Associated Newspapers has embarked on its biggest online publishing
venture to date - and its biggest investment in new media - with the
launch of the Evening Standard on the internet under the name
The web site (www.thisislondon.com) is being billed as the most
comprehensive and useful guide to London, and is aimed at both Londoners
and visitors, as well as potential visitors.
Associated also publishes the Daily Mail and Sunday Mail, while on the
internet it has the UK Plus directory site, Soccernet, Hotelworld and
Business Day Interactive, a web version of the Evening Standard’s business
While ThisisLondon will repurpose content from the Standard, it is very
definitely not just an online version of the paper, said Martin Dunn,
editor of Associated New Media. ”We are an electronic supplement to the
Evening Standard. Just as ES magazine is different from the paper, so we
will be different from the printed products.”
Many of the staff of 15 dedicated to the project will be generating new
material for it every day, said Dunn.
ThisisLondon is structured around six content ”channels” spanning news,
business, entertainment, food and drink, sport and lifestyle. In each of
these, information will be presented in ways that make it useful.
Searchable entertainment listings, for instance, bring up not only show
details, but also any reviews the Standard might have carried by its
’brand’ writers. The screen will also display a map of the immediate
vicinity showing such things as underground stations, car parking and
nearby eateries, for which reviews can also be called up.
The search facility also allows users to enter a date and a category to
call up everything scheduled for that day, which should prove useful to
non-Londoners planning a trip to the capital.
”The real strength of the site will be the depth of information for people
using London,” said Dunn. ”The Standard has a tremendous in-built database
- everything from entertainment listings to guides to pubs - we can use
that in ways we never could in the newspaper.”
As well as the usual sports coverage, including up-to-the-minute results,
ThisisLondon carries a section on each of the London football clubs.
Banner advertising on the site is priced at œ35 CPM (cost per thousand
impressions), with opportunities for targeting particular groups according
to the different content areas of the site. Dunn and commercial manager
Lee Thompson also see great opportunities for sponsorship, especially
around special events, and for selling enhanced entries in the database.