Feeling Minnesota

I'm in Minnesota today at a workshop on digital storytelling pulled together by Nora Paul of the University of Minnesota's New Media Institute. It's a bit of old home week for me -- we're meeting at the Star Tribune. Participants include Ken Riddick, Will Tacy, Jamie Hutt and Matt Thompson, all currently at startribune.com, as well as longtime site designer Jamie Hutt, former editors Rusty Coats and myself, and various current and former competitors.

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Print/online revenue and the inflection point

Peter Krasilovsky and Jay Small have some thoughts about local online revenue growth and the inflection point at which a web operation outsells the print operation.

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The aging readers of newspaper websites

I'm still catching up on good items that were posted while I was traveling. Vin Crosbie has a detailed look at who's using newspaper websites, based on data from Greg Harmon at Belden Research.

Among the key findings is that newspaper website users are growing older. We all are, of course, but this is collective data. It's not surprising; Web activity by people aged 40 to 65 has noticably surged in the last couple of years.

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Gates retiring; Microsoft breaks Windows

So Bill Gates is retiring from Microsoft.

Well, some sort of change is needed there. Not satisfied with crushing all competition and making it nigh-on impossible to buy a PC that doesn't already come loaded with Windows, Microsoft inserted a bit of "anti-piracy" software on millions of computers this week. Apparently they need to stop the rampant copying of Windows onto machines that already come with Windows.

Here's the thing. Their antipiracy software is broken.

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Getting serious about a new kind of journalism

Staci Kramer reports that Post-Dispatch investigative reporter Christopher Carey is striking out on his own with a website called Sharesleuth, which will engage stringers and non-journalists in a quest to uncover "stock fraud and executive malfeasance on the national and international level."

Mark Cuban is bankrolling it.

If it works, this is huge. Much bigger than, say, Om Malik or Scoble and all the other stuff that's buzzing the net today.

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Microsoft's deja-vision of the future

Last week in Moscow at the World Editors Forum I had a chance to hear details of Microsoft's so-called "Times Reader" electronic newspaper vision of the future. A lot of the conversation I've heard about this reader has assumed Microsoft is reinventing PDF. That is not the case.

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Discovering the Dunbar number

Institute for the Future's Franz Dill discovers the Dunbar number, the theoretical size of the number of "stable relationships" human beings tend to form.

I've referred to the Dunbar number frequently in explaining to journalism and new-media audiences the concept of hyperlocal relevance. It works like this: If I have about 150 people in my inner circle, and I never see them in your newspaper, then your newspaper isn't about me and my kind.

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