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Squared’s back

July 3rd, 2011 · No Comments · Uncategorized

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.

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