Gateways in the Chinese wall

In business, a Chinese wall is an information barrier that separates one part of the company from another. In newspapers, there's a Chinese wall between the journalism part (the newsroom) and the business part (advertising), and usually also the opinion part (the editorial page). Outsiders generally don't understand this, but left hand really doesn't know what the right hand is up to, and what's more, often don't want to know.

Getting 'digital first' right in the 'newsroom'

"Digital First!" is a great battle cry, and thank you, John Paton, for giving it to us all. It is pure leadership, a flag planted forward declaring that newspapers now see print as the past and digital as the present and future.

A crazy lady story

I suspect everybody in journalism has their own crazy lady story. I was reminded of mine last night when browsing pages in Roger Ebert's memoir, "Life Itself." Ebert was born and raised in Urbana, Ill., where I lived in the 1970s. While our paths never crossed -- he was already working in Chicago at the time -- I was struck by this reference:

10 things we (should) have learned about mobile and tablet news

For a Society of News Design panel at last weekend's conference in St. Louis, I made a list of 10 discussion points to get things going. Here they are:

End of the road at Morris DigitalWorks

[Update: Michael Romaner has more details and a (we think) complete list of everyone who worked for MDW over the years.]

I just filed my last expense accounts, tying off my final paperwork at Morris DigitalWorks, where I've spent the last decade.

Artificial intelligence, the next disruptor

I was on a "next five years" future panel in the mobile/tablet track at last weekend's Society of News Design conference in St. Louis. Here's an expansion of what I had to say:

Marking the 10th anniversary of 9/11/2001

I have nothing to add to what I said last year.

Plussing the Google

Unless you've been living under a rock, you know by now that Google is launching yet another social network, called Google+. It's in a private, invitation-based beta test mode, and I managed to get one from Steph Romanski before the invitations were halted due to "overwhelming" demand. Here's a peek inside and a taste of what's coming from Google.

Your Web stats are going to hell

"There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics," said Mark Twain. Progress has given us a fourth: Web statistics, and now Google has inadvertently invented a new way to make it even worse. 

Let's just bury the nightside copy desk

Forgive me, nightside copy editors, for I have come to dash your hopes and crush your spirit.

I come as one of you, having edited many thousands of stories and written many thousands of headlines in the darkness of an approaching newspaper deadline. But those days are gone, and that era is past. It's time to let go.

Forget about the horseshoe-shaped universal desk, the rim rat and the slot chief. They are as outdated as green eyeshades, pica poles, rubber cement, and drawing little lines below "w" and above "m" so as not to confuse the Ludlow machine operator.