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Sirius: A publishing system for Le Monde and beyond

Le Monde’s founder, Hubert Beuve-Méry, used the pen name “Sirius” when writing articles about the French resistance during World War II. The name is believed to have originated from a misspelling of the word “serious.” So when our team at Le Monde, one of the main French national news outlets, needed a content management system…

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Le Monde’s founder, Hubert Beuve-Méry, used the pen name “Sirius” when writing articles about the French resistance during World War II. The name is believed to have originated from a misspelling of the word “serious.” So when our team at Le Monde, one of the main French national news outlets, needed a content management system to handle the creation of both print and digital content, we gave a nod to our history and launched Sirius: a serious platform to take the newsroom into a digital future.

The editorial staff of Le Monde conceived and designed Sirius after they discovered there was no software on the market that would truly fit their needs to manage content internally for both a print newspaper and digital channels. The editorial staff then worked with our team of 100 developers to create the new system with funding through the Digital News Innovation (DNI) Fund, a part of the Google News Initiative.

As software development isn’t generally a day-to-day part of the newspaper’s mission, we’ve ended up with something like a startup within the newsroom. The team is composed of a product manager, two product owners, a technical lead, a designer and several developers. Also, for each project and each feature, we identify editorial experts. As a result, members of the newsroom participate in all the development phases of Sirius, from story mapping of a feature through the validation of mock-ups and user testing.

News organizations don’t buy a content management system like one would buy milk at the grocery store. It requires a lot of thought, and above all, it requires the organization to be ready for change. Sirius helps editorial teams make their digital transition, because it allows them to organize editorial staff around both print and digital products in a content agnostic way.

Word soon got around about what we were building, and that sparked interest from within the Le Monde Group and now L’Obs, Télérama and Courrier International also use Sirius. We have also developed partnerships with several other news organizations, such as with the Swiss newspaper Le Temps and the sports paper L’Equipe.

Our partnerships start with us meeting the editorial staff to study their processes and tools. The objective is to understand how to set up Sirius to meet the needs of the client’s editorial staff. Then we accompany the editorial staff in the configuration, and the creation of technical interfaces between the different systems (print, web, mobile, push, social networks). Once everything is set, we proceed with the training, a crucial step to get everyone on board.

Sirius also includes other tools like Forecast, a data collection system for editorial use. Forecast delivers, for example, information about the likelihood that an article will be read and whether it will potentially lead a reader to become a subscriber. Capping is another feature that allows the publisher to limit how many people can share subscriber accounts, thus increasing the value of the digital subscription.

The development of Sirius is an essential engine for our digital growth and is also a system that has proven itself across several different publishers. Thanks to the data present in Sirius, the marketing team can analyze publication times, traffic and conversions generated, and make recommendations. When marketing and editorial worked together on the best timing for publication, the average traffic per article jumped 154% between 2018 and 2021. We have also significantly raised the number of people who become subscribers per article within this timing publication section, with a 356% increase.

Hubert Beuve-Méry could never have imagined how the name Sirius would live in the future when he signed articles during World War II. But our news staff resurfaced it to honor the newspaper’s past, while bridging a path forward in the digital age.

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Meet the entrepreneur connecting Kenyans to healthy food

When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.Worried that…

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When Binti Mwallau started Hasanat Ventures, her dairy processing company in Kenya, she expected some resistance from her peers in an industry dominated by men. But she was surprised to run into more skepticism from her customers. Despite her background in finance and biochemistry, many of them questioned her credibility as a woman entrepreneur.

Worried that her gender would affect Hasanat Ventures’ reputation, Binti considered hiring a man as the face of the business. But she eventually decided against it, standing firm in her pride as a solo founder and committed to tearing down the perception that women-run businesses in Africa aren’t as successful as those run by men.

“I think we should be challenging the outdated narrative that businesses run by men are guaranteed to be more successful,” Binti says. “Based on research, we’ve seen that businesses run by women actually perform better. We should use this as an opportunity to prove that as a woman, you do stand a chance to succeed in everything that you do.”

Just as important to Binti as breaking this bias was giving Kenyans more access to affordable nutrition. “I realized that many people couldn’t afford premium yogurt. So we entered the market with a high-quality product that’s affordable for lower and middle-income earners who have become more health-conscious,” she says.

Binti knew she had to drive awareness for her brand, particularly to reach Kenyans who needed convincing about yogurt’s health benefits. So she turned to Google Digital Skills for Africa, which offers virtual classes to help entrepreneurs grow their skills and businesses, and completed a digital marketing course to help her get Hasanat Ventures online.

“After participating in the course, we knew our online presence had to be bigger than just social media,” Binti says. “Now that we have a fully functional website, we are actually getting leads from outside Kenya.”

As part of the course, Binti learned how to use Google Analytics to measure her website’s performance. She could now monitor traffic insights, analyze pageviews and better understand who was visiting her site.

Binti’s determination and passion for her business are showing up in the results. In its first year, Hasanat Ventures supplied over 300 retailers with affordable dairy products. Three years later, it’s grown to support more than 50 farmers and even built its own production facility to keep up with demand.

“I really want to make sure that I am visible and speaking up in spaces women don’t usually have access to,” Binti says. “As Hasanat Ventures continues to grow, I am confident I can help change the perception of African women in business.”

58% of Africa’s entrepreneurs are women. That’s why we’re empowering them with the platform and tools to grow their businesses. Learn more about our #LookMeUp campaign, highlighting Africa’s women entrepreneurs like Binti who are working to break the bias.

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100 things we announced at I/O

35. The Google Home and Google Home Mobile software developer kit (SDK) for Matter will be launching in June as developer previews.36. The Google Home SDK introduces Intelligence Clusters, which make intelligence features like Home and Away, available to developers.37. Developers can even create QR codes for Google Wallet to create their own passes for…

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35. The Google Home and Google Home Mobile software developer kit (SDK) for Matter will be launching in June as developer previews.

36. The Google Home SDK introduces Intelligence Clusters, which make intelligence features like Home and Away, available to developers.

37. Developers can even create QR codes for Google Wallet to create their own passes for any use case they’d like.

38. Matter support is coming to the Nest Thermostat.

39. The Google Home Developer Center has lots of updates to check out.

40. There’s now built-in support for Matter on Android, so you can use Fast Pair to quickly connect Matter-enabled smart home devices to your network, Google Home and other accompanying apps in just a few taps.

41. The ARCore Geospatial API makes Google Maps’ Live View technology available to developers for free. Companies like Lime are using it to help people find parking spots for their scooters and save time.

42. DOCOMO and Curiosity are using the ARCore Geospatial API to build a new game that lets you fend off virtual dragons with robot companions in front of iconic Tokyo landmarks, like the Tokyo Tower.

43. AlloyDB is a new, fully-managed PostgreSQL-compatible database service designed to help developers manage enterprise database workloads — in our performance tests, it’s more than four times faster for transactional workloads and up to 100 times faster for analytical queries than standard PostgreSQL.

44. AlloyDB uses the same infrastructure building blocks that power large-scale products like YouTube, Search, Maps and Gmail.

45. Google Cloud’s machine learning cluster powered by Cloud TPU v4 Pods is super powerful — in fact, we believe it’s the world’s largest publicly available machine learning hub in terms of compute power…

46. …and it operates at 90% carbon-free energy.

47. We also announced a preview of Cloud Run jobs, which reduces the time developers spend running administrative tasks like database migration or batch data transformation.

48. We announced Flutter 3.0, which will enable developers to publish production-ready apps to six platforms at once, from one code base (Android, iOS, Desktop Web, Linux, Desktop Windows and MacOS).

49. To help developers build beautiful Wear apps, we announced the beta of Jetpack Compose for Wear OS.

50. We’re making it faster and easier for developers to build modern, high-quality apps with new Live edit features in Android Studio.

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New ways to stay connected and entertained in your car

With split screen mode, now standard across all screen types and sizes, you’ll have access to your most-used features all in one place — no need to return to your home screen or scroll through a list of apps. With your navigation and media always on, you won’t have to worry about missing your next…

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With split screen mode, now standard across all screen types and sizes, you’ll have access to your most-used features all in one place — no need to return to your home screen or scroll through a list of apps. With your navigation and media always on, you won’t have to worry about missing your next turn while changing your favorite commute podcast. And with the new design able to adapt to different screen sizes, it looks great across widescreen, portrait and more.

New features for Android Auto

Google Assistant is bringing contextual suggestions to help you be more productive in the car. From suggested replies, to messages, to sharing arrival times with a friend, or even playing recommended music, Google Assistant is helping you do more in the car efficiently.

In addition to using your voice, you can now quickly message and call favorite contacts with just one tap, and reply to messages by simply selecting a suggested response on the screen – helping you communicate effectively, while allowing you to keep your eyes on the road. Keep an eye out for these updates to Android Auto in the coming months

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