Are banner ads good for a website?

In a recent post on 10,000, blogger Karen Fratti discussed whether or not the banner ad is making a comeback in blogging. She explains that banner ads are somewhat more beneficial than placing a plethora of smaller ads, and that banner ads can have a 10% higher click through rate than standard ads.

My question would be: is this actually a good idea in the current environment of website development? I feel like a banner ad would be difficult to program into a responsive design. You would need a banner ad to be two different sizes, and would that cost extra money for your company? I doubt an advertising company would make a second ad for free.

That being said, I do think banner ads can be effective. If it would be economically feasible and profitable for websites, and designing for a responsive website is not a problem, then I say bring on the banner ads.

Twitter soon to be available to users without Internet

According to a recent post from Mashable, Twitter is teaming up with a company called U2opia to bring Twitter services to people with phones that don’t have Internet capability. First of all, I know we are all wondering. Who does not have Internet availability right now? According to a Pew Research Center study, only 56 percent of people in America have smartphones, let alone the rest of the world.

In terms of news spreading faster, this is a huge deal. The service will only work with text, so users will not get picture or video updates, but it is still a huge jump. Twitter has been a large reason for the fast spread of breaking news in recent times, as well as contributing to the 24-hour news cycle.

The question this brings is, if it takes off in popularity, how will it affect the news cycle? In my opinion, it would bring an even larger demand for fast information. This could bring some negative consequences. It could cause news organizations to try and put out news faster than they currently are in order to report something first, which has previously caused errors in reporting.

Headlines aim to draw eyes, but also to attract search engines

When I was scrolling through my Feedly feed, I wanted to see which headline attracted me the most. Being a simple human being, I of course picked the one titled “This is not a photograph of Morgan Freeman.” It led me to some incredibly realistic painting of Morgan Freeman.

But that’s not the point, the point is that headlines on blogs are meant to intrigue the reader the most. That author could have written a boring headline like “Man paints incredibly realistic painting of actor,” but instead he chose something that would draw the most clicks. This is also the goal when people try to make headlines most optimal for search engines.

People creating the headlines look to not only appease the search engines, but to appease readers. However, as we learned this section, appeasing search engines is extremely important. Although the headline of the article drew my eye, I probably would have had a very hard time searching for it on the web.

Comments section effects eyeflow

In a recent post from Mashable, Tracey Wallace discussed the way eyeflow can effect the goal of your website. If you are an online shopping website and the flow of your page does not lead the readers eye to something they can purchase, it can effect the profitability of your website.

The same goes with blogs and news sites, Wallace said. In order to get more pageviews on their pages, blogs need to direct their readers to the right sources. They need to be able to read the story, be directed to the social media part of the page and be directed to the comments section, which usually allows them to give more pageviews by clicking to comment.

This led me to think, what comment moderation type would be best for this goal? I would think click to comment or Facebook comments would be the best ideas. Click to comment allow the designer to use some sort of eye catching banner to let the reader know that there are comments there, and Facebook comments allow for the reader to see the recognizable Facebook logo and be drawn to that portion of the page.

New Reports Show Non-profit News Organizations can Make Money

In a recent blog post on the Poynter Business Blog, a new Knight Foundation report is discussed in which it was found that non-profit news organizations can break-even or make a profit as long as they are well run and attended to. Some practices that can help the organizations do this are attacking their assumptions, providing services to their readers and moving to where their audience is.

Along with these practices, these organizations also often get large donations from the Knight foundation or other foundations that support journalism. By combining these, these startup companies do not fail as often as was previously reported.KF_NonprofitNewsReport_p29

This relates back to class because these organizations are trying to turn a profit, and because the Knight Foundation used some analytics to decide whether or not these organizations can be profitable. Included in these analytics were a graph of revenue sources by organization that is attached in this post.

The original blog can be found at

Do Analytics Show the Newspaper is Dying?

In the recent post on Reflections of a Newsosaur, the author discusses whether or not the print newspaper is dying. To measure this, he shows multiple graphs using analytics to show whether or not this is true.

The article showed what I have heard in many of my classes: the news industry is not dying, just shifting. Many of his charts showed that people are reading just as much news, they are just doing it through a different medium.
how mass is the medium 10.13.pptx 8

I thought the most important and interesting part of this article was the use of analytics. I thought not only the different charts, but the different sources the used and the different methods of analysis they used was very interesting. I think it showed a new way of measuring newsreading that will be used for years to come.

Google comes out with new self-driving car

Recently, posted about some new data arising about Google’s self-driving car. The car is programmed to drive itself, and it is also programmed to avoid multiple different traffic accident situations.

The new data gathered shows that this self-driving car is actually a safer and smoother ride than a human driver. They gathered these data by comparing the self-driving cars (which have been being test-driven since 2010) and statistics from human drivers.

This relates to class in a few different ways. It mildly relates to this weeks lesson on spreadsheets and databases because of the gathering of data of the self-driving car. It also relates to last weeks lesson on coding. I can’t even imagine the immense amount of coding that would be needed to make this self-driving car work effectively.

Original article:

In a New Age, Coding Helps Journalists Avoid Plagiarism

In a recent post on Steve Buttry’s blog, he describes plagiarism and how journalists can avoid lifting other people’s work. In his post, he presents a powerpoint that goes along with his post.

He gives good advice to journalists on how to cite and attribute efficiently in a new age. Much of the powerpoint covers hyperlinking as a way for journalists to attribute in their web stories. Also covered is how journalists can attribute sources on social media sites such as twitter.
I think that this is a great and informative post, and is something that should be taught in college courses now that journalism is taking a turn toward the web. In order to keep journalists safe from plagiarizing on the web, the knowledge Buttry presents is essential.

Hotel Redesign Resembles Website Design

A recent New York Times article described the changes to the St. Regis Hotel in New York. The hotel updated its facilities in many ways and redecorated most of the building for the first time in almost a hundred years.

The new advertising and redesign of the hotel resembles the recent trend of website redesign. The redecoration of the rooms and lobbies includes recoloring, which websites have recently taken to doing because of realizations about associations with color. Also, the advertising for the redesign was heavily including of color, focusing on the black of the woman’s dress in the main suite.
The hotel itself may not directly resemble a website, but the redesign of the color of the building does. More older building and hotels may start to take this approach.