The Oz continues online business buildup

NEW functionality is being launched on The Australian’s website as staff roll-out incremental improvements to its business section, writes Brett Taylor.

Online business manager Grant Holloway, who features in a new podcast show on the PANPA site next week, promised readers would see constant improvements over the next few months as the newspaper’s management preferred a soft-launch approach to the revamp.

He rejected suggestions Murdoch’s national newspaper in Australia was aiming squarely at The Australian Financial Review, saying his publication’s consumer-driven approach was different from AFR’s subscriber-only strategy.

One of the major improvements will be functionality in obtaining additional data. Readers can put their cursor over a highlighted word to activate a dropdown pane featuring relevant data, including share prices, charts and graphs, and other related stories from the website (see it in action here).

“Context is king,” said Mr Holloway. “We’re not just going to give you that story, we’re going to give you everything related to it.” Latency on the data would be 20 minutes, he said.

The Australian is using content from the Wall Street Journal and MarketWatch of Dow Jones Inc – a company bought by Murdoch for $A6 billion earlier this year. Other data providers include personal investment firm Vanguard and Aegis.

The full interview, which reveals the nuts and bolts of The Australian’s online business plans, can be heard in PANPA’s new podcast show, to be launched at www.panpa.org.au next week.

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