Itsy-bitsy teensy-weensy type

I found myself annoyed the other day by the Washington Post's unusually small, hard to read body type, so I installed the very nice CSSViewer Chrome extension and took a look at several sites to see what's popular these days.

When activated, CSSViewer pops up a display of the active CSS rules for whatever element you're pointing at. Here's what I found.

It's not a paywall (part 2)

The New York Times has (finally) unveiled details of its metered-access digital subscription system to predictably mixed reviews.

As I've said, it's not a paywall, and using that word steers you toward misunderstandings. Think of it as rate-limiting. Light usage is free; heavy usage brings a request for payment.

Our disappointing journalism

Catching up with a crushing load of unanswered email, I wrote this in response to a query from a grad student who asked about contextualized journalism:

The video tag mess, and why Google's interests are (mostly) our interests

Earlier this week, Google's Chrome browser project announced it was dropping support for H.264 video, and immediately there was an uproar as if Google had desecrated a sacred object and posted the video on YouTube.

Most people actually have no idea what this means. A lot of people have drawn conclusions that I think are fundamentally wrong. All of this is very important to the evolution of Web media, and I'm going to try to make some sense of it.

Let's start with the word "open."

Things I wish tech journalists would learn

Things I wish tech journalists would learn:

Counts are not the same thing as surveys.

Surveys yield projections that have margins of error that should be disclosed and explained.

Survey methods should be disclosed and critically examined. If a survey was conducted in order to generate a press release for marketing purposes, it's probably bullshit.

Units in distribution pipelines are not the same as units sold to consumers.

Lines outside of stores are a publicity stunt.

The open Web and Android are the winners; what does it mean?

"OK open systems beat great closed systems every time." I've cited that quote (from Scott Kurnit, circa 1994-95) often, and we're now looking at yet another example: Android and the Web are winning the mobile space. Your stats may be telling you something different. They're probably wrong.

We've launched robust mobile news sites for most of our newspapers, properly integrated with our non-mobile sites, fully supporting social link-sharing and commenting. We also have some apps from a couple of different vendors. In terms of usage, the mobile sites are slaying the apps.

Breaking the familiar frame

A couple of recent interactions reminded me just how stuck in the last century many newspaper people continue to be.

Here we are, 10 percent of the way through the 21st century, and we're still thinking like it's 1999.

Or 89, 79 or even 69.

A minority report on the Associated Press

In the wake of Clay Shirky's prediction of "widespread disruption" of syndication it's tempting to pronounce the Associated Press dead.

The seven deadly sins of journalism companies

Newspaper industry analyst John Morton, who for the last couple of decades has been part and parcel of the self-destruction of the newspaper industry, has trotted out that tired old claim that newspapers are suffering because they failed to put up paywalls at the dawn of the Internet era.

Five sad reasons American press isn't outraged

Over the last couple of weeks a parade of non-journalists has approached me, offline and online, wanting to talk about the Wikileaks mess. Most of the discussion has boiled down to this, which I'm quoting from a note:

Why isn't the American press screaming at the top of its lungs about this. How can we let the Joe Lieberman's of the world lead this discussion. If the press doesn't take a stand here we are doomed. There will be no reason to have a "press" in this country. Politicians can simply post their "press releases" themselves.