- sopa…was a bill with the purported intention of helping intellectual property holders crack down on copyright infringement online. It was killed in the Senate in the face of widespread opposition from many, many people.
- cispa…is a different bill, currently making its way through Congress, with the purported aim of combatting cyberterrorism and lubricating the flow of potentially helpful cyber intelligence between the private and public sector. source
» The key word here is “purported.” Critics of SOPA alleged that the text of the bill was too draconian, and would have allowed for shutting down entire websites for questionable infractions (for example, linking to a message board with a comment that directed users to a site with copyrighted material). Opposition to CISPA, however, comes due to privacy concerns: Critics say the bill allows private companies (such as Facebook and Microsoft which opposed SOPA but support CISPA) to exchange personal information and private data with the government a bit too easily. We’ve still got to delve into the nitty-gritty here, but we recommend you seek out a few different takes on the legislation. TechDirt and Geekosystem are both opposed, GigaOm is so-so, and Lifehacker has a nice rundown as to why Facebook and Microsoft opposed SOPA but support CISPA.
Forbes Blogger Steals $20,000 and 1 Million Pageviews from New York Times by Changing Headline
Now how’s that for a grabber? If it got your attention it just demonstrates how important headlines are in online journalism. Sensationalism, link bait, and a little SEO can be worth tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands of dollars to your organization.
The New York Times got into a bit of a dustup over a piece of its investigative reporting that became a runaway hit only after it appeared Kashmir Hill’s Not-So Private Parts blog on Forbes.
Nick O’Neill writes:
They say a picture is worth a thousand words, but how much is a title worth? If the story that proceeds is any indicator, a title is worth over 6700 words and months of research. It all began Friday when the New York Times published an article “How Companies Learn Your Secrets“. It was an extremely long article which discussed how large companies like WalMart and Target collect data about your individual consumption patterns to figure out how to most efficiently make you happy. It was a great piece but there was one problem: it didn’t have the title it deserved.
The original title was “How Companies Learn Your Secrets.” Kashmir Hill, a writer at Forbes, realized this and quickly developed a condensed version of the article with a far more powerful title: “How Target Figured Out A Teen Girl Was Pregnant Before Her Father Did“. It cut out the crap and got to the real shocker of the story. As of the writing of this story, the New York Times article has 60 likes and shares on Facebook versus 12,902 which the Forbes article has. The Forbes article also has a mind boggling 680,000 page views, a number that can literally make a writer’s career.
Even those numbers are a bit dated. The Forbes retelling will likely hit 1 million views before Monday morning. And beyond the pageview count, and prestige for the reporters involved, there’s a very real monetary cost associated with sloppy or overly-cautious headline writing. Let’s calculate.
A June 2010 report from Econsultancy pegs the average CPM for all news sites at $7 industry-wide. CPM stands for cost per mille and represents the amount of money publishers receive from display advertisements for each thousand pageviews. According to the report, the New York Times brand was receiving 32.5 million monthly viewers and 719 million pageviews in May of 2010. An average CPM of $7 drags down the likely value of display advertisements on the NYT, the website for the paper of record.
I tried to dig up some display advertising rates for NYT.com and I found a current rate sheet. That said, but I can’t conceive of anything less helpful. (The Times has a bit of attachment to opaque financial disclosures) Assuming that the current CPM for the New York Times is $20, the company forfeited $20,000 in potential advertising revenue to Forbes on the basis of a headline. My guess is that the Times has a much higher CPM than $20. Considering what staff journalists earn these days, a single headline cost The New York Times newsroom the equivalent several months of a reporter’s salary. And the story no doubt required the investment hundreds of man hours, and thousands of dollars in wages to. Unfortunately, it’s fair game and nothing will stop it from happening again.
I’m pretty sure I read this article under the Forbes headline. Man, what a lengthy over-stated piece. If they had condensed the story to a 3rd its size it might have been informative.