Yesterday, Esquire.com published a piece of commentary by the author who goes by the Twitter handle @ProfJeffJarvis. @ProfJeffJarvis is not the former TV Guide critic and journalism professor Jeff Jarvis, but his online persona satirizes a mode of thinking that the real Jarvis is known for. After the real Jeff Jarvis complained, Esquire deleted the story. It runs below as originally published, with permission from @ProfJeffJarvis.
The man who shall save newspapers is back with another newspaper-saving memo! Possibly written while under the influence of ibogaine! This time Tribune's Chief Innovation
Of New Ways To Make Bongs Officer Lee Abrams is doing what he does best: showering a far-flung newspaper with ideas about how they should do their job, according to none other than career radio man Lee Abrams. "What does Pravda say about our economy?" "Poker is the 21st Century Bridge." Think about it, newspaperpeople! This is hands-down the BEST LEE ABRAMS MEMO YET: And now, Lee Abrams' suggestions to the South Florida Sun-Sentinel:
Lee Abrams, Tribune Co.'s "Chief Innovation Officer" of AWESOMENESS (pictured, with top advisers) is back with another hard-rockin', mind-shockin' memo to blow the socks off all you naysayers who thought newspapers could never change! Abrams is already single-handedly responsible for the ten dumbest things said about newspapers this year, and that was before he busted out yesterday talking about "freedom to have so much belief on the brand." Are you trying to upstage your own slammin' track record of badass, Martian declarations on journalism, Lee? I think you are! The Chicago Tribune just unveiled a redesign, which seems like a good occasion for a big old memo from Lee Abrams. High five! All ellipses are in the original text, people:
Could the current US economic meltdown destroy expensive coffee shops, as penniless consumers abandon Starbucks in order to huddle in unheated apartments brewing cheap coffee filtered through a sock? Folgers sure hopes so! The middlebrow coffee roaster is about to debut a big new ad campaign, hoping that now that your retirement fund has evaporated, you'll be interested in a lower-cost coffee experience. And hold onto your threadbare hats, newly poor caffeine addicts: Folgers has just made the "biggest innovation since the launch of decaf":
Lee Abrams looks like Dunkin Donuts' Fred the Baker without his hair dye. But Fred the Baker got up every day to make donuts, and that's the type of old-style thinking that Lee Abrams is here to destroy! Abrams is the "Chief Innovation Officer" (LOL) of the dying Tribune Company, and also the man who says the most mystifying (and sometimes infuriating) things you will ever hear about the newspaper industry. All the time. Seriously. ""I just try to inpsire people to rethink things," Abrams declared yesterday. "There's no reason we can't create a newspaper renaissance." Ha. Here are ten of Lee Abrams'
stupidest "NOT IRRELIVENT" inspirational messages:
Business owners in New York have finally figured out how to draw attention to their business while simultaneously preventing graffiti and Poster Boy-style ad remixes: walls that grow plants. One yoga place on the Upper East Side has done this "living wall" thing, and it draws attention to the business, looks environmentally friendly, and leaves the entire wall impervious to vandalism as an added bonus. Until the bastards come with the hedge trimmers. What then? [Fine Blog via Curbed]
A team of Stanford researchers, led by scientist Abbas El Gamal and including researchers Keith Fife and Phillip Wong, are developing a new semiconductor camera sensor with thousands of individual lens elements which can be mass-produced cheaply. The aim: to create sophisticated three-dimensional digital scans quickly. But they didn't do it so that you could fashion a really bitchin' avatar in Second Life. Try "facial recognition for security purposes." Because the current crop of surveillance cameras and robots aren't very good at recognizing people or estimating depth, and if you want to build a mechanized assassin, the thing needs to be able to tell the difference between Kim Jong Il and Hu Jintao or the diplomatic corps is going to have hell to pay. True, there are peaceful applications for such technology. But how about we take a look at where the El Gamal Research Group gets its funding from?
Each Friday, 'New York Times' deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman and NYT.com General Manager Vivian Schiller write an in-house email on the subject of The Future and The Internet and The Newsroom. This week: Why is everyone ragging on 'T' magazine? A rebuttal!
Each Friday, 'New York Times' deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman and NYT.com General Manager Vivian Schiller write an in-house email on the subject of The Future and The Internet and The Newsroom. This week: "The number of people coming to our website has really popped. The TechCrunch blog, a respected source, attributes this to the dismantling of our Times Select pay wall. It's reasonable as a hypothesis but premature as a conclusion. Lots of things affect Web traffic so it's hard to isolate individual factors. One thing that obviously has a big impact is news. Here's another, maybe not so obvious: Page weight.... In June, the home page took an average of 1.52 seconds to load. Heavy. For September, the first month our new page-lightening technology was fully installed, the load time dropped to 1.18 seconds, roughly a 22% improvement even though our page views grew by 19% over the same period (574 million in June to 683 million in September). Our performance has continued to improve since then: October: 1.15 seconds, November: 1.14, and so far in December: 0.96, while traffic continues to grow."
Each Friday, NYT.com General Manager Vivian Schiller and 'Times' deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman write an in-house email on the subject of The Future and The Internet and The Newsroom. This week, we hear about the quietly-revamped movie pages: "Web sites need to be reference sources. So every actor, director, cinematographer, gaffer — and every film — has its own reference page, with encyclopedic and reliable data supplied by our terrific colleagues at Baseline Studio Systems. Thanks to Baseline, Our movie database now has over 900,000 people and 200,000 movie titles. Like IMDB, except that it's true. Want to know who mixed the sound for Titanic? No problem. Did Bosley Crowther like the 1962 version of Billy Budd? Easy to find out. Do you like trailers? You could lose yourself here for days. 'All in all,' says Ariel Kaminer, 'I really do think it stands as the best movie site in America — and that's a title with a LOT of competition.' Anybody want to argue?"
Each Friday, NYT.com General Manager Vivian Schiller and 'Times' deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman write an in-house email on the subject of The Future and The Internet and The Newsroom. This week, do your own textual analysis: "Look at the nytimes.com homepage, or any section front. There's lots and lots of stuff. Words. Pictures. Headlines. (Big ones and little ones.) Ads. (Little ones and big ones.) Video. Vertical things. Horizontal things. Icons. Navigation bars. Tabs. It's a riot of activity. It's built around information—getting it before impatient users, grabbing little bites of attention span. Look again at T Online. Not so much stuff."
Each Friday, NYT.com General Manager Vivian Schiller and 'Times' deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman write an in-house email on the subject of The Future and The Internet and The Newsroom.As of 4 a.m. today, when this week's email was sent, more than 1000 folks had declared themselves "Fans" of the New York Times on the paper's new Facebook page. Here are some of the Facebook comments:"'NYTimes ... Freakonomics, Ethicist, Chess, Pogue, and all the news. Best!'
'Hi NYT. I try to never miss your daily e-output. ...'
'NYT, the nation's newspaper.'
'Oh NYT how I love you. ...'
'Yes! The NYT is my religion.'
And this, from one Max Schindler of Mountain Lakes High School (Ah, the
elusive young reader): 'I love the nyt, more than anything else.'"
The New York Times is now carefully allowing comments on some articles, not just blog posts. According to an in-house email from NYT.com general manager Vivian Schiller and deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman, "This week we rolled out some new technology for commentary on articles. It's more discriminating than the blog-comment platform and it gives readers more control. For instance, readers can recommend comments and view them in rank order starting with the ones with the most recommendations. Editors can choose an interesting selection for readers with time to read just a few.... You'll notice that we're only putting comments on a handful of articles at first. That's because we're still building our moderation force and the tools for automated moderation. There are some important features built into the system that you can't see and that we're not using yet. For example, producers and editors will be able to designate certain users as 'trusted,' potentially allowing some comments to bypass moderation. We're excited about the chance to experiment."
Each Friday, NYT.com General Manager Vivian Schiller and 'Times' deputy managing editor Jonathan Landman write an in-house email on the subject of The Future and The Internet and The Newsroom. Today: "[T]hink about the compulsive clickster. She returns three times in an hour, finds a new headline, clicks, thinks, 'Wait, didn't I read that before? The red thing says, "10:12 AM." But I already read some of this at 7:43 AM. Where's the new stuff?' Kind of confusing. Not so satisfying. Think of what a blog can do for her. It clearly demarcates the new stuff. It links to things we don't have, exposing layers of perspective in real time. It is fast, rich and deep. For the person in search of one-stop comprehensiveness, it might be an unpleasant adventure in ADD. [...] We actually maintain about 100 blogs now, about half of them active. Classy new ones roll out of the factory like Mercedes SUV's in Tuscaloosa."