Employees at both MediaNews Group and the Journal Register Company are being invited into an ideaLab — a group of company employees promised “the latest tools and… the time and money to experiment with them.”
“Each member of the ideaLab will be equipped, initially, with a Smartphone, tablet and laptop,” CEO John Paton said in his blog, announcing the addition of 25 MediaNews employees to the original Journal Register ideaLab project, begun last year. He added:
“The Company will carve out 10 hours a week from their regular jobs to allow them time to experiment with these tools and report back on how we can change our business for the better. And we will add an extra $500 per month to their pay. Other than that – there are no rules.”
Following his own “digital first” philosophy, Paton invited employees to apply for ideaLab membership by posting responses on his blog or sending him an email message answering the question, “In about 200 words or less, what would you do with the tools and time to improve our business?”
Discussions and links:
According to the latest “special offer” notice to New York Times online users, an additional discount for some academic subscribers is coming:
Soon we will announce a discounted digital subscription option for current faculty, students, administrators and staff at eligible colleges and universities.
Eligible colleges will be those that purchase a qualifying number of copies of The New York Times as part of their newspaper readership program.
For now, if your college does not have a “newspaper readership program” the Times is offering a 25 percent discount to registered users for the first year of a digital subscription under its new paywall plan. That’s $3.75 a week for nytimes.com plus the iPad app, for example; $5 a week after the discounted year.
Clyde Bentley at the University of Missouri offers a timeline for “Mobile Newspaper Success”… The road to 2013: A timeline for newspapers.
Responding to a Gartner Research study that forecast mobile devices will replace PCs in Web access by 2013, Bentley built a timeline from the endpoint to the present.
Result: If you’re a “key editor” at a newspaper, you should get a smartphone this month, or you’re already playing catch-up.
By August-September, Clyde says, newspapers should be training their news and ad staff on “mobile potential,” if they want to stay on track with the Gartner deadline. Within a year, mobile reporters should be producing niche-market features for mobile customers. Clyde’s examples: “Smoke-break wraps, during-game scores, pre-commute weather.”
More on that, and my own dumb experience with smartphones, here:
Tell Clyde I’m on the road to Floyd with a Droid