Posts by: maxcutler

A Return to Blogging

It’s been almost six months since my last blog post, but I hope less than six days until my next one. I’ve put off several blog post topics until I finished a site redesign that I’ve been struggling with since July, but decided to stop waiting and just start writing again. Maybe one of the upcoming posts will be about the redesign, but I’m going to start with a recap of what I’ve been up to lately.

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Courant no longer…

On October 26, 2008, the first bits were committed to the private Courant News project repository. At the time, Rob, Paul and I were going to offer a hosted SaaS product for college news organizations, freeing them from the grasps of College Publisher and providing a stable foundation for the future. In February 2009, we decided not to pursue the project as a business, but agreed to continue development as an open-source project. On April 7, 2009, we opened our code to the public. After launching the Yale Daily News on Courant in September 2009, we finally started to pick up steam in the past month. But after deep reflection, we have decided to cease development of the project.

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New Business Models for News

For my Introduction to Law & Technology class this semester, I worked with two of my classmates on a survey of new business models for journalism and news organizations. The results can be found on the website we have created, including a full recap and notes of the Knight Media conference held at the Yale Law School in November.

We performed survey research on eight of the most discussed new business models for news, although we tried not to prescribe any of them as “the” solution. As countless others have pointed out, there will not be any single solution that will work for any or all news organizations, so it is instead important to understand how each might contribute to a new news organization structure. We hope to update the site periodically as events unfold in the industry, and will continue to post to our Publish2 newsgroup as we come across relevant new content.

We hope our research and summaries are useful to interested observers, especially those who may not have been following the issues at hand as closely as we have. Feel free to give feedback and let us know what you think.

Courant News: Caching

The key to performance for high-traffic websites is caching. Facebook is famous for being a prolific memcached user, with 28 terabytes of memcached servers as of December 2008. Part of why the Yale Daily News was able to survive massive traffic spikes during the Annie Le coverage was our judicious use of caching. Read on to learn more about the caching strategies employed by the Courant News platform.

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