BBC World Service kicks off its biggest expansion in more than 70 years, readying 12 new languages

The BBC World Service already publishes in 28 languages around the world. On Monday, it makes a foray into unusual territory: launching a full-fledged news service delivered in Nigerian Pidgin, a largely oral language spoken widely both in Nigeria and in countries across West and Central Africa. “Whenever you talk to people about the BBC doing a Pidgin service, they think it’s a joke — Pidgin is a humorous language spoken across many borders, with many variations. It’s a language we communicate and joke with,” said digital lead for BBC Africa Miriam Quansah when she, Solomon Mugera, Nairobi-based regional editor for BBC Africa, and I spoke ahead of Monday’s official launch. “It’s spoken by so many people, but nobody ever thought an international broadcaster based in the U.K. would be prepared to offer news content in it.” The Pidgin service is the first of 12 new language
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The Wall Street Journal tested live push notifications, with some help from the Guardian’s Mobile Lab

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report at the beginning of the month, news organizations unleashed their push notifications. On Friday morning, the Wall Street Journal tested live mobile push alerts for their jobs coverage, working closely with the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab, which has been for the past year tirelessly testing a range of ideas for distributing news that make the most of people’s phone-reading preferences. Readers who arrived at the Journal’s mobile site or its Android or iOS apps were able to read its live coverage of the jobs numbers for July — but were also alerted with preview push notifications on updates as they read the existing analysis on the page (readers could dismiss and keep reading, or jump to the update from the push alert). Journal developers built the infrastructure for the live notifications, and its markets team reported on the event and Continue reading "The Wall Street Journal tested live push notifications, with some help from the Guardian’s Mobile Lab"

The Wall Street Journal tested live push notifications, with some help from the Guardian’s Mobile Lab

When the Bureau of Labor Statistics released its jobs report at the beginning of the month, news organizations unleashed their push notifications. On Friday morning, the Wall Street Journal tested live mobile push alerts for their jobs coverage, working closely with the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab, which has been for the past year tirelessly testing a range of ideas for distributing news that make the most of people’s phone-reading preferences. Readers who arrived at the Journal’s mobile site or its Android or iOS apps were able to read its live coverage of the jobs numbers for July — but were also alerted with preview push notifications on updates as they read the existing analysis on the page (readers could dismiss and keep reading, or jump to the update from the push alert). Journal developers built the infrastructure for the live notifications, and its markets team reported on the event and Continue reading "The Wall Street Journal tested live push notifications, with some help from the Guardian’s Mobile Lab"

How Labor Unions and a Former Alderman Plan to Transform the Chicago Sun-Times

For half the $2 cover price of a single Sunday Sun-Times, a former Chicago Alderman, Edwin Eisendrath, and an investor group bought the newspaper last Wednesday. A buck – along with a pledge to spend $11.2 million – is about as low as it gets for a news operation, but Eisendrath, who also is managing partner at StrateSphere, might have negotiated the best media deal in history. Time will tell. The price doesn’t actually reflect the market value, because competitor tronc, better known as the former Tribune Publishing, was willing to pay more. Consider Tribune Publishing bought the old Pioneer Press suburban chain from the Sun-Times for $23.5 million in October 2014, according to Tribune reporter Rick Kogan. The new Sun-Times will focus on local news and will not abandon its traditional audiences, but it will look for ways to tell stories on mobile where millennials are consuming
Newspapers. Photo by Renzo Borgatti.
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How do we build a better recommendation experience for mobile news readers?

For subway commuters, it’s a common enough situation: you get on the train, pull out of the station and…ugh, you’re offline. On your phone: yesterday’s tweets, maybe a news app loaded up with old stories, a newsletter with links you can’t open. Although many news apps now enable offline reading, they don’t ensure that the things we have access to offline are relevant to us as individual readers. I can get content offline from a news app on my morning train ride, but when I pull out of the station, I have no guarantee that what it will have served me will be relevant to my interests, in a format I like, or something I can reasonably read in the the time I have left in my commute. At the Guardian Mobile Innovation Lab, we think there is space to push past what currently exists for offline reading, particularly Continue reading "How do we build a better recommendation experience for mobile news readers?"

Site Speed: how to audit and improve

Is your site fast enough? User experience is a critical part of any website build or design. And site speed is an important part of that experience. Users want the page to load in few seconds or they lose interest and leave.  This is particularly true for mobile users. Site speed has also become an important element in search engine rankings. Back in 2010, Google started including site speed in their page ranking algorithm. If you’re concerned that your site isn’t fast enough, you don’t need to do a full redesign. Instead, you can do an audit of your site speed and make a number of improvements. See how we did this for one of our clients below.

Performance audit

The website that we wanted to run the speed audit for is very large. It includes multiple tools and directories for the visitors as well as reports, press releases, and
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Newsonomics: The New York Times’ redesign aims to match the quality of its products to its journalism

Please sign in. Those three words — a request as old as the web — now drive the strongest strategy of our news era: reader revenue. Today, The New York Times announces and starts to rollout the most significant redesign in its digital history. That redesign, 18 months in the arduous making, won’t turn heads or surprise many eyes, but its underlying thinking aims to empower the Times newsroom to deliver more timely, more nuanced, and more dramatic products to its readers — and thus for the Times to get more readers to pay for more of them. With this move and others, the Times aims to provide more and more reasons for readers to log in and get a constantly improving product offering as they move from phone to desktop to tablet to audio-on-demand and, eventually, to the new TV. Though the changes may not be flashy, they represent
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