Posts by Russell Brown

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?,

    Well, here's an interesting quote, from a source familiar with the story:

    Fairfax really were trying to sucker the Herald into a paywall, and
    have no plans to do it themselves. They won't be happy that someone's
    shining a light on the topic.

    Gadzooks!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Te Reo Māori in schools:…, in reply to Hilary Stace,

    I would love to see NZ Sign Language offered too (third official language and also indigenous to NZ). Some schools do so it is not an impossible idea. As I get older and my hearing less effective, especially in noisy cafes, I think how useful it would be if we all had NZSL in our repertoire. There is also a real shortage of tri-lingual interpreters which could be overcome if both these languages became more mainstream.

    All those things. Even just the basics would have multiple benefits. And I imagine there's a level at which it could almost be taught as play to small children.

    (Otoh, Tim Kong has promised to pop in on the discussion later to explain to us how all this isn’t as straightforward to deploy as we might like to think. We put a lot on teachers already.)

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Feed: Fulminating and fermenting,

    NB: This all seems like a while ago and I didn’t take any notes, so hopefully, I got the details right.

    Also, for beer nerds, this is the recipe Hamish used:

    NZ Best Bitter
    OG 1.041
    IBU 27

    NZ Ale malt
    Toffee malt
    Dark Crystal
    Pale Crystal
    Black malt

    Pacific Jade bittering
    Hops at 30 mins and 0
    Nelson Sauvin
    Cascade
    Kohatu

    Fermenting with Wyeast 1318 London Ale III

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Te Reo Māori in schools:…, in reply to bob daktari,

    I wasn't joking about 'A.E.I.O.U.' -- the vowel sounds being part of a chorus makes it a great mnemonic. Where vowels are combined in a word, combine the two basic vowel sounds and you'll be close to the mark:

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?,

    Last night's show, where I revealed a bit more of what I've been told about the internal conversation at Fairfax.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Friday Music: Good ideas and grumbles, in reply to George Darroch,

    Is there any attempt from NZ labels like Arch Hill or Flying Nun to give their music to the people in this format? Hold music is hardly glamorous, but it is a source of revenue.

    Aaron told me he approached Flying Nun about it but never got a reply.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?, in reply to Tom Semmens,

    Their editorial and opinion writers often betray an astonishing ignorance of the facts.

    The sad fact is, the quality of op-ed writing in New Zealand newspapers is generally very poor.

    Personally, I would never subscribe to the Herald because but I would subscribe to a properly resourced Guardian NZ site because it would come with a huge stable of quality writing.

    We can now envy Australia that choice. Except the bloody Guardian won't take your money!

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?, in reply to Jason Kemp,

    On the Herald online this morning they had the headline
    “Tobacco giant vows to find $23b award”

    and now I see it has been changed to “Tobacco giant vows to fight $23b award” but there is a big difference between those two. At times it looks like the content on the herald looks like it is on auto pilot.

    The staff posting those stories to the website can be very junior, under-skilled and overworked. It's not uncommon for bad headlines or photo captions to have to be changed when there's a complaint. The Herald looked really tone-deaf when the review of Lorde's triumphant homecoming show at Silo Park laboured under the headline 'Lorde drops F-Bomb at waterfront concert'. Shayne Currie readily agreed on that and got it changed when I bailed him up on Twitter, which was good.

    I did talk to a subscription person but they kept referring to their supervisor and clearly knew nothing about digital subscriptions and I was quoted 3-5 days* to process which means the subscription would expire before they could look at it.

    Oh dear. Oddly enough, I interviewed the guy who built that paywall this evening. He'd be doubtless horrified.

    I did try using “flattr” which operated a micro payments system. It was recently taken over by someone else and the latest changes to their terms and conditions made it too much hassle to use.

    I'm struggling to imagine how Flattr's usability could actually have got worse.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?, in reply to Mikaere Curtis,

    If, however, there was an inexpensive option that gave me Saturday and Sunday editions delivered to my letterbox, and e-access the rest of the time, I’d probably buy that even though I could get similar news for free via Stuff.

    That's exactly what we get: the Herald on Friday, Saturday and Sunday + the Sunday Star Times.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

  • Hard News: Over the paywall?,

    Alex Clark of Victoria University got people’s attention at NetHui when he talked about his Masters project, ‘News, Renewed’:

    PROJECT OVERVIEW

    The news industry is struggling to survive in an online environment. In New Zealand, it has been estimated that for every $1 that is gained in online advertising each year, $18 is lost in print advertising (Standard Media Index 2014). News, Renewed is a research project exploring ways to improve how quality journalism is funded online. The project is assessing the best strategies for the New Zealand market, and is developing an online monetisation platform that allows these strategies to be easily implemented. Alex Clark is conducting the project within Victoria University’s Master of Advanced Technology Enterprise programme.

    KEY FINDINGS TO DATE

    A survey of 457 New Zealand newsreaders was conducted from March-April 2014. The survey explored consumers’ propensity to pay for ten different monetisation methods. Some key preliminary findings include:

    (1) Newsreaders’ willingness to pay for New Zealand news considerably increases when journalism from several publishers is packaged together.
    o Overall, only0.5% of newsreaders said that they would definitely purchase a subscription to a single New Zealand news website.
    o For a national package of all news sites this value is 1.4%(2.8x increase)
    o For a global package of publications this value is 6.6%(13x increase)
    o For a global news package bundled with music and video this value is
    12.5% (25x increase)

    (2) 18-30 year olds are the least likely to purchase a single New Zealand news website, however they are the most likely to purchase a global package of news.
    o Nobody between the ages of 18-30 said that they would definitely purchase a subscription to a single New Zealand news website (n: 134)
    o 0.75% said that they would definitely purchase a subscription to all New
    Zealand news websites (0.5x average)
    o 11.9% said that they would definitely purchase a global package of news
    websites (1.8x average)
    o 23% said that they would definitely purchase a global news package
    bundled with music and video (1.8x average)

    (3) The amount that newsreaders are willing to pay also increases when news is packaged, rather than sold as an individual subscription to a single site.
    o Overall, the number of respondents willing to pay more than $10 per
    month for a subscription doubled when offered a package of all NZ news websites. The number increased 3x when offered a global news package.
    o For 18-30 year olds, the number of respondents willing to pay more than $10 per month increased 3x when offered a package of all NZ news websites. The number increased 7x for a global news package.

    Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 18508 posts Report Reply

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