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Web Publishing Roll-Up: Rise and Advise

In this week's installment, online advertising gets a lift, newspapers get schooled and MSNBC goes hyperlocal.

On the Rise

A recent report shows that online advertising is rebounding slightly. Adify, a firm that manages online ad networks for media companies released a report on CPM pricing for display ads. In it, some content categories are seeing pricing bounce back. Prices for ad inventory on real estate sites doubled during the second quarter of this year compared to the fourth quarter last year, reaching an average of US$ 6.49. Similarly, the sports category’s CPM increased by 18% percent. Entertainment CPMs also experienced a rise.

Among the 13 vertical ad network categories Adify monitors, the travel, technology, automotive and health categories commanded the highest average CPMs in second quarter 2009. Technology CPMs climbed to US$ 16.01, while recession-sensitive categories like automotive and travel categories showed healthy pricing growth.

Newspapers Get More Advice

Times are tough when journalism students start offering advice for newspapers. Although, they might have the best view of the situation from which to supply their two cents. Vadim Lavrusik, a new media student at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism provided 12 Things Newspapers Should Do to Survive on Mashable. Among his advice:

  • Go niche: newspapers need to go more niche and perhaps start publishing less frequently and charging more.
  • Offer unique content in print: newspapers need to stop using websites as a "dumping ground" for print stories and treat each somewhat independently, carefully selecting the stories better suited for each media.
  • Encourage innovation: newspapers need to start innovating and experimenting with new tools in order to evolve.
  • Communicate with readers: newspapers need to have a venue for readers to comment on news stories online.

There is no shortage of tips for the news industry, yet it doesn't always seem as if the newspaper media is actively requesting, either. Yes, the industry is in dire straits, but it also needs fewer armchair council and more active change agents.

MSNBC Gets Hyperlocal

MSNBC acquired EveryBlock, a hyperlocal news aggregator, which was previously funded by a grant from the Knight Foundation. EveryBlock can bring in geo-specific feeds from neighborhood blogs, Flickr, Yelp, Craigslist, to give readers a picture of what is going on in their town or neighborhood. Covering only about 15 cities in the U.S. and a U.S. audience of only 143,000 unique visitors a month (as of July 2009), EveryBlock and MSNBC can work together to broaden its exposure to collect neighborhood news without the expense of actually reporting it.

 
 
 
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