Posted on January 11th, 2007 No comments
This week, The Bakersfield Californian made a major announcement about a new relationship with The Arizona Republic, one of the most innovative newspapers in the digital realm. They’ll be using the Bakomatic Platform to provide social networking, blogging and more on AZCentral.com and other sites. We’re very excited about it and look forward to seeing how they use the software to drive their goals.
Following is the press release that went out this morning:
The Arizona Republic Licenses “Bakomatic” Platform
(Bakersfield, Calif. Jan. 10, 2007) – The Bakersfield Californian and The Arizona Republic today announced that the Republic will license the Californian’s social media software, Bakomatic (bake-oh-matic), through an arrangement with Californian subsidiary Participata LLC (www.participata.com).
Bakomatic is the homegrown software that runs the award-wining Bakotopia.com and the blogs, user profiles and registration system on Bakersfield.com. It also powers all of the user-contributed content features of citizen media pioneer Northwestvoice.com, and seven other niche audience-focused Web sites.
The platform is an end-to-end solution that makes it easy for any newspaper to provide My Space-like social networking, blogging, user publishing and “citizen journalism.” Bakomatic is the recipient of numerous awards, including a Knight Batten Award for Innovation in Journalism in 2006 and the NAA’s Digital Edge Award (the Edgies) in 2006. Bakotopia and Bakersfield.com are Edgie finalists for 2007.
The Republic, a daily newspaper owned by Gannett, plans to use Bakomatic to enhance the community offerings of its local portal, AZCentral.com. Already one of the most popular local news Web sites on the Internet, AZCentral.com will leverage Bakomatic to be even more participatory in nature. The Republic also hopes to use Bakomatic to drive other audience-focused initiatives.
“AZCentral.com has a long reputation of producing unique, cutting edge technology thanks to our talented team of software developers,” said Adam Hooker, Digital Innovations Manager for AZCentral.com. “We are all looking forward to the opportunity to bootstrap our social networking projects using the Participata software,” he said.
The Californian was equally positive about the development. “Our organizations share a lot of the same intellectual DNA,” said Dan Pacheco, Senior Manager of Digital Products for the Californian and project lead for Participata LLC. “We both have a passion for audience participation, and we both see the need to reach well beyond traditional newspaper boundaries when it comes to the digital realm. And of course, we’re thrilled to see our software and philosophies applied at a large, prestigious newspaper like the Republic.”
The Bakersfield Californian decided to license Bakomatic in July of 2006 after receiving numerous inquiries about the technology over the past two years. The Republic is the second licensee, after Shaw Newspapers. “We will always remain focused on our local market, and that’s why we created this platform and will continue to invest in it,” said Mary Lou Fulton, Vice President of Audience Development. “But as more newspapers look to The Californian as a leader, we see that our work also has value to the entire industry. We’re very happy to let other newspapers share our success and also help us make it better.”
That dedication to ongoing innovation can be seen with the recent launch of Bakomatic 2.0 – which among other things lets users embed their favorite videos from YouTube along with their own content. “We spend a lot of time watching how people use our tools and responding to their feedback. Supporting YouTube was a natural progression of that,” Pacheco said. The next version of Bakomatic will seek to add businesses into the mix, giving users the ability to rate and review local establishments, and for businesses to be able to create lists of favorite customers to whom they can provide special deals in the future.
Currently, only newspaper companies may license Bakomatic, with pricing on a sliding scale based on daily circulation and the number of sites they plan to create. This allows newspapers of all sizes to duplicate The Bakersfield Californian’s success in growing audience reach through user participation. In the future, licensing may extend to other industries based on market demand.
Bakomatic is available as an enterprise solution, meaning that customers need a knowledgeable technical staff able to install and maintain the software. More requirements and software specifications can be found at http://participata.com.
The Bakersfield Californian is an independently owned newspaper providing local, national and worldwide news to more than 230,000 readers in Kern County. Headquartered in Bakersfield, Calif., The Bakersfield Californian has been family owned for more than one hundred years, with the founder’s great-granddaughter, Ginger Moorhouse presiding as publisher and chairman of the board. In July of 2006, Editor and Publisher magazine listed The Californian as one of “Ten That Do It Right,” an annual listing of the most progressive and innovative newspaper companies in America.
Posted on January 10th, 2007 No comments
Apple debuted its much-anticipated iPhone today — which has everything available in the very latest iPods (music, video, iTunes connection), as well as some new pizazz.
While I like the features in their phone, it’s the integrated Web browser that most sparks my imagination. Based on Apple’s short demo of the browser, I’m already starting to think about how our sites will look on it as millions of people line up to get iPones starting in June. (There are also other impressive demos of the phone and video functionality that you can get to from the link above, particularly widescreen video — finally!)
One of the soundbites from this year’s Consumer Electronics Show was from Motorola’s CEO Ed Zander. According to him, every second there are four babies born around the world, but in that same second 25 mobile phones are sold.
At that rate it’s not hard to imagine how quickly mobile content will become the dominant method for accessing information over time, and how that will compete with both print and PC usage. I would not be surprised to see PC web usage become a predominantly at-work activity, with the rest of the day taken up with mobile and, of course, the insupplantable living room TV.
Or maybe we will all be glued to our own personal iPhone TVs? The mere idea is both enticing and sad. In a billion audiences of one, will there be enough of one single market to create the next Seinfeld or Battlestar Galactica?