Martin Belam, UsVsTh3m, lean startup session at news:rewired
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Martin Belam, UsVsTh3m, lean startup session at news:rewired

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Martin Belam on UsVsTh3m, a mobile-first startup from Trinity Mirror

Martin Belam on UsVsTh3m, a mobile-first startup from Trinity Mirror

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    Martin Belam, UsVsTh3m, lean startup session at news:rewired Martin Belam, UsVsTh3m, lean startup session at news:rewired Presentation Transcript

    • @MartinBelam. news:rewired. September 2013.
    • An experiment. Funded by Trinity Mirror. They wanted to reach new audiences and test a different way of publishing.
    • A very fast experiment. 5 weeks from concept to launch of a 2 month pilot. First day the whole team assembled was the day we went public. Much like The Avengers.
    • Why use Tumblr? It’s a free, fully-featured CMS. We had to do zero integration with existing systems. Easy remote publishing, and it scales.
    • Social. Not SEO. We defined a set of simple product principles. Everything tweetable. No long articles. Everything in a stream. Very little navigation.
    • Build fast. Iterate fast. Prototyped and designed in code on Tumblr. Used real content as soon as possible. Hired front-end coder to work exclusively on it.
    • The “Toys” are our USP Not sure any other news publisher is doing this at all. Standalone topical “toys” - quick interactives designed to be shared because they are funny, or resonate... or ideally both.
    • We started by trolling media for attention.* *using the proper old skool definition of trolling.
    • There is a sliver of ice in our soul. We are funny and silly and all about the LOLs. And then suddenly deadly, deadly end-of-the-world serious. Well, ish.
    • House prices game. House prices are a national obsession. The game highlights the irrational price difference between London and...well...basically everywhere else in the UK.
    • Where is Damascus? It isn’t NUJ accredited data-journalism, but it makes a point. And it generated news stories. And a po-faced response in the Washington Post.
    • We’ve ignored traditional staffing silos. These people will talk to each other in a traditional publisher. But they seldom cross-skill and really work together. Institutional legacy structures get in the way of making stuff.
    • Our model. Our skills overlap. We’ve got specialisms, but all of us can write, be photoshop monkey, and code*. *With varying degrees of success.
    • So far it has worked. We had over 750,000 unique users in our second month.
    • Where’s the money? We think we have four commercial models to explore. Display advertising isn’t one of them. We’ve done one sponsored “toy” so far.
    • I’m @MartinBelam. Thank you. Get lucky. UsVsTh3m: Rob Manuel. David Stevenson. Tom Scott. Ian Steadman. Nicky Williams. Robyn Wilder. Abi Wilkinson. Design & tech: Chris Lam. Tiffany Ong.William Turrell. Paul Curry. Matt Round. Martin Belam. Cheque-writing & giving us space to get stuff done: