Take n0tice: The Guardian Launches Online Community Noticeboards


The Guardian, one of the more forward-thinking newspapers today, is about to launch a new product that will be part community noticeboard, part Craigslist, and part local news site. N0tice, as the project is called, draws its inspiration from the early bulletin board systems of the 80s and 90s, as well as the noticeboards you see in your local supermarkets. Once launched, you will be able to “share news, post details about forthcoming events or let people know you have something to sell or share.”

The service is invite-only right now, but you can get on the waiting list here. Users will be able to create their own homepages on n0tice and customize their look and feel. The social features of the site apparently include the ability to follow other users, tags and locations. There will also be a read API. Users will be able to post classifieds and short news reports.

The service will be ad-supported a free to users. Users can buy premium placement for their notices, however, at the cost of £1 per day.

N0tice will also feature some gamification elements, similar to Foursquare. The first person to start a local site will become the editor/mayor, but once other users become more active on the site, they can become the editor themselves.

You can find more information about the philosophy behind n0tice from the Guardian’s director of digital strategy Matt McAlister here.

Which Location-Focused Network Will be the First to Get it Right?

With Nextdoor, of course, another socal network with an emphasis on local communities came out of beta today. Clearly, there is a market for location-focussed social networks and tools like n0tice. Until now, however, few of these have been able to really break through in the market. EveryBlock, which was bought by MSNBC in 2009, for example, is probably the most prominent of these sites, but it, too, has not become a huge mainstream success yet.

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LulzSec Hackers Face a Leak of Their Own: Read the Group’s IRC Chatroom Logs


LulzSec, the hacker network that gained notoriety over the last few weeks thanks to leaking large databases of user names and passwords from a wide variety of sites and service, now faces a leak of its own. The Guardian received and published logs from LulzSec’s own private chatroom today that give us a bit more insight into how this group operates. Judging from these logs, LulzSec is apparently a group of about 6 to 8 hackers and not the massive network of security experts that LulzSec pretends to be.


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The Guardian: Digital First, Newspaper Second


The Guardian, one of the most highly respected newspapers in the UK today announced that it wants to become a “digital-first” organization and shift its “focus, effort and investment towards digital.” Newspapers have long struggled to adapt to an environment where printed newspapers are slowly becoming irrelevant due to faster news cycles and the availability to thousands of free online news sources. The Guardian hopes that this major organizational change will allow it to remain at the forefront of what its CEO Andrew Miller likes to call “open journalism” that puts an emphasis on “editorial content which is collaborative, linked into and networked with the rest of the web.”

The Guardian’s parent organization Guardian News & Media also plans to expands its organization in the U.S. and to offer new mobile services soon. To finance this shift, the Guardian will move resources away from print and into digital. The printed paper, though, will remain part of the company’s portfolio for now, but today’s announcement also hinted at a possible move towards an evening edition instead of the current morning edition. Print, according to the U.K.-based press trade publication Press Gazette, currently accounts for about a fifth of the Guardian’s annual revenue, but income from print has been declining quickly over the last few years as circulation continues to drop.


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Guardian Plans to Create New Tech & Media Blog Network, Swap Articles With Blogs


The Guardian plans to create a new network of tech and media blogs. According to the newspaper’s head of media and technology Dan Sabbagh, this new network would work with two very distinct models. The first is a non-commercial agreement that will allow the Guardian to republish articles from the blogs in its network. In return, these blogs will be allowed to republish Guardian articles on their sites as well (up to the swap limit). In addition to this, the Guardian also plans a commercial offering where the organization would also sell ads for some of the blogs in its network (or even host the sites outright and share revenue).

As Sabbagh puts it, the Guardian doesn’t want to replicate the closed paywall model of Rupert Murdoch’s sites and the “traditional newspaper model, where editorial control comes from the top down, where the content is produced by a narrow group of professionals and the readership is similarly elitist.” What the Guardian strives for instead, says Sabbagh, is an “open approach” where there are “no barriers for readers, which encourages mass audiences.”

Content Sharing

The non-commercial content-sharing agreement would allow bloggers in the Guardian’s network to republish one newspaper for every article the paper chooses to publish on its site. Writers will also get the SEO benefits of links from the Guardian and name recognition. Unlike the Huffington Post model, this concept relies on what feels like a relatively fair form of sharing (the Guardian keeps the upper hand, though – after all, the paper won’t publish one of your articles in return for every post you copy from it).

A Farm League for the Guardian?

It’s clear, though, that the Guardian also sees this model as a form of farm league for bringing individual bloggers into its own stable in the long run. Sabbagh only hints at this in his announcement, but the idea that the paper could host some bloggers on the papers site clearly points in this direction.

Other papers, including the New York Times, currently have syndication agreements with large tech blogs like ReadWriteWeb, VentureBeat, GigaOm and TechCrunch. None of these agreements allow the blogs to republish any content from the newspaper sites, though.


The Guardian encourages bloggers with “healthy traffic (five figures at least)” who would like to join this program to email [email protected] with “a link to the site, some details about who you are and what you do, and some traffic information.”

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Calacanis to Challenge TechCrunch: "The World Really Wants Deeper Stuff Right Now"


According to the Guardian, serial entrepreneur Jason Calacanis plans to launch a new tech blog in early 2011. With this project, Calacanis plans to challenge TechCrunch, the influential Silicon Valley-based blog run by his old nemesis Mike Arrington. According to the report, Calacanis plans to hire a small number of editors. These writers will have the freedom to do in-depth research and will only have to file one story per week.

While Calacanis says that these stories will go out over email and won’t run on a dedicated blog, chances are that he will do both in the long run in order to profit from the valuable ad sales for the email newsletter and the online ad sales that are keeping the current generation of tech blogs afloat. Calacanis will also host a new startup conference early next year that will challenge TechCrunch’s highly successful Disrupt conference.

“The Tech Blogging Scene is in a Race to the Bottom”

In his interview with the Guardian, Calacanis claims that he is not trying to challenge the existing tech blogs on their own field, but that he is “going for something that doesn’t exist in the market – not a blogger writing the story in two hours. The world really wants deeper stuff right now.” He also notes that “the tech blogging scene is in a race to the bottom and is dragging mainstream media down with it.”

Those are fighting words. Blogs like TechCrunch and others have made their name by rushing stories to their readers as fast as possible – sometimes at the expense of depth and analysis. Indeed, the reality of tech blogging is that very few authors actually have the time to spend two hours on a story. Breaking news stories often take less than 15 minutes before they appear on TechCrunch, the Next Web or ReadWriteWeb. Clearly, there is an audience for these stories, but Calacanis is betting that the market also wants more depth, knowledge and thoroughness (a mix we strive for over on ReadWriteWeb).

It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the marketplace. Starting a new tech publication is not easy, given how many players there already are today. With his successful e-mail list and high name recognition, Calacanis clearly has an advantage over smaller editorial startups and his best work has always been in developing editorial concepts. Even Calacanis’s biggest detractors have to admit that he has created a number of successful startups in the past and should not be underestimated, especially now that his motivation is to challenge his old arch-nemesis Arrington. We have not seen a lots of newcomers on the tech blogging scene in the last two years (let alone in the tech mailing list scene), but if anybody has a chance to make a difference in this business it is likely Calacanis.

Image Credit: Joi Ito

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