How to Get Out of the Traffic Ghetto

first_imgThe challenge for magazine publishers now, he says, is to take a step up out of the magazine site ghetto into competition with the real Internet players.Perhaps the biggest trend in publishers’ online playbooks these days is social networking—that is, building their own Facebook or MySpace communities within their urls. Fast Company announced in February the relaunch of its site with user profiles—representing a full-blown stab at social networking. “Our aim isn’t to create an impersonal business social network,” proclaimed Mansueto Digital president Ed Sussman, “but to greatly enhance the level of business conversation in the nation.”Also in February, Variety launched the Biz, for better or worse its attempt at a Facebook-style community. And Martha Stewart added social networking features to marthastewart.com last year.New ToolsWikis have clearly made an impression on magazine publishers—even if some admit they still have no idea what one is. Sports Illustrated launched an ambitious archival project, the SI Vault, opening up its 54-year archive to users for linking video, photos, statistics, and, of course, the obligatory Wiki-ing. SI executives hope all the cross-linking and search engine optimization inherent in the Vault will add 5 million monthly unique visitors to the 6 million it currently averages.Like SI, other publishers have stripped away the paid or subscriber walls surrounding their archives, and have seen a healthy bump in traffic for their efforts. The Atlantic opened its archive to non-subscribers in January, and has seen a 15 percent increase in page views. Newsweek opened its archive last fall. The New York Times made headlines in September when it ended its premium archive subscription program, TimesSelect, and opened up most of its archive to the public. According to the Times, search traffic to archive pages has more than doubled since doing so.Donahue points out that other sites have eschewed the traditional—and complex—navigation in favor of a stripped-down, reverse-chronological, bloggy approach. Popular Science, ReadyMade and a slew of other sites have made such a transition in recent years. Other magazines, like Complex and the Fader, have abandoned the traditional magazine Web site altogether, replacing it with a single blog.Other magazines have gone with a simpler—decidedly less sexy—approach. Publishers in the food category, for instance, have retrenched to build out their recipe sections—what Donahue calls “a proven strategy built on the original user generated content play”—and it’s paid off. Reader’s Digest’s AllRecipes.com gets 30 times the page views of rd.com. BHG.com is also above 100 million page views, while Epicurious and MarthaStewart.com lean on recipe content to drive top tier traffic. As most publishers know, there always seems to be a precipitous amount of bad news hanging over the magazine industry (newsstand and advertising numbers down, paper prices up). Yet, if trade magazine box scores are to be believed, online traffic for all magazines—both consumer and b-to-b—continues to grow.But, like all industry trends, the numbers tend to be skewed by the rarified air of magazines above, say, 10 million monthly page views. Indeed, unless you have photos of Lindsay Lohan as Marilyn Monroe, chances are your traffic is sitting somewhere far below that figure—in, for lack of a better term, the “traffic ghetto.”“‘Every magazine tells me great things about their Web strategy,’” wrote Discover Media CEO Henry Donahue, quoting a reporter with whom he was eating lunch, in a recent post on FOLIOmag.com. “‘Then I go back to check their Nielsen traffic and they’re too small to be measured.’”Magazine sites “have grown in the past few years by executing against the basics-unique online content updated multiple times per day, blogs, photo galleries, video, podcasts, user-generated content,” Donahue, a former CFO of Primedia’s Lifestyles Magazine Group, continues. “At this point, though, those features are just the price of admission.” Traffic-Driving TrendsSocial Networking.Fast Company is making a notable attempt to supercharge its user profiles into a full-blown social networking site. Though not a consumer site, Variety is also trying its hand at being Facebook-ish.Blogification.Several sites are jettisoning old-fashioned magazine navigation in favor of a stripped-down blog approach. Check out PopSci.com and ReadyMade. Recipes.Not as sexy as social networking or blogs, but a proven strategy built on the original user generated content play. Reader’s Digest’s AllRecipes.com gets 30 times the page views of rd.com. BHG.com is also above 100 million page views. Epicurious and MarthaStewart.com are also in the topmost tier of magazine sites.SOURCE: Henry Donahue, FOLIOmag.comlast_img read more

Why Resident Evil crushes every other video game movie

first_img Culture Video Games The spectacular gunplay of the movies matches some of the later, more action-packed games, but overall the tone is very different from the survival horror spirit of the games. “We’re not trying to look like a video game, which is a mistake some video game movies make,” says Anderson, who wrote all the films and directed four of them. A lot of filmmakers try and appeal to both markets and fail to get either, added film journalist Luke Owen, author of a book about video game movies, Lights, Camera, Game Over! He points to a first-person sequence in the movie version of Doom that mirrors the original gameplay.”It sounded great on paper — a literal adaptation of the game’s format — but in reality you’re not in control, so it’s not as satisfying,” he says.The Resident Evil films began with the 1996 hit game Resident Evil, known in Japan as Biohazard, which invented the survival horror genre and spawned a best-selling series of its own. “I love the game,” Anderson says. “Milla used to play it with her brother. Michelle Rodriguez was a big fan. When we come together to make one of these movies it’s always with a massive amount of passion from the people in front of the camera and behind the camera.” According to Box Office Mojo, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider is the top-grossing video game movie, raking in $166 million in theaters — but even that only just covered the film’s $115 million budget. Warcraft was infamously rescued from a dire US opening by success in China. Other big-budget adaptations like 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time and Assassin’s Creed couldn’t recoup even half their production costs during their theatrical runs, despite big names like Jake Gyllenhaal and Michael Fassbender on the marquee.Let’s face it, most video game movies tank because they’re just not very good. At the time The Final Chapter was released, Prince of Persia was the highest-rated video game adaptation on review aggregator Metacritic, but even that has a decidedly average Metascore of 50 — which beats the stale 2018 Tomb Raider reboot’s score of 48.resident-evil-stills-milla-jovovich-guns-corridor.jpgEnlarge Image2002’s “Resident Evil” set the template: Milla Jovovich, a big gun, beer and pizza. Screen Gems Could it be that the Resident Evil films are successful because they’re actually… good? They’re certainly a hell of a lot more fun than the trudgingly average likes of Max Payne or Need for Speed. Apart from a woeful nosedive in the incoherent fourth film (Resident Evil: Afterlife), the series genuinely gets bigger and better with every film, and the increasingly epic fifth and sixth films actually build the series to an unhinged crescendo.Jovovich describes Resident Evil as “perfect beer and pizza movies,” and she’s not wrong.Despite the financial risk of video game adaptations, Hollywood has plenty more in the pipeline. Detective Pikachu, based on the Pokemon spin-off and featuring the vocal talents of Ryan Reynolds, will engage in some on-screen sleuthing this summer. We’ve also heard that a Resident Evil movie reboot will use the seventh game as “a touchstone.”Paul WS Anderson himself is developing a movie based on another Capcom game, Monster Hunter. Tom Hardy was set to star in a Splinter Cell flick. Movies are planned for Call of Duty, Mass Effect, Minecraft — even Tetris, for crying out loud.They can learn a lot from Resident Evil: Keep the budget under control. Welcome non-players. Remember the human element at the heart of the story.And get the beers and pizza in.This article was first published Feb. 1 2017, and updated Jan. 25, 2019 to reflect the release of the Resident Evil 2 remake and further video game adaptations.Batteries Not Included: The CNET team shares experiences that remind us why tech stuff is cool. CNET Magazine: Check out a sampling of the stories you’ll find in CNET’s newsstand edition. 77 Photos Believe it or not, the first Resident Evil movie was something of a trendsetter. Today, hordes of zombies claw at the windows of the mainstream from The Walking Dead to World War Z, but back when the first Resident Evil flick hit, zombies had been shuffling around the straight-to-video bin for 20-odd years. That was 2002, the same year 28 Days Later came out. When Shaun of the Dead and a remake of Dawn of the Dead followed, the zombie genre was well and truly reanimated.Resident Evil movies distinguish themselves from the zombie horde with their technological themes. The all-encompassing Umbrella corporation that’s responsible for the zombie outbreak was a fictional precursor to Facebook, Google and other tech monoliths that have infiltrated our lives. Technological surveillance, one of the defining issues of our age, pervades the movies from the first film’s all-seeing video cameras to the later movies’ omniscient satellites.And with the characters Alice, Jill Valentine, Claire Redfield, Rain Ocampo and Ada Wong, the films (and games) are refreshingly full of capable women. “Nobody in Hollywood was putting money behind female-driven action movies,” remembers Jovovich, who had created a new kind of action hero in The Fifth Element and paved the way for female-fronted action flicks from the Underworld series to the rebooted Ghostbusters.resident-evil-stills-jovovich-ruby-rose.jpgEnlarge ImageAli Larter, Milla Jovovich and Ruby Rose in the sixth movie, “The Final Chapter.” Ilze Kitshoff For gaming fans, familiar characters like Chris and Claire, Ada and Albert Wesker show up in later movies.”Over time the filmmakers realized they needed familiar faces to get the die-hard fans on board,” says Tamoor Hussain, news editor at CNET’s sister site GameSpot. Hussain points out that players will have spent hours, days or years immersed in locations like the Spencer Mansion, Raccoon City or Resident Evil 7’s Baker Estate, giving gamers a strong emotional connection to the source material.resident-evil-stills-apocalypse-nemesis.jpgEnlarge ImageThe Nemesis monster, which had a very different story in the movies than in the games. Screen Gems Hussain cites the unlikely redemption of the hulking Nemesis monster in the second film as a moment that could turn off gamers. The monster had a very different story in the movies than in Resident Evil 3: Nemesis, where he hunted protagonist Jill Valentine.”That damn monster terrorized me for upwards of 20 hours in the games,” he says. “I just refused to buy what the movie was selling me. He’s choked me to death too many times.”That reaction doesn’t surprise Owen.”I think it’s fair to say that most fans of the games aren’t overly fond of the films,” he says. “It’s rare to find any fans of video games who like the movie counterparts.”If you can’t rely on fans of the source material, it’s important for a film series to establish its own audience.”Creating an ongoing story that made audiences want to come back for more was a smart play,” Owen says. “The increasing box office revenue (give or take) between films shows they have created a fan base that want to see the next chapter of Alice’s adventure.”There are enough fans of the saga to ensure each of the sequels opened at No. 1 at the American box office. The series had rung up a running total of $1 billion and counting by the time The Final Chapter wrapped things up in 2017. That’s a long way off the kind of megabucks made by franchises with a similar number of sequels like the Pirates of the Caribbean or Fast and the Furious movies, but it tops lesser franchises such as Saw, Paranormal Activity and American Pie. Heck, the Resident Evil series took more money than the six Jack Ryan movies up to that point, and some of them had Harrison Ford. 17 Photos The 17 most anticipated video games of 2019 10 Filmmakers Enlarge ImageResident Evil: The Final Chapter ended the record-breaking series. Screen Gems Despite video games being a multi-billion dollar industry, they face a steep path to the big screen. Transferring them from console to theater is a huge financial gamble, and many video game movies tank at the box office.Unless they’re Resident Evil movies. Having cracked a record-breaking billion dollars at the box office, the six-film franchise is easily the longest-running, highest-grossing film series ever based on a video game. As reports say Netflix is developing a new TV show based on the games, and the remade Resident Evil 2 game wins rave reviews and inspires nostalgic thinkpieces, we ask what’s behind the blazing success of the zombie-blasting, monster-mashing series. Considering the video game industry raked in $3 billion in the US alone in 2017, you’d think video game movies would be a sure thing. But bona fide hits that the Resident Evil movies are, it’s their relatively frugal budgets that guarantee a healthy profit.”We don’t have Harry Potter money,” laughs Milla Jovovich, who played the heavily armed lead character Alice in all six movies up to 2017’s The Final Chapter.In the first movie, Alice wakes up with no memory, letting the audience discover the world of the films through her eyes — almost like the character you play in a game. But writer, director and series mastermind Paul WS Anderson (who also happens to be married to Jovovich) deliberately avoided re-creating the game’s format or storyline on screen.”Imagine going in to see the first Alien — one of my favorite, favorite movies — and I tell you the order in which [the characters] die,” he says. We’re not trying to look like a video game. Paul WS Anderson, writer and director 2019 movies to geek out over Tags Crave Comments Share your voicelast_img read more

Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 Karan Patel Yuvraj Singh Karishma Tanna and others

first_imgKhatron Ke Khiladi 10instagramPopular stunt-based reality show Khatron Ke Khiladi is gearing up for its tenth season. While makers have started approaching celebrity participants, the buzz is that Karan Patel is in talks for the show.A TellyChakkar report said that Karan, who plays the lead role in Yeh Hai Mohabbatein, has admitted to being approached by Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 makers, however, nothing has been finalised as of now.Given that the long-running show Yeh Hai Mohabbatein is set to go off air, Karan’s fans will surely be excited to see him performing some daredevil stunts. Confirming the report, Karan said: “Yes, I am in talks for the show, but things are yet to get finalized.”Besides Karan, rumour has it that Yuvraj Singh, who retired from International cricket recently, is likely to participate as well. Karishma Tanna, who was last seen in Naagin 3 and Qayamat Ki Raat, may also be seen on the show. The actress had earlier participated in reality shows like Bigg Boss 8, Zara Nachke Dikha, Jhalak Dikhhla Jaa 9 and Nach Baliye 7.Kavita Kaushik of F.I.R fame has also been approached to be part of the adventure reality show. Choreographer Dharmesh Yelende and comedian Balraj Sayal are likely to be roped in for Khatron Ke Khiladi 10 as well.Bollywood director Rohit Shetty will reprise his role as the host of the new season of the stunt-based reality show. Currently, Rohit is busy shooting in Hyderabad for his film Sooryavanshi. This year, the show will be shot in Bulgaria and the new team is expected to fly to the location soon. Kavita Kaushikinstagramlast_img read more

CPIM MLA joins TMC

first_imgIn a jolt to the CPI(M) ahead of next year’s Assembly polls, CPI(M) MLA from Khandaghosh on Thursday joined the TMC accusing its leadership of failing to reach out to the masses.Nabin Chandra Bag along with other CPI(M) leaders from Bardhaman district joined the TMC in the presence of senior ruling party leaders Partha Chatterjee and Arup Biswas.“He has decided to join the TMC to become part of the developmental work ushered in by our party leader Mamata Banerjee,” Chatterjee said.Bag said he was unhappy with the CPI(M)leadership as the party had completely lost touch with the masses.The CPI(M) leadership is yet to officially react to the development.last_img read more

AAI holds cultural evening to celebrate 24th Annual Day

first_imgAirports Authority of India (AAI), the mainstay of Civil Aviation in the country, celebrated its 24th Annual Day on April 1, at Siri Fort Auditorium, New Delhi with full grandeur. The celebration kick-started with Ganesh Vandana by Zenith Dance Group followed by many other wonderful performances. After this, the stage was opened for musical extravaganza by Salim Sulaiman Merchant and band. Popular music composer duo performed their famous compositions which regaled the audience present. Also Read – Add new books to your shelfOn the eve of 24th Annual Day, various awards were given away to AAI Airports and teams by Dr Guruprasad Mohapatra, Chairman, AAI. Four AAI airports – Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel International Airport, Ahmedabad; Biju Patnaik International Airport, Bhubaneswar; Chandigarh International Airport and Devi Ahilya Bai Holkar International Airport, Indore Airport were awarded Airport Service Quality Awards 2018. Customer Satisfaction Index awards were also presented to Swami Vivekananda International Airport, Raipur (First rank); Udaipur Airport (Second rank) and Trichy International Airport (Third rank). Also Read – Over 2 hours screen time daily will make your kids impulsiveApart from this, various other awards like Chairman Excellence Award and Sports Award were also presented on the occasion. The Engineering team was awarded for development of Civil Enclave at Prayagraj Airport in the record time of eleven months. GM(ATM) in-charge, Mumbai ATC and Team were also appreciated and awarded for carrying out excellent work during the recent crisis period. Swachh Bharat Awards were conferred to top two Airports each in three categories. Kolkata and Chennai in the first category; Chandigarh and Mangalore airport in the second; Vadodara and Mangalore in the third category. Recruitment Cell Team was awarded for carrying out excellent work during recruitment.last_img read more