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Tag: Washington Post

The Bezosian Scale

Monday, 8 October, 2018

What is it? Well, the first thing to note is that the Washington Post’s publishing platform, Arc, currently powers the top-three news and information sites in France, Canada, New Zealand, Argentina and Spain. Last month, Arc signed up both The Dallas Morning News and the publisher of El País, PRISA Noticias, as customers. By the end of the first quarter next year, Arc “will power over 400 websites and serve over 10 billion page views per month,” says Shailesh Prakash, Chief Information Officer for the WaPo. By the way, his Twitter bio says he’s “Planning the plan that will plan the plan…”

And the Bezosian Scale? It’s a measure for mapping the dimensions of Arc’s global expansion writes Ken Doctor at Nieman Lab. The role model is the enormously powerful and profitable Amazon Web Services (AWS). According, to Doctor, Arc wants to head down the path prepared by AWS: a technology stack built for internal use and then licensed to the world.

First, we take Washington and then we ramp up and take the world, plots Jeff Bezos. That’s ambition on the Bezosian Scale.


@WPOlympicsbot

Saturday, 6 August, 2016 0 Comments

The Washington Post will use artificial intelligence (AI) technology to report on and from the Rio Olympic Games. Its “Heliograf” technology will automatically generate short multi-sentence updates, offer a daily schedule of events, update results, calculate medal tallies and send alerts 15 minutes before the start of a final event. These updates will appear in the paper’s blog and on Twitter.

“Automated storytelling has the potential to transform The Post’s coverage. More stories, powered by data and machine learning, will lead to a dramatically more personal and customized news experience,” Jeremy Gilbert, director of strategic initiatives at the Washington Post, told Recode.

Heliograf will also play a role in the paper’s coverage of the November US elections, where it will generate stories for some 500 races. Heliograf is part of a suite of AI tools at the core of Arc, the Washington Post publishing platform.

PS: The world’s first website went online 25 years ago today. Created by Sir Tim Berners-Lee, it was a basic text page with hyperlinked words that connected to other pages. Berners-Lee used the launch to promote his plan for the service, which would come to affect so many aspects of life and business in the 21st century. From hyperlinks to AI bots filing reports on the Olympic Games, it’s been an extraordinary 25 years.


Business as usual has ended in the media business

Tuesday, 6 August, 2013 0 Comments

In an interview with the German paper the Berliner-Zeitung last year, Jeff Bezos described newspapers as a luxury item headed for extinction:

“There is one thing I’m certain about: there won’t be printed newspapers in twenty years. Maybe as luxury items in some hotels that want to offer them as an extravagant service. Printed papers won’t be normal in twenty years.”

In his letter to the Washington Post employees, who are now his employees, Bezos has this to say: “There will, of course, be change at The Post over the coming years. That’s essential and would have happened with or without new ownership. The Internet is transforming almost every element of the news business: shortening news cycles, eroding long-reliable revenue sources, and enabling new kinds of competition, some of which bear little or no news-gathering costs. There is no map, and charting a path ahead will not be easy.”

With his purchase of the Washington Post, Jeff Bezos has become one of the most influential content creators in the world. Consider this: Amazon’s e-book publishing unit recently scored its first million-copy hit when sales of the Hangman’s Daughter series broke through the seven-figure mark. Last week, Amazon Studios announced five new video-on-demand programme pilots, and its new video games wing is advertising for more than a dozen posts. Content is king, clearly.