Monthly Archives: July 2008

Uk Retail Sales fall -3.9% in June, but non food sales rise

UK Retail sales fell -3.9% in June 2008, reversing the unexpected May performance of +3.6%. Too much importance should not be given to a single monthly performance but the overall retail sales trend is weakening.

Key findings from the ONS report:

  • Retail sales volume rose by 0.6 per cent in the three months to June 2008 compared with the previous three months.
  • Three-monthly growth in sales volume fell by 0.2 per cent for predominantly food stores. In predominantly non-food stores sales rose by 1.1 per cent. Sales in the non-store retailing and repair sector rose by 0.8 per cent.

John Lewis reported improved sales apart from out of town stores, which declined possibly reflecting higher fuel costs: Times article


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Filed under economy

Let Google be your pressroom and a local paper doesn’t need a local site?

Newspapers are in the wrong businesses. They should no longer be in the manufacturing and distribution businesses — which have become heavy cost yokes — and should no longer try to be in the technology business. They’re bad at it.

Jeff Jarvis, Prof. of Journalism, in this Buzzmachine article.
Today’s newspapers invest in their web sites out of vanity and from an inability to get their heads out of the geographically defined markets of the past. They have a “local paper” so they assume they need a “local site.” Bull. Developing and maintaining a web site is expensive and reduces the funds available to support the journalism and community building. All but the largest papers should be sharing their websites, computer technology, etc. If you think you need SQL and HTML people on full-time staff, then you’re probably not understanding what it will take it succeed in the future.
Bob Wyman in conversation with Jeff Jarvis. Bob Wyman founder of Pub Sub, worked for DEC, Microsoft and now Google. LinkedIn profile.
Bob Wyman addresses the missed opportunity by newspapers to develop online classifieds in this post on his blog, as I may think.
Should the newspapers try at this late date to recover the online classified business? No. That would be, I am sure, a hopeless task. The opportunity is lost, the window closed. You can only fight economics temporarily and then only at specific moments in the development of an economy or market. The time for this particular battle is long over. For a newspaper to build an online classified business today would be sort of like someone building a new Internet Service Provider to compete with the phone or cable companies… It’s just not worth the bother unless the technology is distinctly and greatly different.

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Filed under web

Why blog post titles are important: Rule 8 Misconstrued Meanings

A post on MarketingProfs relating to “Blended Search” which was unfortunately abbreviated in the title… but perhaps Search Engine Optimisation is actually BS?

oh, Blended Search? ah yes that's what you meant
oh, Blended Search? ah yes that’s what you meant

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Filed under Marketing

The Telegraph drops MS Office for Google Apps

The Telegraph Media Group is swapping 1400 users of Microsoft Office over to Google applications, including the use of Google’s Gmail for email. This action follows a successful trial of the web based apps from Google. Google applications provide another free alternative to MS Office, with word processing, presentation and spreadsheet creation available online or offline using Google Gears. Although the word processing part of Google applications, Google Docs is powerful; advanced users have found the spreadsheet limited in  its functions and capability.

Google Docs has recently added 300 new templates: Merlin Mann describes his favourites

Google Docs reviewed

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Filed under technology

House of Lords Committee: Newspapers are not dying

Politicians on the Communications Committee are warned by Professor Steven Barnett of Westminster University to treat claims of the death of newspapers with caution:

Guy Phillipson, chief executive of the Internet Advertising Bureau, introduced the motion, noting the decline of newspapers’ print circulations, and the explosive growth of their online traffic and revenues.

He pointed out that after just 10 years of significant commercial use, the internet overtook national newspapers’ share of the UK advertising market in 2006, and is on course to overtake television next year.

… “We’re not saying that newspapers are going to die, but we are saying that the only way they will survive is to fully embrace online to reinvigorate their brand and take advantage of all the additional revenue that it can generate.” Press Gazette

Surely most of the additional revenue has already been grabbed by the likes of Google Adsense? In 2008 internet based advertising is set to overtale TV, with most of the search advertising heading to Google and established players:

The report said Google would remain the biggest beneficiary of the growth in search advertising and predicted it would take 80 percent of UK spend on search advertising, up from 78 percent in 2007. Reuters article 17.06.2008 here


Coverage in the Press Gazette

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Filed under Regional Press, web

“Innovate or obliterate”! Tampa Tribune

Interesting post by Tampa Tribune intern Jessica da Silva over the speech by the Tribune editor in chief emphasizing hyper local web content as primary over the print edition of the paper.

She compared newspapers to the music industry. Having increased access to music has undermined the corporate giants of the music industry. They are not making money, but demand is just as high if not higher than it ever has been.

…She can see the trend in the industry: Innovate or obliterate. She stressed more than several times that if newspapers don’t change then NEWSPAPERS WILL DIE.

It’s hard, she admitted. Sometimes she feels temptation to get out of this business and join PricewaterhouseCoopers where she can have a decent salary and lifestyle. But then she thinks of the role of a news organization, and she knows she could never do that.


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Filed under Regional Press, web