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Metrics at WorkJournalism and the Contested Meaning of Algorithms$
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Angele Christin

Print publication date: 2020

Print ISBN-13: 9780691175232

Published to Princeton Scholarship Online: January 2021

DOI: 10.23943/princeton/9780691175232.001.0001

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Utopian Beginnings

Utopian Beginnings

A Tale of Two Websites

(p.36) Chapter 2 Utopian Beginnings
Metrics at Work

Angèle Christin

Princeton University Press

This chapter focuses on the early days of online news, before profit, traffic, and metrics-based imperatives became key concerns. It pays close attention to the first years of TheNotebook in New York and LaPlace in Paris, two publications that started as innovative, playful, and collaborative editorial projects. It also describes how TheNotebook and LaPlace shared similar utopian beliefs but at the same time had distinct political and editorial identities. The chapter points out ways LaPlace was more countercultural, participatory, and politically engaged than TheNotebook, even though the French website is an explicit imitation of its U.S. counterpart. By comparing the identities and metrics of TheNotebook and LaPlace, the chapter also discusses how news websites handled the chase for clicks.

Keywords:   online news, TheNotebook, New York, LaPlace, Paris, utopian beliefs, news websites, chase for clicks

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