the company on Wednesday.


“The issues about copyright are real,” Paton told in a telephone interview. “But the idea that you would hire someone on an — essentially — success fee to run around and sue people at will who may or may not have infringed as a way of protecting yourself … does not reflect how news is created and disseminated in the modern world.”

A huge move in the local online content space -- Google this morning announced it has acquired Zagat and will make its ratings "a cornerstone of our local offering." (And, as Tweeters are quickly noting, Google's proclamations that it's not a content company are ringing a little hollower now).

"Righthaven, which was founded more than a year ago to monetize print news content through copyright infringement lawsuits, has suffered a myriad of courtroom setbacks in recent months.


"Among them, it was sanctioned $5,000 for misleading a federal judge, ordered to pay $34,000 in opposing legal fees, and was told over and again by judges that it has no legal standing to even file the lawsuits.


"With all those issues now on appeal, the litigation factory’s machinery is grinding to a halt."

The bitly blog examines the half-life of a shared link. 

I am afraid I am operating under the impression that Google, Groupon, Apple, Facebook and Twitter, new media startups and scores of garage entrepreneurs are out innovating newspapers on a daily basis. I am afraid I find little newspaper innovation breath-taking. I guess I am convinced that risk-takers without the mindset boundaries of newspapering are legitimate threats to newspaper survival.


If you believe I have a point I hope you’ll consider that if journalism is to be saved by newspaper practitioners, the hand cuffs must come off. We can’t think like newspaper people anymore.


We have to have the open minds of entrepreneurs. We have to have the innovative imaginations of liberated explorers. We have to embrace risk like bungee jumpers. We have to listen to young people as if they are our saviors, because they probably are.


If journalism is to be saved by newspaper practitioners who bring the right values of truth-telling, minimizing harm, independence and accountability, then newspaper mindsets must escape the prison of day-to-day crises spawned by business troubles.


-- Tim McGuire, ASU School of Journalism, former editor, Minneapolis Star Tribune.

Click above for full version of the infographic.

Earlier Posts on Tumblr


October 24, 2008

Squared’s attention to Squared has appallingly declined since he left Mama Tribune six months ago, as those of you who visit or get fed have noticed. Curiously, the going premise after the Package Fairy visited was there’d be plenty of time to focus on Squared during the “sabbatical.” 

Turns out there was the time; there just, as every day passed, was less and less interest in blogging about online news, in general, and the entire upheaved and upheaving media space, in particular.

Sporadic blather and half-hearted fits and starts aren’t good enough for you guys. So let’s officially call it a day and, nearly five years after we began chronicling the online news space, pop the freeze frame button. At least  for now.  And move on to other things and other ways of communicating those things.

(And no, Squared didn’t decide this because Wired has officially declared blogging  to be washed up , altho he thought many valid points were made. That Squared found that Wired link on what has become a rare Romenesko  visit was more telling. In the old days, Romenesko or his feed were a multiple-times-a-day must. Now? Twice a week, maybe.) 

There are plenty of other very smart and helpful folks writing and blogging and tweeting and whatevering about the online news space; many of them are in Squared’s blogroll (which hasn’t been updated in months; problem personified). You know who they are and where they are. And you’ve got all the tools to find ’em and use ’em. (And a neat brand new one you should check out, Twine. Squared may actually reappear in a setting  like that at some point). 

Squared hoped attending ONA 2008 last month in DC would get him recharged and back to blogging about the space. It was a great conference, but no dice on the inspiration front.

Frankly, some of what’s going on now in the space has become just turn of the screw stuff and variations on a theme. Lather. Rinse. Repeat. That’s in no way to be dismissive about the new and interesting things still being done out there; Squared just doesn’t have that much interest for now in tracking and chewing on them to the degree that he once did.

Facebook and LinkedIn are where Squared’s alter ego spends almost all of his networking time now. Twitter was indeed something that Squared and SBAnderson and even MistyBeagle got more juiced about at ONA, but prattle-on-ers that we are, we’ve had a hard time getting our paws and minds around that puny character limit. But we’re going to work at it.

So SBAnderson and sometimes Squared will catch you in the other places. Just not here — for now. 

So long. Keep in touch.

Sit Ubu. Sit.Good dog!

Early UGC

September 26, 2008

Free Range

Free Range archives

Knock Knock

September 26, 2008

Who’s there?


Orange who?

Orange you ever going to post to this freakin’ blog again, Squaredster?