Posts Tagged ‘publisher’

The Case Against Gannett Co Inc’s “The Bold Italic” Website – Exh 1: Dismal, Dismal Numbers

Wednesday, February 27th, 2013

The question is whether The Bold Italic website from Gannett Company, Incorporated (NYSEGCI,FWBGTTS&P 500 Component) is “villainous” – that’s the talk of the town, lately.

To wit:

“They’re hardly the villains in this town.”

Well let’s see.

I’ll tell you, over the years I thought that TBI was just one dude, a dude that I came across all the way back in 2010. He was proud that the average TBI visitor stayed on the site or on a webpage or something for like five minutes. Now we’ll see about that stat in a moment, but I’m just shocked that TBI has/had all those employees plus a custom-made clubhouse in Hayes Valley. That’s where I’m coming from.

Hey did you know that’s there’s a website called The Gannett Blog and it’s based in San Francisco? (I didn’t.) Anywho, let’s hear about the TBI from Anonymous:

The revenue plan was mysterious because there was no revenue. Not for the first 24 months anyway. The Bold Italic had a burn rate that rivals some of the most infamous dot.com fizz outs. They blew through $2 million a year for the first 2 years, before snagging a whopping $41k in revenue based on their skimming from entertainment ticket / event sales.”

Is that true? I don’t know. But where did that $41k figure come from? Such specificity!

Of course public relations doctrine from your S&P 500 type of companies is to say that such a specific statement such as this is “false” or “way off.”

That kind of thing is called a pregnant denial by some.

So, has The Gannet Company, Incorporated spent millions and millions of dollars on The TBI the past few years?

Sure looks that way.

Wow.

That’s starting to remind me of The Bay Citizen, actually.

(Of course the TBC produced a lot of great journalism, IMO.)

So that’s one side of the ledger, millions upon millions spent, or wasted, whichever, but what about revenue coming in? What about the number of readers, for example.

Let’s check Alexa, The Web Information Company.

Ooh, here’s something:

Click to expand

The above graph show what the Alexa people think has been going on the past week. The San Francisco Chronicle / SFGate.com is in there as a baseline – it’s consistently something like the 1000th most popular website in the world, or something. No surprise there.

And look, this pathetic blog, the one you’re looking at right now, the one filled with animal photos and whatnot, the one with overhead of less than $100 per year, managed to make the grade as well. I can assure you that this is anomalous – either it’s a mistake or maybe a big website pointed to one bit and that generated a burst of traffic. I don’t actually know, or care to know, to be honest, and even if I did, I don’t know how to find out, oh well.

The real test is how TBI does compared with someplace like SFist, which is basically run by one dude. Check out Alexa – you can see that TBI gets beat by SFist consistently and thoroughly, week after week, month after month, year after year.

Ouch.

And I suspect that blue bump you see up there, when TBI clearly broke into top 100,000 territory, mostly had to do with the controversy related to a recent post from KevMo, Kevin Montgomery of TUA, The Uptown Almanac.

Mmmm.

And even that minutes-spent-onsite-per-visitor stat, the one that’s supposed to Have Meaning, turns out to be three minutes for both The TBI and SFist.com

Mmmm.

Of course there are other ways of getting revenue than simply having people look at your site.

Like there’s “partnerships” ‘n stuff.

That issue will be Exhibit 2 in the case against TBI.

(I haven’t proven villainousness yet, I’ll agree. I’m still on the fence. But I’ll look into it.)

All right, TBC, To Be Continued…

And San Francisco’s Worst Website is … The Bold Italic – From Gannett Co., Inc. – Ooh, a Nice Take-Down from TK

Thursday, February 21st, 2013

Oh, so that The Bold Italic site is owned by Gannet Co. Inc, America’s largest newspaper publisher?

Well that explains a lot.

It certainly explains why a high-overhead, low-income* website  manages to keep chugging along, year after year.

A mystery solved.

Now, part of what makes the long-form website TBI the worst in town is the focus on graphics, which, you know, per se, are perfectly serviceable.

For example:

Via Raven Keller  – wow, a credit where it belongs. How, how novel that is!

But IMO, JMO, all that graphics stuff gets in the way of TBI’s writers making their fucking points.

JMO.

The one time I saw a bit on TBI where the writer made her point quickly and clearly was time that gal wrote about the comments people made about her broken iPhone screen. Guess what. It didn’t have any concomitant graphics at all. And I thought, wow, no graphics = better TBI. (And I think it had been six months since I followed a link and took a look at The Bold Italic, oh well.)

Now I’ve heard the spiel from the Gannett people about how great it is that the average reader spends five minutes on each TBI webpage or something, but TBI, you’re on the road to ruin.

Speaking of which, here comes The Uptown Almanac with a take-down.

Ouch.

And here. from out of nowhere, comes TK of 40 Going on 28 with The Barbary Italic:

“NEWCOMERS THREATEN TOWN! WILL DESTROY SAN FRANCISCO WITH THEIR “TELEGRAPHS” AND “INDOOR PLUMBING!”

Friends, our Way of Life in pleasant San Francisco is under siege from a wave of NE’ER-DO-WELLS, WHIPPERSNAPPERS and DANDIES who have never laid eyes on a gold pan or sluiced a river or skinned a beaver JUST FOR FUN.  I am sad to report they are INVADING OUR TOWN in waves with their newfangled TELEGRAPHY MACHINES and WRIST-WATCHES.

It used to be a man could buy a perfectly good mud-brick cabin with PANO VUs on the side of Russky Hill for ten dollars.  NO MORE.  Respectable cobblers, drapers, and whores are being driven from their homes by these VARMINTS who will pay TWELVE OR THIRTEEN DOLLARS for a shanty.”

And so on.

HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!

So, TBI, you are the online version of 7×7 magazine. which is horrible.

What you should be instead is the online version of San Francisco Magazine, which has had some excellent long-form pieces lately, the past year especially.

Regards.

*How much money can you make from a site with a six-figure Alexa Traffic Rank? Not that much, brother! Let me assure you.

Wow, Bevan Dufty Goes After The Bay Citizen, Bevan Dufty Attempts to Defend the Central Subway and Rose Pak

Tuesday, November 1st, 2011

[UPDATE: Transit buff murphstahoe has this reaction:

"@BevanDufty calls Central Subway a "very strong connection to Caltrain" - wrong! http://t.co/32xzseD8 #sfmayor"]

First up is a conversation with Seán Martinfield, Editor and Publisher of the San Francisco Sentinel.

Excerpts:

“I feel confident I am as viable as anyone else in this race.”

Disagree, respectfully. An incumbent Mayor losing is like a once-every-couple-decades kind of thing, right? Incumbents have huge built-in advantages, of course.

“I definitely feel The Bay Citizen has marginalized me and that they have reported I’m a second-tier candidate within the LGBT community – when, if you look at the details of the poll, I doubt they’ve even sampled thirty-five LGBT voters in their sample.”

It’s not TBC’s job to spin for any particular candidate, is it?

“And so, you have The Bay Citizen which is an insert newspaper for the New York Times…”

Is that an insult? Is it meant to be? I can’t tell. But I can tell you that one look at its payroll will reveal that it’s a major bay area media entity.

“…and they threw a poll. An initiative like that is about marginalizing me. It’s about telling people that I can’t win.”

Wow. The whole exercise with USF and spending $10k on independent polling was about marginalizing Bevan Dufty? Really? (Maybe I’m not reading this right.)

The Bay Citizen called me “a Zombie” and didn’t even spell my name right in the story.

Zombie candidate,” IIRC. Some people (such as myself, for one) have issues with how RCV and public financing relate to each other under the current rules, of course.

Next up is this bit from Jerrold Chinn at SF Public Press. You can fire it up at 2:45 or so.

“Do you support the Central Subway? Why or why not?”

For the record, here’s the damning Grand Jury report.

Per the video, Bevan thinks that people don’t have any idea that Rose Pak was the first Chinese American reporter at the San Francisco Chronicle? I think they do and I’m not sure how this bears on the CS. (You know, some people want to take steps to improve the 30 Stockton corridor like right now, instead of after a decade of delays and cost overruns. Is that racist to want to improve things now? How is it that “transit justice” can only be satisfied by the current horrible, horribly expensive, Bridge-to-Nowhere Central Subway scheme? I’m baffled.)

Bevan says that “90% of the Central Subway will be paid by the federal government?” This seems impossible to me. Is this in writing? Does it include past and future overruns?

Bevan says that the CS has to come before any other major project, such as putting rails in on Geary. But he doesn’t say why.

Bevan says that we would lose in excess of $100,000,000 if we pull the plug now. I thought it was closer to $200,000,000 myself but of course bad transit decisions cost money. The question is what should we do at this point. (I think we’d all be better off taking a new tack by simply paying back the Feds.)

I don’t know, if anybody wants to go line-by-line on today’s updated critique from Save MUNI, be my guest. (To be honest, I don’t know how anybody can defend the station placement decisions, the car-length decision, the let’s stop at southern Chinatown decision, among others. The CS is a politics-first, transit-last project, IMO.

(And oh, BTW, there’s a pool going on right now around town about what position Bevan will be appointed to and when. FYI.)

O.K, enjoy, after the jump

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The Audis are Coming! The Synthetic RenDiesel-Powered Audis are Coming to San Francisco – Is This “Clean Diesel” or Not?

Tuesday, October 12th, 2010

I suppose the Fischer–Tropsch process of turning various things into liquid fuel isn’t just for Nazi Germany anymore – news comes today about some Audis powered by synthetic diesel that came from natural gas.

They’ll be touring the state soon, starting off up in tiny Eureka and then hitting San Francisco on October 19th.

The whole point is to show off RenDiesel fuel made at America’s only synfuels plant. (The place in Mississippi makes just ten barrels a day - not very much but they have plans to expand production.)

I get the feeling that this effort won’t impress the StreetsBlog people, but I could be wrong. Anyway, all the deets are below.

From natural gas to diesel to your Audi A3 TDI:

Click to expand

To the pilots of these Audis, I have four words:

Samoa Cookhouse (up near Eureka); und

Bon voyage

All the deets:

‘Eureka! Diesel Driving the Future’ to Feature Audi A3 TDIs Running 1,000 Miles — the Length of California — on Synthetic RenDiesel®

Clean diesel journey a part of Green Car of the Year Tour(TM)

EUREKA, Calif., Oct. 12– A pair of 2010 Audi A3 TDI cars are scheduled to embark on a four day, 1,000 mile journey beginning October 18, 2010 driving exclusively on synthetic RenDiesel® fuel produced from natural gas by Rentech, Inc. (NYSE AMEX: RTK). The Audi A3 TDI® is Green Car Journal’s 2010 Green Car of the Year®.

The drive by Green Car Journal editors and invited VIPs is part of the magazine’s Green Car of the Year Tour(TM), which this year focuses on the important role that advanced clean diesel vehicles play in efficiency and CO2 reduction, plus the potential that lies ahead for sustainable non-petroleum fuels. Clean diesel models have captured top honors as the Green Car of the Year® the past two years. This California stage of the tour follows the magazine’s August 2010 Green Car of the Year Tour(TM) activity at Argonne National Laboratory near Chicago.

The two A3 TDIs will leave on their 1,000-mile journey from Eureka, California’s largest northernmost city located on Humboldt Bay, heading toward San Diego, the state’s largest southernmost city. Stops along the way include Sacramento (October 18), San Francisco (October 19), and San Diego (October 20), with a return northward to the Petersen Automotive Museum in Los Angeles for a Green Car of the Year Tour(TM) wrap-up event on October 21.

“With many thousands of miles already behind the wheel of Audi’s outstanding A3 TDI over the past year, Green Car Journal editors are well acquainted with the model’s thriftiness and fun-to-drive nature,” said Ron Cogan, Editor and Publisher of the Green Car Journal and Editor of GreenCar.com.  “Running on a 100% low carbon fuel will make this 1,000 mile journey all the more satisfying.”

Ever more deets, after the jump

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The Reviews are In for the San Francisco Ballet’s Program 4 – See It This Weekend

Friday, March 5th, 2010

Hey, there are still a few tickets left for something-for-everybody Program 4 at your San Francisco Ballet over the next three days.

See what Allan Ulrich, Chronicle Dance Correspondent, thinks here and what Janos Gereben, a contributor to the Examiner, thinks here, and what Paul Parish, a writer for the Bay Area Reporter, thinks here.

And check out the casting and some photos from Seán Martinfield, Sentinel Editor and Publisher, here.

Yuan Yuan Tan and Anthony Spaulding. Possokhov’s Diving into the Lilacs. Photo, Erik Tomasson

Program 4

Petrouchka
SF Ballet Premiere –  New!
Composer: Igor Stravinsky
Choreographer: Michel Fokine

Making its SF Ballet premiere this season, Michel Fokine’sPetrouchka, which was first performed by Sergei Diaghilev’s Ballet Russes in 1911, is a classical tale of a Russian puppet come to life that fuses music, ballet, and history in perfect balance.
 
Read the program notes.

Diving into the Lilacs
Composer: Boris Tchaikovsky
Choreographer: Yuri Possokhov
Returning after its world premiere in 2009, Yuri Possokhov’s Diving into the Lilacs transforms poignant memories of youth into emotional expressions of dance.
 
Read the program notes.
Watch a short video with segments from Possokhov’s Diving into the Lilacs.

in the middle, somewhat elevated
Composer: Thom Willems
Choreographer: William Forsythe

Making an encore performance this season, William Forsythe’s dynamic in the middle, somewhat elevated investigates the ballet vocabulary, redefining its boundaries along the way.
 
Read the program notes.
Watch a short video with segments from Forsythe’s in the middle, somewhat elevated.
 
Watch a short interview with William Forsythe on in the the middle, somewhat elevated.

 

Tue Mar 2, 8pm* | Wed Mar 3, 7:30pm• | Thu Mar 4, 8pm | Fri Mar 5, 8pm* | Sat Mar 6, 2pm & 8pm | Sun Mar 7, 2pm*
 
Total running time: 2:14
*Meet the Artist Interview
Pointes of View Discussion

Choose a Date:

Fri, Mar 5, 2010, 8:00 PM

Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 2:00 PM

Sat, Mar 6, 2010, 8:00 PM

Sun, Mar 7, 2010, 2:00 PM

Make $20: Get Your Personal Mission District Anecdote Illustrated as a Comic

Wednesday, February 24th, 2010

It’s on the craigslist, so it must be legit:

“Skoda Man Press Seeking Stories for Comic Book Guide to the Mission. San Francisco, February 24, 2010 — Skoda Man Press, an independent publishing company, is developing a comic book travel guide to San Francisco’s Mission District, and is currently seeking anecdotes about the Mission.

“We are looking at a wide range of stories that capture the spirit of the Mission,” said Skoda Man editor Lauren Davis. “We want to see everything from that epic night out to slice-of-life vignettes about the neighborhood.  We’re looking for tales of great food, lazy days in the park, and strange encounters with eccentric people. We want people who live in and visit the Mission to be able to open the book and recognize their friends and neighbors.”

Sweet. It’ll be like that time Kramer sold his anecdotes to J Peterman for $750 (except that less money is involved).

Remember dooring that cyclist with your Mercedes S67 after parking in front of Farina? (Good times.) Throw in your account of ducking from automatic gunfire and that’s a graphic novelette right there:

Click to expand.

“The editors will choose 20 anecdotes, and then contract with Bay Area sequential artists to create comic versions of the stories. The final book will provide a unique view of the Mission, seen through the eyes of various residents, visitors, and artists.

“Authors of the selected entries will receive $20 and a story credit, plus the opportunity to see their story brought to comic life. Writers should submit their detailed anecdotes to skodamanpress@gmail.com by March 20th.

“Skoda Man Press is a San Francisco-based, independent publisher. The comic book guide to the Mission will be its first published title.”

See you in the funny pages.