INTERNATIONAL SYMPOSIUM ONONLINE JOURNALISM 2013The best journalism conference in the world.Really.
ENGAGEMENT Don’t mistake loyalty for deep engagement. Theyare not the same! Just because a user comes backto your site several times a month, doesnt meantheyre talking to you, about you, spending a lot oftime on site. Tell your viewers HOW the they have contributed toyour coverage or social conversation. Thatincreases their trust in you. It shows you see youraudience as equals and important to theconversation. Thank your viewers for re-tweeting your content.
STRENGTHENING JOURNALISM IN AN ERA OFDIGITAL DISRUPTION We must recognize there are fundamental physics going on inour industry. High market share sites separate their Web team’s physicallocation, sales team, content, product team, and they have aseparate management structure Historical data dictates that a disruptive business (example:Web) starts outside the core, established business (TV). As time goes on, the disruptive business encompasses theestablished one Online will and is encompassing all other forms of media andcreates new growth, but the established businesses are blindto that Journalism is on the brink of a GROWTH opportunity, butjournalists too often focus on what has been LOST by thedigital revolution.
Focus our resources and efforts. We must decide whatwe want to be the best in the world at, and create thattype of content really, really well. Have the rigor to decide what were going to be good at,then set up a Web-only team for that content because itmakes the entire journalistic product stronger Example: No one is coming to our websites for sportsnews. They have ESPN.com for that. So what ARE theycoming for? Focus your efforts there.
WE MUST ALSO… Find the conversation people are already havingand put your content into that flow. Be mindful of trending topics and stack your newscastsand create Web stories accordingly To find that conversation, you must first know whatyou are good at/want to be good at so you knowwhere to look for the conversation.
STRATEGIES FOR THE NEW MEDIAECOSYSTEM How do we attract and audience? The user looks at you to fulfill a job intheir life. Think about what job we are trying to do. Entertain? Inform? Focus on searchable, shareable (a la BuzzFeed) content instead ofwaiting for people to come to your homepage. “Supper hour news” is no more. We have two different cultures:Broadcast and Web. Instead of capturing the living room, we now need to capture thebedroom (people with tablets in bed!) Fail fast, fail cheaply. Create prototypes. Theres too much scolding inthis industry. If you try something and it fails, just move on! Diversify your sources of revenue = start or purchase new businesses. Separate news and Web into two different entities. Separation gives youthe freedom to try new things; separate budgets. Separation is also greatfor the newsroom culture because when the Web wins awards for its ownwork, itll get the TV peoples attention and admiration. However beingseparate doesnt mean being strangers to each other; news still needs tothink about where they’re publishing. Must think “digital first.” You needsomeone to work as a "bridge" between the two “worlds.”
PROFOUND THOUGHTS FROM ANDY CARVINSENIOR STRATEGIST AT NPR/SOCIAL MEDIA MASTER EXTRAORDINAIRETRANSCRIPT OF HIS TALK: HTTP://WWW.ANDYCARVIN.COM/?P=1773 Errors have always been a part of journalism butcorrections are more recent. How often do we all post a report without a secondor third source to back it up? Social media nowrequires you to work even more rapidly than before. Social media makes an obvious target for blame.Never before have we been able to spreadmisinformation so rapidly. Its never been easier tospread rumors. Before, youd hear the rumors, butyou could scrutinize them and leave them out ofthat story before it went to print/on air. That era isover. Today everyone has a device in their pocketthat can send information.
SO WHAT SHOULD WE IN THE MEDIA DO NOWTHAT THE PUBLIC CAN INFORM EACH OTHER? We need to get back to the core of journalism.Rethink what it means to inform the public. Tocreate a more informed public means to helppeople understand, not telling them what to think. For instance, help the public understand what itmeans to “confirm” something. The public doesntunderstand journalists’ jargon. We can no longer afford to underplay the publicsrole in helping tell a story.
BRILLIANT IDEA Perhaps we can use social media to SLOW thenews cycle, not just to send out rapid breakingnews headlines or asking for pictures from thepublic. Journalists can use it to actively addressrumors and challenge them. It should be ok to tellthe public what we do and do not know. Use social media as a collaborative newsroom. Twitter is 99.999 percent noise. Its journalists’ jobto sort through the .001 percent. We have the abilityto put things in their proper context and moreaccurately interpret that noise.
RESPONSIVE DESIGN Responsive design is a way of making the Webwork. Its not a content strategy. Mobile is an idea, not a specific size. Its not a cellphone or an iPad. It could be huge! We dont knowhow people are going to access our content in thefuture. Ads are complimentary to a website. We need themto work with us, not against us. Thus, more communication between Web teamsand sales teams is needed. With responsive sites,problems with ads only get worse unless you’recommunicating.
WHAT DOES RESPONSIVE DESIGN LOOKLIKE? Responsive design isnt just about ad width. Itincludes other parts of the users experience = whattime of day are they coming to our site? What if wehad a day vs. night version of the site? What abouta user’s location? What about a site that respondsbased on stories users have seen/interacted with?What are our viewers reading or sharing? What arethey talking about/ commenting on? Respond tothose things. When a user looks at our site at 5 p.m., whathappens if an important story has already fallen offthe page? The site needs to adapt to what the userneeds to see.
MORE ON ADS… Keep in mind people on a fast, business Internetnetwork arent always the people accessing yoursite. Consider users bandwidth when designingads/your site. Build tolerant ads - flexible width is better thanheights. We should spend more time to make ad conceptsas good as our content - advertising is really ourbusiness. Theres room for someone to own the advertisingspace today, like back in "Mad Men" days when adswere essentially art. Let’s get creative!
THE POST-INDUSTRIAL PRESENTEMILY BELL - COLUMBIA UNIVERSITY, FORMER DIRECTOROF DIGITAL CONTENT FOR THE GUARDIAN The Industrial Age of journalism is drawing to aclose. Were seeing movement away from the packagedjournalist. We had been training journalists forpredictable jobs, but now training needs to focus onskill sets. A deepening of technical skills and specializedareas will be critical. (Data skills, statistical literacy,technical literacy/basic knowledge of code, etc.)
JOURNALISTS NEED TO…(ACCORDING TO EMILY BELL) Be transparent in how you construct your storiesand arrive at your conclusions. You need to do yourwork in public and interact with citizens. Be self-organizing and collaborative. Unfortunately,the competing nature of employers stopscollaborations among journalists with commoninterests. Become better, faster. Use real-time storytelling. Extra tidbit from Bell: The U.S. tends to think newshas to make a profit to be good, but the rest of theworld doesnt see it that way.
MOBILE, MOBILE, MOBILE Chris Courtney - mobile product manager forTribune Company (Chicago Tribune) Strategy is never 100% - assume youre doing it wrong. Apps are tricks. They’re the last thing you need. Youneed to get to your customers as quickly as possible. Find your customers and talk to them! Dont buildanything until you know who that customer is! "The suits" fear youll hurt the brand with experiments.They only want to release something thats perfect.Then dont use your brand name. Do your research atStarbucks. Go do things that will help people, solve problems.
MORE MOBILE David Ho - editor of mobile, tablets, and emergingtechnology at The Wall Street Journal Tips for mobile engagement:Tip 1: Do not annoy. It is SO easy to make people mad on amobile device. Be careful about the thing you think is really,really cool. Its probably only cool once.Tip 2: Listen to your readers and respond accordingly.Tip 3: Make it an experience. News apps need to “sing.” Theyneed to be as beautiful as the stories they deliver. We need tomake it worth our users time.Tip 4: Beware of phrases like "click here." The mouse isdead! You now have voice recognition and touch screens.Users who see "click here" on your touch-screen device areinsulted.
AND STILL MORE MOBILE Joey Marburger - mobile design director atWashington Post SIMPLIFY!!! Its his mantra (and also Apples). Youre competing for peoples time, so you dont wantanything to be taxing. Let’s create experiences that are worthpeople’s time. Speed leads to satisfaction. People rememberif something took a lot of time. Good apps in his opinion:- Summly - simple design, focuses on content- FourSquare started out very simple and clean and slowly didprogressive enhancements to keep their users happy- Rise - an alarm clock, cool, simple design. You want to wakeup and be happy. Very gesture-based (you can shake it and itsnoozes) User experience: 37 % think mobile sites are difficult tonavigate (which can translate to thousands of people in youruser base. Not a number to be overlooked) Responsive Web design is not a mobile strategy.