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Posts Tagged ‘New York Times’

Site’s Back Up, New Abstract Is Coming

In brijit on Monday, 26 May 2008 at 22:02

Thanks to Brent Thorington for stepping up on Memorial Day and getting Brijit back up. And thanks to Hurricane Electric for being responsive, too.

I’ll write the abstract later this evening, but for now, check out the New York TImes’ obituary of Sydney Pollack, who died today at 73.


Brijit on

In brijit on Friday, 23 May 2008 at 10:54

Since we launched last October, Brijit has received an overwhelmingly positive response in the media. Marci Alboher writes the Shifting Careers blog for the New York Times, and first mentioned Brijit not long after we launched. I spoke with her earlier this week. Apparently she came back after some time out of town, and told a colleague how useful she found Brijit as a tool for catching up with things she may have missed while she was gone. But alas…

Brijit is featured today in Marci’s blog; we’re currently the lead post on Shifting Careers. Thanks for sharing Brijit with your readers, Marci. Here’s the bit I was most jazzed about:

“The comments to this post are great reading — users of the site offer their suggestions on how to tweak Brijit’s business model and one of the site’s writers weighs in on why the site is appealing to contributors.”

That’s you, Brijit fans. Please don’t hesitate to comment on and tell the world how much you miss the 100-word version.

When You’ve Got a Hammer…

In Connecting the Dots on Friday, 2 May 2008 at 11:25

Dear New York Times: Last Friday you told us that — surprise! — rich people are feeling the housing crisis like the rest of us. And we didn’t even roll our eyes — we’ll walk a mile in their Manolos before we criticize. But when you file two reports, just a week apart, that lipstick and elective surgery are economic indicators, we have to wonder if you’re reaching for a story. Granted, we’ve all got pages to fill, and we’ll admit your profile of recession-friendly clothing chain Steve & Barry’s was a winner. Just don’t tell us on Monday that newspaper sales are depressed by the economy as well.

At What Point Does News Break Too Fast?

In publishing, social media on Monday, 17 March 2008 at 22:27

Scott Karp has an interesting and thoughtful post up on the coverage of the Bear Stearns collapse. He uses the fast-moving story (breaking on a Sunday, no less!) to highlight the advantages of the Web versus print for breaking news. But while I agree with most of what Scott has to say in his post, he loses me here:

“The problem with following the Bear Stearns story on the web is that traditional news brand sites are too conflicted between serving print readers and serving web readers…”

Really? The New York Times homepage was updated throughout the day on Sunday and into Monday. And the paper, well, the paper published the most up to date stories it could given the realities deadlines of the daily miracle that is the big-city newspaper. What’s the problem exactly? Those of us who get our news on the Web got a constantly updated story, well reported and well told. And the folks for whom the paper remains a primary resource got EXACTLY what they expect to get.

According to Karp: “News … has a narrative, a story arc that it is often very instructive to follow. The New York Times has a wealth of reporting that covers a story as it unfolds — but the homepage is useless for looking at the story arc.”

Not to put too fine a point on it, but (and I mean this literally) who cares?

We’re all familiar by now with the advantages of the Web versus print on a fast-moving story like this. Karp seems to be arguing that the traditional press — nastier folks than Scott would sneer derisively at the mainstream media — can’t get us there. But for the vast majority of people, the old-school media brands most certainly can, and do, get us there. To be clear, I’m certainly not suggesting that there isn’t a place for bloggers and crowdsourcing and all of the other terrific resources we have at our disposal for the gathering and disseminating information. Of course there is. But I believe that for most people, on the day, the volume, presentation, and speed of coverage of a story like Bear Stearns provided by the Times or the Wall Street Journal is ample. Anything more seems like drinking from a fire hose.

Of course, some people are really, really thirsty when it comes to news. I’d posit that there are basically two groups looking for more/better/faster: industry-types with some sort of direct vested interest in the outcome of the story, and information junkies. Now, are these groups worth catering to on news? You bet. Look no further than the mayor of New York City to know how lucrative it can be: Michael Bloomberg became a multi-billionaire on the back of providing breaking news on a specific topic (bond prices) to a specific audience (traders).

But for most of us, the minute-to-minute details of bond prices, or the Bear Stearns debacle for that matter, are more than we need. In the end, we want to know what’s happening, we want to trust the source, and we want to move on with our lives.

Check Out BigThink, and Think About the Big Trends

In brijit on Monday, 7 January 2008 at 23:45

A hearty welcome to BigThink, a self-styled “YouTube for ideas, which made a splash today in a NY Times piece, and then this evening on TechCrunch.

Tim Arango pegged his Times story around BigThink’s investors (former Treasury Secretary and ex-Harvard president Larry Summers and PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel, among others), and painted a pretty Ivory Tower, highfalutin picture of the venture. Erick Schonfeld goes more than 800 words in his evenhanded look on TechCrunch, making fair criticisms of the site’s interface, and comparing it with (Disclosure — I know Don Baer, one of’s board members.)

Kudos to BigThink founder Peter Hopkins on the launch, and the great coverage.

But the more interesting story, the one I would have liked to see in the Times or TechCrunch, is the trend story. BigThink is an example of a company carving out a quality-content business in a post-YouTube, post-Digg, lewd-and-loopy-win world. Whether or not BigThink’s model is exactly the right one, or if they’ll execute, remains to be seen. But they’re trying to do something interesting, and I can’t help but applaud the effort.

Anyone who’s spent any time around Brijit will understand why I like BigThink conceptually:

They’re embracing unique, smart content with an eye toward making it accessible to a mainstream audience. They don’t seem to be dumbing it down.

They’re taking a hybrid approach to content creation. They seem to be committing to high quality by employing internal editors and house-produced segments, while at the same time seeking to tap into all benefits of community-generated content and the wisdom of crowds.

They’re looking at big long-form ideas from trusted sources and boiling them down for a short-form world.

I sense a trend…

Brijit Index for 27 Nov 2007

In Brijit Index on Tuesday, 27 November 2007 at 12:07

More soon as we get this blog ramped up, but for now, here’s this week’s Brijit Index.

1 The Amazing Albatrosses by Kennedy Warne, Smithsonian, September 2007 — Warne reports on these magnificent animals and the threats to their survival, and profiles members of the scientific community who are studying the birds, and the difficulty of studying a species that literally travels around the world.

2 America’s Water War by Tom Englehardt, Salon, 19 Nov 2007 — What if we run out of water? Engelhardt suggests that the government and media largely have ignored the issue, and he warns of a potential era of resource wars. His thorough research fleshes out this urgent, underreported aspect of climate change.

3 We’ll Still Respect You in the Morning, A.V. Club, 19 Nov 2007 — This piece chronicles movie stars who aren’t afraid to put it out there in the name of art. With comments selected from the Celebrity Nudity Database (think IMDB for skin), the actors are rated not so much for physical appearance and appeal as they are for their ballsiness, so to speak.

4 Bethlehem 2007 AD by Michael Finkel, National Geographic, December 2007

5 Master of the Killer Ants, Nova, 20 Nov 2007

6 Butcher’s Method Takes Carving Off the Table by Julia Moskin, The New York Times, 21 Nov 2007

7 Chairlifts Are for Sissies by Josh Dean, The New York Times Magazine, 27 Oct 2007

8 Naughty or Nice by Calvin Tompkins, The New Yorker, 19 Nov 2007

9 Good-bye to All That by Corey Seymour, Men’s Vogue, December 2007

10 Making Carbon Markets Work by Victor & Cullenward, Scientific American, December 2007