Comments Get an Upgrade at the NY Times

Digital publishing news for July 31, 2013

The New York Times has started experimenting with its placement of comments, reports

Marc Lavallee, a deputy editor of interactive news at the New York Times said, “the comments were elevated from below the line, placed alongside the story in a similar style to how New York Times’ much-discussed Snowfall presentation uses pull quotes and and visual pointers alongside the main narrative.”

Lavallee explains their goal for these types of experiments: “The commenting experiment is part of a broader effort to weave our digital storytelling – graphics, video, engagement, – into the narrative itself, instead of publishing them to different places on the web and making the reader to navigate between pages.”

If this type of comment architecture becomes popular it could breathe new life into the way comments are used as trust signals in search engines.

Mobile Email Opens On the Rise

eMarketer has a new report on how mobile devices are being used to read emails. “In May 2013, research from marketing solutions provider Harland Clarke Digital found that consumers primarily in the US used the desktop to open 55.2% of business-to-consumer (B2C) and business-to-business (B2B) marketing emails. The smartphone took one-quarter of email opens. And when adding in the tablet, mobile’s share of exclusive email opens rose to nearly one-third.”

They also report that, “desktop and smartphone email opens happened most often between 10am and 4pm—during the typical workday. Tablets, meanwhile, saw the greatest percentage of opens in the evening, between 6pm and 10pm.”

Different consumption behavior for different devices. Makes sense considering if you assume that most people use their phones during the day and curl up with a tablet on the couch at night.


Big Acquisition for Hour Media Group

FOLIO Magazine reports that Hour Media Group has purchased Greenspring Media Group. “Greenspring, based in Minneapolis, publishes 14 magazines, visitor guides and other custom publications for the Minnesota and Twin Cities regions, including the 58,000-circ Minnesota Monthly. Also included in the deal are the brands’ associated websites and a group of eight local events.”

Greenspring’s previous owner American Public Media Group president Jon McTaggart commented on the sale:  “We believe that Greenspring Media Group is best served by a publisher with expertise and interests in local and regional publications, and which can help magazines such as Minnesota Monthly continue to thrive.”

New CEO At Bloomberg Media Group

Justin Smith has been named the new CEO of the Bloomberg Media Group reports FOLIO Magazine. “Smith is the president of Atlantic Media and will start his new job on September 16, reporting to Bloomberg president and CEO Dan Doctoroff.”

Interestingly, Atlantic Media will not seek a replacement for Smith right away. Atlantic Media Chairman David Bradley said, “after reflection, I’ve decided that, rather than appoint a Justin successor, we will let the current leadership continue independent of any reporting structure—save to me—and grow to fill the empty spaces Justin’s departure leaves behind,” he says in the memo. “In fact, I found this an easy call.”

Potential Suitor for Newsweek

The NY Post is reporting that Jay Penske is interested in purchasing Newsweek from IAC/InterActive Corp. “Penske — of the auto-racing family — already owns HollywoodLife and Deadline Hollywood and last year bought Variety from Reed Elsevier.”


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