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Jimmy Leach

Jimmy Leach was once editorial director for digital for The Independent.

There's always the Twitter option

We're on FastFlip

Posted by Jimmy Leach
  • Thursday, 17 December 2009 at 10:33 am
Today, we officially joined Google’s Fastflip, joined by The Telegraph and the Express as the UK additions to 24 more publications that have joined the Google experiment.

FastFlip is Google’s toy to try and find new ways for print-based news organisations to find new readers, part of the delicate ecology of Google’s relationship with news providers. FastFlip has been (perfectly reasonably) criticised for giving readers an even more ephemeral relationship with news providers than ever, making it more difficult for the news providers, and their advertisers, to create a direct (and monetisable) relationship with their readers.

That is true, but for an organisation like ourselves, broadening the audience is an attractive option. While web-heads are a little sniffy about FastFlip’s presentation and engagement, there’s likely to be a sizeable audience which find it a neat and attractive way of viewing our content. So we might as well let them. I charmingly and generously gave Google a quote for their blog (and the Guardian called me circumspect on the back of it while is oddly pleasing, as well as saying I was editorial director for THE digital)

"There's lots of talk about the future for online newspapers, and we're all feeling our way to different answers. There are no certainties, but having more readers can only be a good thing and we're happy to experiment with Google and Fast Flip as a way of drawing in more readers, making our brand more accessible to people and making the experience of reading our content a more enjoyable one. It'll be very interesting to see where it takes us."

And that’s where we are. It’ll help grow the audience, that’s got to be a good thing. We can worry about how to make more of the zillions of people that Google sends us next year …

The Tablet - and how it might work, swimsuits and all

Posted by Jimmy Leach
  • Friday, 4 December 2009 at 11:55 am
Sports Illustrated (seem to) have produced this vision of how their content and the longed-for game-changing device for digital publishers, thought of as The Tablet for now. Looks nice, aside from the bored voiceover - and notable for the only time you'll get three quarters of the way through a Sports Illustrated piece of any kind before they mention 'the swimsuit issue'.

I’ve blathered on before about a lack of enthusiasm for charging for news content and whether Mr Murdoch, in particular, would get away with it.

A report by Oliver and Ohlbaum (reported here by MediaGuardian) provides little succour, suggesting that few subscribers would pay much more than £2 a month -which won’t pay for much more than the guard dogs around the content.

But a heartening statistic did stand out – The Independent’s readers are the most likely to put their money with their mouth is. Twenty nine per cent of those who cited the Indy as their favourite news source would pay £2 a month for it (next up, The Guardian and Times at 26%, with The Sun at 15%).

Even better, 20% of you would pay a fiver a month (only 15% for the Guardian and Times – and a teensy 2% for the Sun).

So the sums don’t look great for News Corp, who publish the Sun and the Times, but what we’ve always said round here is true: The Independent has the most loyal, discerning and generous readers*.

*(not sure it’s a business model, mind)

Would you give tuppence for Jeremy Clarkson?

Posted by Jimmy Leach
  • Thursday, 12 November 2009 at 12:20 pm
 For those looking to monetise content online a small survey just out makes fairly depressing reading.
The survey (by Continental Research) suggests that only 5% would pay for a long-term (monthly or annual subscription) to newspapers or magazines, while 63% would not pay at all. Twenty one per cent would pay micropayments, ie by the article, pay-per-read, as it were.
So far, so unpromising. Even more so when it comes to what those who would pay per article would hand over. Thirty five per cent would pay tuppence per article, 22% would pay 5p and the chart decline steadily downwards. One small glimmer is that more of the under-34 age group would pay (26% would make micropayments).
It’s a small survey (500 people) asking about a hypothetical situation, but it doesn’t offer much sustenance to those hoping to make a direct link between content and payment, and its also likely that people would only pay for ‘favourite content –those big name columnists earning some small justification for their money.  
But if you thought that was depressing, have a look at the columnists that people would pay for. In order, most popular first, it would be:
Jeremy Clarkson
Charlie Brooker
Richard Littlejohn
Giles Coren
Simon Heffer
Gordon Smart
Lorraine Kelly
Peter Hitchins
Jane Moore
Melanie Phillips

The power of the brand

Posted by Jimmy Leach
  • Tuesday, 10 November 2009 at 03:23 pm
A wee lecture about the history of the brand, that's been paid for by a brand trying to reinvent itself (Black Magic), but it's quite interesting nevertheless. Although it does seem to insist that brands are manufactured, that is, that they are based on physical products. In the world this brand (The Independent) is in, its more about the intangible nature of our brand - less about the physical newspaper, and more about its presence in less tangible, digital arena.

Still worth a watch, the man cares.

Murdoch: Have I missed something?

Posted by Jimmy Leach
  • Tuesday, 10 November 2009 at 10:55 am
Clearly I’m not the brightest individual. 
Rupert Murdoch announces plans (now delayed) to charge for content. Fair enough – I think he’s wrong, but rich, famous blokes with opinion tend to be listened to more than the likes of me. Although if he ploughs on, he’ll be a little less rich (no need for him to fret, he has a healthy lead on me still in the money stakes). 
Then it gets a bit odd. First he announces plans to charge Google for linking to his content. Not quite understanding perhaps that there's no compelling reason for Google to pay.
And now he’s considering blocking Google entirely from linking to their content. And I’m assuming that by ‘Google’ he, in reality, means all search engines.
So, in short, he wants to make it difficult for people to find his content online, then he’s going to charge them for the privilege of reading it (when broadly similar content is widely available for free elsewhere).
It must be me.  

The electrocution of Didier Drogba

Posted by Jimmy Leach
  • Monday, 9 November 2009 at 01:59 pm
Manchester United's Jonny Evans has electric studs in his boots. Applied to Drogba's poppy, they create a curent which makes him wiggle like an occupant of Old Smokey. Nemanja Vidic deserves praise for not bothering to conceal his amusement.

UniQ tackle Hazel Blears

Posted by Jimmy Leach
  • Wednesday, 4 November 2009 at 12:10 pm
 Uni-Q is a new online show - best described as ‘Question Time’ meets ‘TFI Friday’ - providing a forum for 16-25 year olds to pose questions to MPs and other high profile figures. Created by a group of University of Hull politics graduates as a way to engage young people in politics, Uni-Q is the first programme of its kind to tour universities and colleges across the UK. And it's being backed by the Independent, which is nice.

The first edition include former Communities Secretary Hazel Blears in her first media appearance since her rather controversial departure from the government earlier in the year.

More on how to join in with future UniQ programmes here.

The most read bloggers on the Independent

Posted by Jimmy Leach
  • Tuesday, 3 November 2009 at 01:19 pm
 You wouldn't believe the tension, the bitching, the glee and the misery as I unveil the top ten most read bloggers on the Independent for last month. And you'd be right to, because it wouldn't be true - but our bloggers pay more heed to this than they would admit.


7 - Mixtape




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