Business Bytes

Behind the Scenes: Media Unspun's Demise

Behind the Scenes, Business Bytes, Special Features, The Weblog Blog
As Media Unspun prepares to shut down on Friday, publisher Jimmy Guterman says in a Q&A with's Jonathan Dube that the only way for independent Web publishers to survive is by banding together as a network to "preserve our idiosyncratic voices, but share a business back end." He also says, "Journalistic Weblogs have to be two-way to work, otherwise they're either vanity publishing ventures or traditional columns pretending to be hip." Media Unspun, an online and e-mail publication analyzing media coverage of technology business news, will suspend publication on Friday Dec. 13, unless a major sponsor or investors is found before then. Continue reading...

Online Impact of CNN-ABCNEWS Merger

Business Bytes, Special Features
Rumors continue that executives from ABC and AOL Time-Warner's CNN are pondering a merger of their news networks. While the move would be significant to the journalism and television worlds, the move would be equally significant to the online sector, according to this report from comScore Media Metrix. "Without question, a combined CNN-ABC News online news network would make it the leader in its category - particularly in the U.S.," the report says. "Collectively, these online news networks reached (an unduplicated) 24.7 million unique visitors in September 2002, putting the combined entity ahead of AOL News (a CNN sister company) by 5.1 million visitors." Continue reading...

September Net Traffic Numbers

Business Bytes, Convergence, Resources, Special Features
The Nielsen//NetRatings top Current Events & Global News Sites numbers are out for September. The Associated Press, Belo and the Drudge Report dropped off the Top 20, while the Boston Globe, McClatchy Newspapers and the WorldNow network of local television sites joined the list. If you're not familiar with WorldNow check it out -- the company now has partnerships with 143 local television stations. Continue reading...

Top 20 Current Events & Global News Sites

Business Bytes, Research and Studies, Resources, Special Features
Nielsen//NetRatings has released its list of the Top 20 Current Events & Global News Sites for August. August is usually a slow month, but this one was unusually busy, thanks to the West Nile Virus, the ongoing drought, wild fires and the run-up to Sept. 11 coverage. As a result, traffic to most sites increased. will be running Nielsen//NetRatings' monthly news site traffic reports from now on, here. Continue reading...

Free MP3s

Business Bytes, Great Ideas
Newspaper sites are increasingly offering free MP3 downloads of local bands -- it's legal, a great service to readers and great free publicity for the groups. Among the sites offering this service are,,,, and The Topeka Capital-Journal's

American Airlines-Sponsored Crash Coverage?

Business Bytes, Cyber Slip-Ups
Shortly after the American Airlines flight crashed near John F. Kennedy airport, some readers may have noticed that ran an ad on its cover for the airline -- right next to the crash coverage (click for screenshot). This embarrassing faux pas ought to serve as a good reminder that random ad generation has its flaws, and sites need systems in place to prevent things like this from happening.

ASME: Best Practices for Digital Media

Business Bytes, Ethics and Credibility, Online News and Convergence Tips, Resources, Tips and Tools
The American Society of Magazine Editors has written useful guidelines for how to maintain editorial integrity in online publications. ASME says Web sites should clearly identify who is controlling or paying for their content; clearly distinguish between editorial and ad content; and avoid embedding advertising links in editorial copy. Read the full guidelines.