Philadelphia Business Today: A newspaper doing video right, mostly


I think the Philadelphia Inquirer is doing at least one of its online videos right – mostly.

The storied newspaper’s business section puts out a daily, noontime, three to five-minute news show called Philadelphia Business Today, and it has developed into one of the best newspaper-produced videos online. What are they doing right? What are they doing wrong? What can newspapers across the country learn. And Is anyone watching?

Continue reading Philadelphia Business Today: A newspaper doing video right, mostly

Tell a metro columnist where his blog should go

Dan Rubin is asking for your advice.

The metro columnist for the Philadelphia Inquirer, a big urban daily newspaper, wants you to tell him what direction Blinq, his blog, should go.

Rubin is crowdsourcing advice on Web 2.0 and, unfortunately, is getting mostly garbage comments from’s noted crowd of bottom-feeders – the reasons why are for a different post.

So tell him yourself. I did.

Continue reading Tell a metro columnist where his blog should go

A foreign correspondent's view on newspaper struggles

Here’s a brand.

Trudy Rubin is what’s left of the once glorious international presence of the Philadelphia Inquirer.

She just returned from another tour of Iraq, where she has further cemented her reputation as a top global-reporting force. Her Worldview column and her blog are musts for those following American presences in the Middle East (Subscribe here). Yeah, and she’s doing for the Inquirer, fo real.

On Tuesday, she fielded questions in an online forum and, along with politics and military, I was joined by others asking her thoughts on newspapers.

Find them below.

Continue reading A foreign correspondent's view on newspaper struggles

Give an excerpt of your stories in a feed, get more clicks


You gotta give something to get something, man.

So, I’m tired of newspapers ignoring the details of an RSS feed. In a mobile world, I have to believe that choosing what Internet news, information, and blog updates come to you will be the future.

So why aren’t newspapers figuring out the details?

Continue reading Give an excerpt of your stories in a feed, get more clicks gets new Web site redesign

philly-com.JPG – the online home of the Inquirer and the Daily News – launched a new redesign last week.

Our man Daniel McQuade of Philadelphia Weekly’s Will Do blog has some thoughts.

Well, well! went a redesigned and… well, they got rid of the changing front page via Javascript, so the redesign is an immediate success in one area. Reader Christopher emails: “The site has totally gone retro 80’s pastel with geometric shapes and magic marker headlines. Feels like Miami Vice.” That kind of feels right, though — remember, this is a company that pays both Michael Smerconish and Christine Flowers, who must turn in their columns in magic marker.

My friend Chris Reber says it “looks good, but isn’t that the same design as Stereogum?”


No surprise the comments on the redesign’s announcement are full of hating.

Your kidding me right… did you have the website redesigned and outsourced in India? It looks like a 12 year old without any perception and or understanding of color theory or interface usability built this site. And what is up with your header and that bouncing “” logo? And for the love of god whahy did you use a beige textured wallpaper in your background it look very 1996ish. One word comes to mind “FAIL”!

Of course, that is fairly excessive. Agreed, it doesn’t scream professionalism or the Internet home of the third oldest daily newspaper in the country, but then, the two newspapers’ individual pages are more traditional. The Daily News didn’t change at all – from what I can see – and the Inquirer didn’t change much, though, to be honest, what changes they made seem to be a step backwards. No dominant image and no displaying other new media. Three columns and I am drawn more to their left-most advertising than their content.

Why do people hate Stephen A. Smith?

The outspoken sports commentator, former Philadelphia Inquirer columnist and all around scourge of a whole lot of people gets a whole lot of guff here in Philadelphia, and elsewhere.Not the least of which are his being annually taunted at the NBA draft.See video of it in 2006…

And 2007…

So, even after being canned by the Inquirer and derided elsewhere, he launched a blog to defend himself, I suppose, or at least take media coverage of his into his own hands. What gives? Why do people despise this man so much?

Arrest that jaywalker

philadelphia-police-badge.jpgNew Philadelphia Police Commissioner Chuck Ramsey unveiled his comprehensive crime fighting report early this month. Lots was made of  initiatives to pump in new cops and lessen homicide totals with direct action, but a smaller plan is in the works.

An old suggestion by city cop Edward McLaughlin for Philadelphia to conform with most of Pennsylvania in a small and sensible way caught the attention of Ramsey and was included in his plan, as reported by the Philadelphia Inquirer today.Throughout most of the state, such quality of life offenses like littering, jaywalking and acting as a public nuisance require an officer just to write a citation, permitted the transgressor has proof of address. Since 1974, Philadelphia officers have had to arrest the person, and spend an hour or more bringing the individual to be booked and processed.

Don’t be too hopeful though. The change could take at least six months and could require a massive overhaul in processing, as there is the expectation for a huge upsurge in citations. We’ll see if Ramsey can fight Philly, where good ideas come to die.

Chicken attack in area high school

Graduates of Philadephia’s Northeast High School beware. More than 50 live chickens were let loose in the high school, forcing the school to close, the Philadelphia Inquirer is reporting. Not even joking.
Security cameras show a handful of “culprits” gained access to the school around 9:30 p.m. last night, along its Cottman Avenue entrance. They also spread chicken feed across the school’s floor.It appears to be an elaborate prank. A prank that, at least one secretary told the Inquirer, would be preferred than a school shooting or similar news that more often gives headlines to high schools. A farmer was summoned to round-up the birds and haul them away to Fox Chase Farm, the district’s agricultural school. Hefty fines are expected.