3 Become 1. Philly.com Swallows Internal Competition

The ‘too smart for their britches’ folk at the Philadelphia Inquirer, Daily News & Philly.com finally did the inevitable. They stopped competing with themselves.

From their newsroom: The websites for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Philadelphia Daily News will be shuttered in December, with Philly.com becoming the sole location for the company’s digital products. The changes were outlined in an email to all employees of parent company Interstate General Media.

“In December, we will fold the Inquirer.com and PhillyDailyNews.com sites back into Philly.com, our flagship digital brand,” the memorandum said. “What this means is that the standalone newspaper-branded sites will no longer exist and will instead redirect readers to Philly.com, where users will find Inquirer and Daily News journalism featured more prominently and have access to branded Inquirer and Daily News section fronts that represent the editorial voice and judgment of the newspapers.”


Info-graphics. Local News Simplified.

We love info-graphics. This visual story telling is a great way to explain a complex idea, concept or piece of journalism through the use of imagery, graphics and short n’ sweet headlines. Did we need to hire a graphic designer? Nope. All that was needed was a few bucks to purchase a WordPress plug-in to make that task downright easy.

When do we use info-graphics? Mainly when the story becomes bulky with lots of key elements. For example, a Brigantine, N.J., Councilman has been accused of some cagey Real Estate & tax dealings. Click to see our use of info-graphics in this particular case.

See BrigantineNOW.com use of Info-Graphics

info graphic

How to Cover City Hall in your Underwear

Painful. Covering City Hall and council meetings for your local news organization is almost a fate worse than death. Good thing this Inter-web thingy came along.

Now I can catch all the excitement, corruption, boredom, lunacy and money-wasting, right from the comfort of my own home. Even in my underwear if I so desire.

  • Step#1  Grab the live, streaming feed of the council meeting….and press record.
  • Step#2  Extract cringe-worthy segments for all taxpayers to enjoy, on-demand, forever.

Watch this wonderful exhibition: Public officials tap dancing around website security…. for the Brigantine Beach, NJ Municipal website.

Digital Diagnostic: WCPO TV Website in Cincinatti

WCPO Television in Cincinnati erected a pay wall in front of their web content earlier this year. Is it working out as planned? Well, that a closely guarded secret so far. As you may know, www.GetSmartDigital.com is not a fan of charging for ‘borderline commodity’ content. Wall Street Journal…yes. Local news…no.

But on occasion, we love when Newspaper and TV companies use pay walls on their website. Specifically, we smile big when our competitors use them. 

On the WCPO upside…we really some of the online revenue programs and sales tactics that the EW Scripps folks are deploying on www.WCPO.com.

Let’s do a quick 10 minute DIGITAL DIAGNOSTIC…


Video. Not Just for Newsrooms.

When will local media websites and hyper local blogs start making money with online video? That’s a question I get asked quite often. My short answer: When Newspaper and Broadcast mamagers start giving video equipment to the sales departments.

Research shows that the big money in online video, for now, is NOT in editorial & news content. Rather, it’s in promotion, demonstration & advertorial-based video content.

It’s insane that Newspaper, TV, Radio and independent hyper-local sites aren’t paying attention to this trend. Instead, they’ve mainly focused on editorial based video. This is where journalists mimic old school techniques of TV anchors and reporters.

Low cost investment in digital video equipment ( ex: Go-Pro ), simple editing software found on most computers for free, and training are good things. But why do we think these smart investments are for newsrooms only?

In theory, telling or enhancing text based stories with video is powerful and compelling. In practice though, it’s been a money pit.

Video views have sputtered making sales more difficult. Enthusiasm has diminished in some newsrooms as it becomes apparent, that even the best production value and subject matter doesn’t always translate into journalistic and sales success.

Below is a simple, quick, and highly effective video we shot for a local pizza place in Brigantine, NJ.

‘Bella Luna’ is a sponsor of our hyper-local news site: www.BrigantineNOW.com.