Bluffton Today, ten years later

This week marks the 10th anniversary of the launch of Bluffton Today, a hyperlocal newspaper whose evolution reflects many of the major forces operating on journalism in this country.

Two decades into the "big digital hugeness"

The Star Tribune in Minneapolis is moving to an office tower down the street. In the process, staff archaeologists unearthed a video of the 1995 unveiling of Star Tribune Online to the staff. Jamie Hutt posted it on YouTube. It's an hour long, which is more of watching myself than I can stand, but Adrian Holovaty made it through and pointed me to this:

Responding to mobile trends

A couple of recent (re)launches that address the continuing growth of mobile Internet usage:

Business in Savannah got a shiny new responsive design last month. Chris White wrote about it. The BiS brand is used for the daily business coverage of the Savannah Morning News as well as a separate monthly business magazine.

Something to think about on Labor Day

What happens when your job is automated out of existence? "Knowledge workers" have imagined themselves immune, but machine learning changes everything. It is great that technology lifts the yoke of labor from humanity. It's not so great when humanity is left with nothing. In our economic system, the benefits of such change do not accrue to the freed labor. We may need to rethink that.

Traditional American values

It is the Fourth of July, Independence Day in the United States, a day when we dress up in red/white/blue outfits, eat hot dogs and barbecue, and set off small explosives. It also is a day for pontificating about what it is to be an American. We don't really need a special day for that, as we now are in a state of continuous political campaigning and under a barrage of propaganda from our "deregulated" broadcasting industry.

The episode in which I cause the sky to fall on journalism as we know it

I was part of a panel discussion of metrics and analytics in the newsroom a couple of weeks ago at the Journalism Interactive conference at the University of Maryland. I approached the subject with some trepidation. Some journalists are resistant to the very idea of measurement, often downright innumerate, and sometimes hostile to any idea that doesn't lead us all back into the honey and clover of the 1980s, before the Internet came along and turned it all into snakes and bees.

Milepost 20

I passed another milepost yesterday. April 1 was my 20th anniversary in digital media. I moved from the print newsroom of the Star Tribune on April 1, 1994, found a desk in the tech office, and started noodling on a website prototype on a Mac Quadra.

Spotted gets a new framework

Back in the last decade we created a community photo-sharing platform called Spotted. The original idea was borrowed from a simple, successful content/marketing program at Cox Interactive Media, where I was executive editor at the turn of the century. We sent someone with a digital camera to an event with instructions to turn around and shoot the spectators, and hand out business cards. The resulting slideshows were huge traffic generators.

Didn't mean to quit blogging

I didn't mean to quit blogging, but I've been busy at work and living in two cities. And honestly, I've grown tired of the old pointless debates: free or paid? is the Internet the end of journalism or a new beginning? and so forth. Twitter has displaced blogging of the "blurb and link" variety, and Facebook has displaced blogging of the "I just want to express myself" flavor. I think that narrows the purpose of a blog, but it does not eliminate it. Maybe I'll do some more, now that I hacked my way past a forgotten password problem.

It's an 'and' universe: responsive design with a companion mobile app

We pulled the veil off today. It's our first foray into fully responsive Web design, adjusting automatically to viewport size with optimizations for smartphone, tablet and desktop viewers. At the same time, we launched a mobile app for iOS and Android.