Now that we have a confusing array from which to choose, a lot of us are trying to figure out which one is the best choice for our own needs.
JourneyEd (online shopping for students and faculty, with education pricing) has everything on sale now. Prices range from $600 for the “Design Premium” bundle of Adobe Creative Suite 3 to $250 for Adobe Flash Pro CS3 (that’s Flash alone, no bundle).
There’s also a licensing deal that colleges and universities can get from Adobe; it applies only to student purchases. (Other licensing plans exist.) Under the student license, “Design Premium” is only $299. Seven packages are covered:
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Premium $299
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Design Standard $199
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Web Standard $199
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Production Premium $299
Adobe Creative Suite 3 Master Collection $499
Adobe Photoshop CS3 Extended $169
Adobe Acrobat 8.0 Professional $55
All prices are in U.S. dollars. “Each order must include a minimum of 25 units. A mixture of products and platforms may be used to meet this order minimum.”
There are a couple of things you should look at carefully before you decide on a bundle.
Dreamweaver CS3: Great for students learning to author in CSS and XHTML. But in a newsroom, depending on your CMS, maybe you don’t need this. If you use any Web authoring software, of course, this is the one to have. I’ve used Dreamweaver exclusively since about 2000. (Until then, I’d been coding entirely by hand since 1995.)
Flash Pro CS3 is included in every bundle EXCEPT “Design Standard.” Why would you buy a bundle without Flash? (Are you crazy?)
Adobe Photoshop CS3 “Extended” includes “tools for editing 3D and motion-based content.” I hear the integration with Flash is pretty interesting. Note that some bundles include plain Photoshop, not “Extended.”
“Web Standard” doesn’t include Photoshop at all. You can’t possibly live without Photoshop. That would be even crazier than not having Flash.
Soundbooth CS3 is not included in packages unless they also include Premiere. That is really stupid. Note that Soundbooth offers “tight integration with Flash CS3 Professional.” Okay, what if I do not want to do video? Or I already have another video editing application? Yes, exactly. This is Adobe’s cruelest bundling strategy: No audio software unless you buy a video bundle.
Audition is not included in ANY of the CS3 bundles. Grrr …
My perfect bundle would be Flash, Photoshop Extended, Dreamweaver and Audition. (I would be willing to try Soundbooth instead.) That’s everything I use for Web production, authoring and editing. (I don’t edit video very often. I have used Premiere in the past. Now I have a Mac, and I’m learning iMovie. I also use QuickTime Pro on Windows to make fast edits on short videos.)
Anyway — make sure you check around and get the best pricing that’s available to you.
And all those stingy newspaper chains ought to get on the phone with Adobe and get some licensing deals, so I would stop getting e-mails from people who are still stuck with Flash 5 because their newsroom is too cheap to buy up-to-date software for them to use.
Over at Journalistopia, lifelong Gator Danny Sanchez invites us to check out his Tutorials category. Wow! I follow his blog regularly, but I really didn’t realize how many great tutorials he has written or linked to.
On Saturday (the day of the week when traffic to this blog is usually at its lowest), I saw a surprising surge in visits. Turned out a particular post had been linked on Techmeme, and it being a slow day, the link sat on the Techmeme front all day.
When I went into my FeedBurner stats, I thought what I saw would make a pretty good lesson for people who don’t understand the importance of SEO and bringing people to your site via search.
On the day in question, 427 visitors came. There were 473 visits and 763 pageviews.
But what did they look at? This blog has (well, had, on Saturday) 697 posts. So a visitor might have landed on any one of those, instead of on the home page.
The home page had 120 views, according to FeedBurner.
The post linked on Techmeme: 145 views (more than the home page).
The third most-viewed page on Saturday: 25 views (a lot less than either one of the top two pages that day).
Two additional pages were viewed more than 20 times. All others were viewed fewer than 20 times.
So here’s the math: 120 + 145 + 25 + 23 + 21 = 334. And 334 divided by 763 pageviews comes out to 44 percent.
That means 56 percent of the pageviews fell in the long tail, which is considered the secret to Amazon.com’s success — among other things.
In part, this explains why blogs that have been active longer tend to rank higher in the various databases, such as Technorati, that are designed to rank them.
A new blog has no tail yet — or its tail is very short.
News Web sites that lock up the archives behind a paid firewall have cut off their own tail.
Those 56 percent of pageviews that fall outside the most-viewed pages of the day are not individually valuable — you couldn’t hope to get an advertiser excited about buying space on one of those pages. No, their value lies in the aggregate. The more often someone’s Google search brings him or her to my blog site, the more likely that person is to bookmark the site, or add it to an RSS reading list. And the more interesting posts found by someone who comes to the site for the first time — by the Techmeme link, for example — the more likely that person is to return in the future.
How do you build up a habitual audience in today’s information universe of random searches?
You prove again and again that you are the destination where many of their searches end.
And that, my friend, is why the content in the long tail is the most important content on your site.
El País of Madrid — which has one of the best newspaper Web sites in the world — has launched Yo, Periodista (I, Journalist), its own citizen journalism experiment:
Help us build ELPAIS.com. If you have witnessed any news, send it to us, and we will publish it. You can send text, photos, videos or documents to us. Now the readers of ELPAIS.com become journalists. [Translated from the Spanish]
The Times had its own story online at 11:09 a.m. (-04:00 GMT). The Post had the AP wire story at 11:14 a.m. The BBC had its own story updated at 15:24 GMT (11:24 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time) — it was up there earlier, but I didn’t capture the time of first posting.
Educators: If you want to do a Web headline-writing exercise today, look here.