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November 30, 2009

UK regional paper publisher to charge for web access

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Local news publishers in the UK have had a fairly hard time of it recently, hit by falling readership and reduced advertising revenue, but now one of Britain’s largest regional newspaper publishers is to begin charging users to read full stories on six of its titles’ websites.

Johnston Press will charge £5 (about $8) for three months full access to content on the Worksop Guardian, Ripley & Heanor News, Whitby Gazette, Northumberland Gazette, Carrick Gazette and Southern Reporter.

Readers who don’t wish to subscribe will be given access to excerpts and then encouraged to buy the paper copy to read the full stories. read more

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November 19, 2009

New mobile small payments service launches: ideal for selling content?

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gopayforit-logoWhile the big boys of publishing are looking at methods of walling their content and then charging for it, smaller publishers such as bloggers will often look to making money from at least some of their content.

With this in mind, GoPayforit has launched its mobile small payments service in the UK, which allows content owners to sell content online and charge very small amounts (micropayments) for it.

It’s simple to set up – site owners add some code to their blog template – and then both pay-as-you-go and contract mobile phone users can purchase the right to view protected content via their mobile phone credit.

Purchasers enter their mobile phone number online, receive a PIN via SMS, then enter the code online in order to read the content. It’s supposed to be much quicker, and more secure, than messing around with credit card payments, even via a service such as PayPal. read more

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November 17, 2009

Orange UK mobile customers get Twitter picture messaging

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twitter-orange-mmsAfter the disappointment surrounding the withdrawal of many international Twitter SMS services due to exorbitant costs, it seems that UK mobile operators are helping them to bounce back.

Both Vodafone and O2 have offered SMS-to-Twitter services to their UK users in the past year, and now Orange is introducing MMS-to-Twitter.

MMS, or picture messaging as it’s colloquially called, will allow Orange users to send images directly to the Twitter service, via the newly-created Snapshot web site. read more

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November 6, 2009

Royal British Legion calls for two-minute Twitter silence 11am 11/11

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Observing a two-minute silence at 11am on Armistice Day, 11th November, is generally well accepted, at least in countries that were directly affected by the two World Wars, but now the Royal British Legion is calling for a similar observance on Twitter.

The #2minutesilence hashtag is gaining traction since it was introduced by @PoppySupport. read more

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October 30, 2009

Manchester Blog Awards sees female dominance

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manchester-blog-awards-webThe fourth annual Manchester Blog Awards, launched in August, had their winners announced last week, and the list is dominated by women.

Organiser Kate Feld said that she sensed women had not been participating in blogging a few years ago, and hence it was dominated by men, but now there were many more blogs written by females. read more

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Second Orwell blogging award to be judged by “Night Jack”

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The second annual Orwell Prize for political writing to include a blogging category will include on its judging panel the surprise winner of last year’s prize, Night Jack, aka Detective Constable Richard Horton.

You may remember that the anonymous police blogger was outed by The Times newspaper and subsequently got into trouble with his superior officers.

Both he and former Labour MP Oona King will judge the political blog shortlist. read more

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October 26, 2009

At work Twitter usage costing UK businesses £1.4bn a year

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Hands up if you use Twitter at work?

Thought so.

If you’re in the UK (and presuming you don’t own your own business) you’re part of a statistic that’s allegedly costing British companies £1.4bn ($2.3bn) each year.

The rising popularity of Twitter, probably fuelled by celebrities and TV magazine shows, means that on average 40 minutes each week by each British office worker.

The 1,460-strong survey by IT services group Morse drew the conclusion that Twitter was causing a “productivity strain” on business. read more

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October 13, 2009

Note to Trafigura/Carter Ruck: you can’t suppress Twitter

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No matter how hard a bunch of fat cat solicitors representing a globally polluting oil company try to suppress traditional reporting of what happens in British parliament, they have no control over Twitter and the blogosphere.

And that’s exactly how it should be.

The Guardian may have been placed in a farcical position where not only could it not report on a certain question due to be asked in Parliament this week because of an injunction, but it couldn’t even report what the injunction was:

Today’s published Commons order papers contain a question to be answered by a minister later this week. The Guardian is prevented from identifying the MP who has asked the question, what the question is, which minister might answer it, or where the question is to be found.

The Guardian is also forbidden from telling its readers why the paper is prevented – for the first time in memory – from reporting parliament. Legal obstacles, which cannot be identified, involve proceedings, which cannot be mentioned, on behalf of a client who must remain secret.

The only fact the Guardian can report is that the case involves the London solicitors Carter-Ruck, who specialise in suing the media for clients, who include individuals or global corporations.

read more

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September 30, 2009

British PM’s social media reputation flagging according to new audit

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The Labour Party may lead the way when it comes to British political parties using Twitter and other online tools, but a new audit by Yomego suggests that Prime Minister Gordon Brown’s social media reputation is flagging.

Using various natural language technology algorithms, a social media reputation score is created by measuring not only how much a particular person is mentioned, but also how positive or negative that coverage is.

The PM scored just 42.59 out of 100, putting his ‘sentiment’ score even behind that of British National Party leader Nick Griffin. read more

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September 11, 2009

Tory mayor sends Labour blogger abusive email

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The Conservative mayor of Barnet Council in London sent an abusive reply to a Labour party-supporting blogger who included him in an email criticising the council’s leadership.

Brian Coleman responded by calling blogger Roger Tichborne “an obsessive, poisonous individual”.

“You are an obsessive, poisonous individual and Labour Party member whose blog is full of lies, half-truths and misinformation.

“Do not email me agin.”

read more

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