The Media Oxpecker: ‘Always Be Looking’

Every Friday we round up media & tech industry news you may have missed while you were busy getting your boxes did.

Washington Post metro reporters now “get to work from home, forever.” Web traffic to daily deal sites plummets. And Jack Shafer says you should familiarize yourself with this page here.

  • Recently laid off Jack Shafer said he wasn’t surprised to lose his job at Slate last week and that in the news industry, “Everybody should be expecting a layoff in hard times like these”:

    Do you know the play/movie Glengarry Glen Ross? There’s a cliche the boiler-room salesmen in it use: “ABC,” which stands for Always Be Closing. I believe in ABL for journalists: Always Be Looking. No matter how good your job is–and mine was great–you should always be looking for your next gig.

    Meanwhile, one the Washington Post Company’s other Kaplan-subsidized publications announced that it would be closing all but two of its local bureau offices. In a memo to staff however, Washington Post executive editor Marcus Brauchli emphasized, “This is about office space, not personnel or coverage . . . with the savings from ending unnecessarily expensive leases, we will invest in technology that will enable us to file from anywhere, at any time, to any platform.”

    Good news, Washington Post suburban metro reporters: You get to work from home, forever than a minute ago via TweetDeck Favorite Retweet Reply

  • It was another bearish week for Groupon, with news that its web traffic has declined by nearly 50 percent since its peak in early-June. Daily deal sites as a whole have experienced a 25 percent decline in traffic this summer.

    A survey earlier this summer suggested that daily-deal-fatigue could be to blame, with more than half of respondents saying they felt overwhelmed by the number of deals arriving in their inbox.

    Perhaps seeing the writing on the wall, within the past week both Facebook and Yelp have started a retreat from the so-far unprofitable daily deal space.

    But Google is moving forward with its daily deal program, which places its geo-targeted offers in the valuable real estate below the search bar. So far the service is limited to Portland, New York, and the San Francisco Bay Area.

    And the technology firm rVue — which is responsible for the digital ads that appear on billboards, stadiums, elevators, grocery checkout lines, etc. — is launching a new platform that offers real-time, location-based deals and special offers that consumers can respond to via toll-free 800 numbers and embedded QR codes.

  • Google+ searchers are richer and younger than Facebook searchers.
  • Mobile ad networks are scrambling to develop a strategy to deal with changes to Apple’s iPhone and iPad operating system.
  • Do print readers recall more than online readers of news? One study says yes:

    The researchers found that the print folks “remember significantly more news stories than online news readers”; that print readers “remembered significantly more topics than online newsreaders”; and that print readers remembered “more main points of news stories.” When it came to recalling headlines, print and online readers finished in a draw.

  • During major breaking events such as Hurricane Irene, it’s as important for social media editors to actively debunk false information — such as the East River photo that was circulating on Saturday night, or the six-year-old photo of a subway station flooding — as it is for them to find and share breaking news.
  • The New York Times is being accused of publishing another bogus trend piece, this one about the next generation of campaign reporters.
  • Gannett and Yahoo are expanding an advertising partnership under which Gannett newspapers and TV stations sell Yahoo inventory, and offer their content to appear on Yahoo sites.
  • Pages that display a Tweet button receive 7 times more social media mentions than pages that don’t display one.
  • Have Google DoubleClick stats inflated social media sites’ web traffic numbers?
  • And in a break from the otherwise gloomy news for print media, we’ll end the week with some encouraging news from, oh, never mind.
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