THE FUTURE OF NEWSPAPERS?Printed electronics meets hyperlocal and community co-design John Mills @_johnmills
Essentials Interactive Newsprint is seeking to develop and test a new platform for community news and information Using innovating printed electronics technology, Interactive Newsprint can create printed matter that has ‘capacitive touch’ qualities Working with communities throughout Preston, Interactive Newsprint hopes to carve out a relevant, useful and usable platform Developing a commercial model, focussing on paper-based analytic data, that would add value to printed materials
Background: The Bespoke Project EPSRC funded project as part of Digital Britain programme Running between April 2009 and April 2011 Interdisciplinary project partners from University of Sussex, Dundee, Falmouth, Newcastle and Central Lancashire Bespoke: combining digital storytelling and innovate collaborative design methodology Developed ‘Insight Journalism’ methodology: where journalistic ‘insights’ are used to inspire design ‘action responses’
Bespoke record Recruited voluntary, semi-professional and professional journalists Newspaper distributed every month Co-designed by community Distributed through every letterbox Offers an open platform for community to submit to Developmental news-website Based around map interface and carries all digital content Used by designers during insight and analysis stage of design interaction methodology Delivered a range of digital designs into the community Viewpoint and Wayfinder key outputs from the project
Beyond Bespoke and the current newsenvironment Newspaper was found to be unsustainable (time, resource and economics) Local communities found newspaper a valuable resource Bespoke’s legacy was a team of community contributors and establishing partnerships between university and a range of groups throughout the city
Wider industry issues: Newspapers are dead…Philip Meyer – The Vanishing Newspaper Philip Meyer – The Vanishing Newspaper e
Wider ecosystems: Falling circulations among regional press Johnson Press’s (owner of 250 regional titles Pre-tax loss of £144m for 2011 Revenues fall by 6% Daily circulation declines by 7.9% year-on-year Last year, cut 670 jobs Newsroom job cuts Digital transference: offline to online Some hyperlocal experiments struggling to make sufficient revenue Some have posited that ongoing digital development and technological advancement, such as those predicted by George E. Moore would save journalism. The rise of the tablet fuelled app store
Interactive Newsprint 18-month project combining interdisciplinary academic and commercial team spanning technologists, human-computer interaction specialists, journalists and product designers Developing ‘interactive paper’ with capaciinternet connectivity Investigating the affordances of digital paper, community news requirements and commercial opportunitiesBut what is ‘interactive newsprint’, really………? Conductive ink that creates capacitive touch functions Chip allows audio to be embedded and log interactions Developing internet connectivity to allow both upload and download: enabling the paper to become part of the internet of things
Premise: can interactive and digitally- enabled paper save the news industry ? Seeking to utilise advantages of the affordances of digitally-enabled paper Working with communities to articulate a new and useful ‘news platform’ that moves beyond the traditional form and purpose Applying some of the online advantages to paper materialsuse new technological advantages to create asustainable, relevant and populated community newsplatformWork with communities within Callon and Fishwick, butalso from across the city Preston to establish useful andrelevant community content Current partners span Community radio station Housing association Youth groups Prestons 20 year Guild festival celebrations
Method: Developing a community co-design process Autumn 2011: Designers prototype concepts November 2011: Community members feedback and explore technology in creatively facilitated workshop Winter and Spring 2012Designers, journalists and HCI specialists develop themes and produce ‘responses’ February 2012: Second workshop with ‘stakeholders’ and content creators Prototypes are iterated over summer Community editors will each develop their own platform Examples of editors include Community radio station Housing association Youth groups Local business community Local press
Multifaceted methodology: eco-system Community codesign series of workshops inviting members of the community to suggest ways they could utilise the technology (but this doesnt mean they ask for something and we build it) Designers, technologists and journalists take this inspiration and run with it Community content generation working with trained volunteers, established community-focussed publishers and broadcaster and professional media, we aim to produce a vibrant editorial ecosystem from which to draw Researching the affordances of digitally-enabled paper At its very core, digital paper is a emerging technology. As part of the research, the project will aim to distil basic affordances of paper. For instance: How do you turn a piece of paper on?
Paper dataCommercial imperatives Developing a sustainable business model for hyperlocal news via interactive newsprint Internet connectivity is key Digital back-channel and creation of paper data. Opens up a whole new world: provides advantages of digital, but with paper Analytic information based on interactions Pay-per-click Pay-per-mill Location data Individual user accounts Targeted advertising and advertising campaigns on a local, hyperlocal and national level and many other things What is key here is that specific information could be ascertained through paper dataYou can see what was popular and wasnt, you can see what people were reading and what theyare engaging with. Youve also got comments and [user] ratings under articles, so you cangenuinely get a feel for right now for whats going on at a story- by-story level."
Data and editorial construction d “You can see what was popular and wasnt, you can see what people were reading and what they are engaging with. Youve also got comments and [user] ratings under articles, so you can genuinely get a feel for right now for whats going on at a story- by-story level."
Interactive Newsprint: future work Between now and Christmas, the Interactive Newsprint team will: prototype 3 to 5 codesigned platforms and roll them out throughout the community develop a commercial model through internal development, but through organised and creatively facilitated workshops continue to partner with local, national and international publishers to develop Interactive Newsprint as a commercial offering. Monitor how editorial production, and more specifically output, will alter in response to the platforms affordances