Entertainment News At It’s Finest!

3 Dec

Hollywire.com is an entertainment news website that covers breaking celebrity news and trending entertainment stories.  The site is geared toward entertainment news junkies ranging from 16 years to 30 years of age.  Through covering younger celebrities such as popular boy band One Direction younger readers are able to relate to the site.  However, the site also covers older celebrities such as Britney Spears and Ryan Gosling for the older demographics.Picture 11

The site is easy to read because it is not cluttered like many other entertainment news websites such as E! News.  Hollywire keeps the trending news stories and breaking news stories at the top of the page so that readers are able to easily access them.  Also, since they are at the top of the page readers know that those stories are current and trending.  It is important for Hollywire to cover the breaking news in the entertainment industry because their competition will be covering those stories.  If the breaking news stories are disregarded the site wouldn’t be seen as “In the know” which is the website’s slogan.
There are also categories for photos, style and video.  These categories make it easy for readers to access the information on the site that they are interested in.  If readers are interested in photos of their favorite celebrity it is easy for them to go to the photo category and look for the gallery that interests them.  The structure is very consistent across the board on this site.  There isn’t much of a difference between the layouts throughout the different categories.
The site also allows for readers to interact with the site.  Along with some of the stories there are polls that ask readers for their opinions on various aspects of the stories.  This allows for readers to feel like they are part of the site and keeps them coming back.  Since they feel invested in the site they are more likely to share the site with their friends.
The mobile site for Hollywire looks exactly like the desktop version of the site.  It is still easy to access and read all of the stories.  Other entertainment news sites do have mobile sites however, at times those mobile sites have glitches and as a group we agreed that we end up switching to the desktop version of the site because it is easier to navigate.
The site integrates multimedia into the text through utilizing YouTube videos.  The site has its own YouTube channel where they host an online series called “Hollywire Hotminutes.”  These hotminutes are usually less than five minutes and are new stories that share what is trending in Hollywood.  Sometimes the “Hotminutes” also include clips from interviews that are done by Chelsea Briggs.  Stories for the site are generated by the “Hotminutes” as well.  All “Hotminutes” are posted to the site and have a story written to go along with them.
Hollywire has Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and YouTube pages.  All are easily accessed from the homepage of the site.  Chelsea Briggs, the host for their “Hollywire Hotminutes” on the site’s YouTube page has her own Twitter account that is promoted through the YouTube and Twitter pages.  Chelsea also promotes Hollywire from her personal account through tweeting links to the interviews she does for the site and retweeting many of the site’s stories.
The revenue for the site is generated through advertising.  There isn’t a paywall or premium section on the site.  According to Freewebsitereport.org, the advertisement revenue is around $297,004 for Hollywire.com.  It receieves 135,618 views per day and generates around $407 in daily ad revenue.  This information was last updated on February 25, 2012.
We were unable to find present perspectives from other sources about the site.  However, the site did go through a redesign and relaunch early this fall.  The site is a lot more user friendly than it was in the past.  They also took advantage of the social media aspects that are playing such a large role in today’s entertainment industry.  The old site did not have the Twitter or Facebook pages easily accessible.  Now these pages are on the homepage.
In order to grow, this site should continue to take advantage of social networking sites.  Social networking sites make it easy for people to share news stories.  Through retweeting stories on Twitter and sharing stories on Facebook users are able to share with their friends new content.  Hollywire has grown a lot in the past few years and will continue to grow through their consistently credible stories.  Hollywire truly is “So In The Know” and will continue to be if they keep doing what they are doing.

Anderson Cooper and the “Battle of the Tweets”

1 Dec



Anderson Cooper gets himself into a tweeting battle while he reports about the real battle he’s currently living in.

The CNN anchor/correspondent is currently residing in Gaza City to report on the conflict between Hamas and Israel.  On Monday there was a substantial explosion near where Cooper was residing.

Cooper stuck to his reporter instincts and continued to provide updates via broadcast and Twitter.  As with any armed conflict that sparks interest online, some of Cooper’s tweets were responded to by harsh critics.

@Pamela_Weiss tweeted “Report a fair story. Report facts. Why not talk about the rockets being fired FROM Gaza?!? #losingcredibility.”

Cooper then fired back with “”.@Pamela_Weiss perhaps spend less time tweeting about coconut flan and more time actually following the news.

As if that wasn’t enough, on Tuesday @Rabbi_Sykes tweeted “May just stop watching #CNN. Now @andersoncooper almost apologizing for #Hamas dragging a dead “Spy” for #Israel & yelling God is great! Oy.”

Coopers response was “@Rabbi_Sykes excuse me, but how am I apologizing for Hamas by reporting them dragging a body through the streets? That is deeply offensive.

The reaction to this “battle of the tweets” has sparked quite a bit of controversy online.  Many loyal followers of Cooper support him and believe he has every right to make such responses.  However, others believe Cooper was the one in the wrong and that his tweets were too harsh.

Whether Cooper was right or wrong, he apologized on his show for the tweets:

“I get obsessed with somebody who says something to me that is completely inaccurate. Like they’ll say to me, ‘You never report about stuff that’s happening in Israel,’ which is just not true.” He added, “Nothing against coconut flan and I’m sure she’s a very nice person and I kind of felt bad to be honest.”

I personally don’t think anyone is “wrong” in this situation.  Many people who are aware of the conflict between Hamas and Israel, and some of them are more motivated than others to voice their opinions online.

Cooper wasn’t necessarily being attacked; however, his credibility was being bashed publicly.  I think his responses to the tweets were appropriate, especially when his sexual orientation-which has nothing to do with the matter- was being bashed publicly.

Basically, Cooper took a chance with his tweets.  Being in the public eye, Cooper and other public figures have to watch what they post online much closer than regular people.  Because of this regular people are much more likely to bash public figures online simply because for them, there is no penalty. 

Cooper simply defended himself and now his tweets have become a huge deal.  However, for a normal person that would almost never be the issue.

This ordeal brings about something to be said for how journalists should compose themselves on social media sites.  They don’t have the same freedoms as regular people simply because they’re being watched more closely and by more people.

It may not seem fair, but hey life is not fair.  And Personally, I think most Cooper fans enjoyed seeing his more sassy side.  🙂

The Efficient and Effective Chicago Tribune Facebook Page

27 Nov

ImageThe Chicago Tribune’s Facebook page was created on Nov. 12, 2007, and it currently has 56,256 likes.  The site’s administrators mainly post statuses with links to stories from the newspaper’s website.  This is a great way to get more readers on their website.  For example, on Nov. 16 a post was made titled “Twinkies and Wonder Bread. Will you miss them?”  It includes a link to a story on their website about Hostess Brands Inc. closing down.  Many people like Twinkies and Wonder Bread, so as they’re trolling around on Facebook, seeing that title would make them more likely to click the link and read further.  This seems to be what their strategy is for the majority of their posts.  They want to catch peoples’ attention and interests so they click on the links and browse the Chicago Tribune’s news site.

The Facebook page is updated every day with usually at least two posts per day.  The page’s likes include journalists who work for the Chicago Tribune as well as other pages that are in some way associated with the newspaper.  The fans of the page seem to be very interactive on the site.  Every post has multiple likes and comments from readers.  The more popular posts receive shares from fans, such as the Nov. 7 post about election night in Chicago.

ImageOverall, the content and they way it is displayed on the Chicago Tribune’s Facebook page is organized and effective.  Posting links to stories is a great way to retain more readers, as well as a great way to keep the page uncluttered with all different types of posts.  They seem to only post links to the most intriguing stories, which are more likely to catch potential readers’ eyes.  The site is clean-cut and regularly updated to maintain the number of current fans as well as gain new fans.

To charge or not to charge: The great paywall debate

3 Nov

In my response to Clay Shirky’s weblog I would first like to relay my understanding of paywalls.  A paywall is a system that was designed to prevent Internet users from accessing content online without having a paid subscription to view the webpage.  Some paywalls allow minimal access to online content without a subscription, and some allow only selective content to be viewed freely.  Even newspapers are now using paywalls on their websites to attempt to increase their revenue.

There are positives and negatives to implementing paywalls.  One positive is that if you charge people to see online content, it will essentially bring in more revenue.  Putting up paywalls better helps to organize and classify readers into types, which can attract more advertisers.  This is because paywalls help you see what type of people are most interested in the content.  Advertisers use that information to decide which site to advertise on based on their target audience.

Also, journalists need to make money.  Writing is their job.  Would you like it if you went to work every day and never got paid?  I don’t think so.  Few journalists expect to afford glamorous lives; however, they do expect to be able to afford food, clothing, and shelter.

Now let’s talk about some of the negatives.  The main argument with paywalls is that most people tend to view news as a public right and not a commodity.  People believe that they have the right to know what is happening in the world, and that knowing shouldn’t cost them.

Shirky wrote in his blog on Jan. 2, 2012 that 2012 could be the year when newspapers finally realize paywalls are a bad idea, and that news isn’t for sale to a consumer. He also said even you had a solid online following, there will never be enough page views to make a decent profit after putting up a paywall.   Shirky explained that in order to attain a substantial profit from a paywall, a large number of page views is necessary because paywalls decrease available audiences by considerable amounts.

Regardless of how long ago Shirky wrote the blog post,  paywalls have pretty much remained in the same state since his post was published.  News sites are still toying with paywalls and trying to implement them in different ways.  The point is that they are still around; however, their success is questionable.

Another problem with having to pay for content online is the visibility of the content on search engines such as Google.  On one hand, news outlets love the web traffic that Google’s search drives to their website.  On the other hand, they worry that Google is keeping people away by displaying different search results or showing too much of the content from the source website.  Google has responded to these criticisms:

“Today, more than 25,000 news organizations across the globe make their content available in Google News and other web search engines. They do so because they want their work to be found and read – Google delivers more than a billion consumer visits to newspaper web sites each month. These visits offer the publishers a business opportunity, the chance to hook a reader with compelling content, to make money with advertisements or to offer online subscriptions. If at any point a web publisher feels as though we’re not delivering value to them and wants us to stop indexing their content, they’re able to do so quickly and effectively.”

The main question posed is whether or not paywalls work, and if not, will they ever work?  According to Shirky, the answer is no.

I think that in order to get paywalls to work, or to at least get them to work better, news sites need to work on getting across the message to the public that news, credible news, is a service that should be paid for.  Keeping in mind that knowing what is going on in the world is in fact a right, charging for that information is also a right.

The Internet is constantly changing and online news sites are experimenting with these different types of pay walls in order to increase revenue.  Experimenting is fine, but for many news cites the paywall experiments can be pretty costly when they don’t work out.

Whether or not news should be free seems to be a debate that will never end.  In my opinion I do not think they should be free.  When you pay for a subscription to a news site, you are not just paying for the content.  You are also paying for the quality of the writing and the credibility of the source.

I don’t think it’s fair for journalists to get less money because the site that their work is being published on doesn’t charge its readers.  If news sites all adapted to paying for content I truly believe that in time more consumers would adapt to having to pay.

Honey Boo Boo in her green dress

24 Oct

Honey Boo Boo in her green dress

Honey Boo Boo prances around for an audience in a green dress.

Does Google think Mitt Romney is ‘completely wrong?’

20 Oct

The phrase “Google bombing” refers to the practice of creating a large number of links that cause web pages to have a high ranking for searches on unrelated keyword searches, often for comedic purposes.

Presidential candidate Mitt Romney recently became a victim to a mass Google bomb; or so it would seem.   A Google Image search for the phrase “completely wrong” on Wednesday revealed almost an entire page full of images of the Republican presidential candidate.

Google Image Results for ‘completely wrong’

A Google spokesperson said that the phrase’s image search results are simply an unintentional result of normal Google analytics and not the result of any efforts to skew voting results.  Google analytics produce images that are associated with popular phrases in news headlines.

Google’s algorithms picked up on news coverage of Romney saying last week that he was “completely wrong” when he responded to controversial statements he made saying 47% of Americans were completely dependent on the government.

He responded to these controversial statements last Thursday on Fox News:

“Clearly in a campaign with hundreds if not thousands of speeches and question-and-answer sessions, now and then you’re going to say something that doesn’t come out right,” Romney said, “In this case, I said something that’s just completely wrong.”

News outlets had used numerous photos of Romney while reporting on his “completely wrong” statement.  Now the two are associated as far as the computers are concerned.

Many Twitter users, including comedian Rob Delaney, who is known to poke fun at Romney on Twitter, made note of these search results Wednesday.

Romney’s Twitter blast

Romney’s Google bomb is hardly the worst that a politician has faced; however, it does appear to be quite similar to the George W. Bush Google Bomb in which a search for “miserable failure” returned George W. Bush’s official White House biography as the top result.

The Google results page of Romney photos was noticed Wednesday by tech blog Mashable and other news sites.

Google says it tries not to handle strange search results on case-by-case, instead opting for making improvements to the search algorithms themselves.

By: Taylor Chobanian

Possibly the worst moderated presidential debate

17 Oct
  1. It was PBS News Hour’s Jim Lehrer’s 12th time moderating the presidential debate; however, many agree he was unsuccessful in his attempts to take control of this year’s debate.

  2. Both of the candidates, especially Romney, talked over him at many
    points throughout the debate.  “No, no, no,” he said to Romney at one
    point; who then ignored Lehrer and continued speaking.

    Twitter exploded Wednesday night with comments on Lehrer’s performance.  A parody feed titled “Silent Jim Lehrer” was created and went viral over night.

  3. More than 10 million tweets were posted during the presidential debate.  This set a record as the most tweeted-about event in U.S. politics.

    Conservative columnist John Podhoretz tweeted that “Jim Lehrer may be the worst moderator in the history of moderation.

    “Crazy that Lehrer thinks any of these answers will come in under 15
    mins given how broad the questions are,” MSNBC’s Alex Wagner tweeted.

    Lehrer responded to his critics by saying that part of his job was simply “to stay out of the way,” reports Politico, and that he “had no problems with doing so.” 

    After the debate, hundreds of postings from news sites and bloggers
    came about as to who they speculated the “winner” of the debate to be. 

    MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow said that
    she could not quite declare a winner; however, she could declare a
    loser-Jim Lehrer.  “That manifested in a way in which the debt format
    was just dismantled – the format and I think the moderator, with all due
    respect to Jim Lehrer,” said Maddow.

  4. By: Taylor Chobanian