Useful links for commercial web publishers…

Today’s very serious and unflighty link-dump consists of three stories of particular interest to commercial editorial sites – particularly those that started as print ventures and have transferred some (or all) of their content to the web. Not the most fun set of links for anyone else though – I got really involved in print-to-web transition stuff and concepts of editorial publishing online while I was working at a few years back

  • Deep-Linking in the World Wide Web
    I remember the first time I heard about a site getting angry about someone deep-linking to their content. It made no sense to me then and it makes no sense to me now. However, this article manages to clearly explain (and hopefully in a way that’s clear to the general public) why it’s a foolish idea to put restrictions on deep-linking into law. The most crucial point is that if one wishes to restrict which pages are accessible via a link, then it’s a trivial operation to do so via one’s server settings. [via kottke]

  • Newspaper sites move to registration model
    “It once was the Web bogeyman. The idea of making users register before entering newspaper Web sites gave everyone the willies. Surely this would lead to a huge drop in audience. Maybe The New York Times could survive that, and The Wall Street Journal could even charge for access, but those are very special cases.” Before anyone starts waggling fingers and saying that people should have been registering for sites years ago, it’s important to keep in mind that the web audience has become more savvy and skilled over the last three years. Secondly it’s important to remember that your traffic may only drop by a quarter, but that quarter represents all the people with whom you haven’t yet got a strong relationship – an market that’s identifiably one you would want to expand into. And before you all start getting ideas, you should remember that people will register for sites because they’re either curious or because they have a significant need or interest in the material on the other side. You have to offer content that’s more interesting to your potential audience than the stuff they can get easily elsewhere, and it helps to have a more established and respected brand as well.

  • New Biz on the Blog
    I’ve been meaning to write about this Guardian piece on making money from weblogs for a while now. I’ve been particularly interested in what Nick Denton has been doing with Gizmodo and Gawker because (unlike a lot of other people) I think there are legitimate business possibilities in niche weblogging ventures like these. Quite apart from advertising and affiliate revenues, there’s the possibility of building legitimate grass-roots brands that could then syndicate or write bespoke content to larger publishing ventures (a column in Time Out New York perhaps?). And then there are the possibilities surrounding the extension of these initially low-cost bleeding-edge brands and developing them then across other media – a gawker TV show could work exceptionally well. In fact my only problem with these enterprises? My personal antipathy towards the odious Mr Denton himself. Still, never mind…