SIPA UK 2011 - Presentation by Patrick Smith
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SIPA UK 2011 - Presentation by Patrick Smith Presentation Transcript

  • 1. Curation, aggregation and communities in journalism
    SIPA UK 17th Annual Congress
    13 July 2011
  • 2. About me
    Editor of
    Digital journalist since 2008
    Specialist in media industry news / analysis
    Twitterholic – follow me at @psmith and @mediabrief
  • 3.
  • 4. What is curation?
    “Do what you do best and link to the rest”
    • Jeff Jarvis,
    “In the rearchitecture of news, what needs to happen is that people are driven to the best coverage, not the 87th version of the same coverage”
  • 5. A matter of resources and quality
    You can’t cover everything – and why should you?
    Weekly B2B mags, newspapers try to cover everything they physically can
    Compete with national newspapers (why?)
    Led by external news agenda, not internal analysis
    Moving from “what happened?” to “why did it happen?”
  • 6. A weak link?
    “Why link? You’re just sending traffic elsewhere!” – A news publisher, (1997-2007)*
    “If I link more, Google will like me and I’ll get traffic” – A publisher, (2007-2011)
    “Linking is our product”- ? (2011-)
    *entirely made up statements
  • 7. Transparency
    Links build trust and create better journalism:
    Tell your readers wherethe facts are from
    Linkto original sources (e.g. press releases)
    Be clear when you didn’t break the story
    Use your own archive to add context
  • 8. Ben Goldacre,
    “But more than anything, because linking sources is such an easy thing to do, and the motivations for avoiding links are so dubious, I’ve detected myself using a new rule of thumb: if you don’t link to primary sources, I just don’t trust you.”
  • 9. Link to quality – the expert filter’s and our newsletters, every weekday, links to articles from across the web, not just our original pieces.
    We choose news sources we think people will like to see.
    We encourage media to suggest feeds and articles we can index
    We follow trends by tagging each issue, person, company etc…
  • 10. Using newsletter intros to tell readers why something matters and why it’s worth their time:
  • 11.
    Reading through hundreds of posts and links every day to them so you don’t have to. Aggregation as time-saving device.
  • 12. as expert filtering tool
  • 13.’s live, social aggregation
  • 14. But there are rules…
  • 15. @SimonDumenco,
    “HuffPo's aggregation… consisted of basically a short but thorough paraphrasing/rewriting of the Ad Age post -- using the same set-up… and the bulk of the data presented in the original Ad Age piece.
    “HuffPoclosed out its post with ‘See more stats from Ad Age here’ -- a disingenuous link, because HuffPohad already cherrypicked all the essential content. HuffPo clearly wanted readers to stay on its site instead of clicking through to
  • 16. The Journal Register example
  • 17. More at
  • 18. The Google newsroom
    Via BenoîtRaphaël,
    Online-savvy curators at the centre, working with external sources to create a good experience for their readers
  • 19. Google newsroom: Curation and journalism
    Reporters (Journalists + bloggers): they don’t “cover” news, they don’t replicate press agencies wires, they bring original stories.
    They go on the real or virtual ground... live tweeting, articles, videos, data, in-depth investigation… They can also manage a community of bloggers/users with whom they can co-produce the news.
    Curators (journalists + amateurs) : they “cover” the news by sorting, verifying and editing live everything good existing on the web and in the media. They make link journalism, they make the news more accessible.
    (Just one idea….)
  • 20. Moving beyond the article
    Is 400 words of text always the best format?
    Text, video, audio, forums, graphs, data, your own archive
    Is the article still the building block of journalism?
    Are readers being served by re-written press releases?
    Liveblogsgrowing in importance (but not a moneyspinner)
    (n.b. there’s nothing wrong with the written word!)
  • 21. Real-time conversation
    You need to know what readers are saying, so you can:
    -- REACT with relevant content
    -- ENGAGE them in conversation
    -- BE the centre for debate
    -- Talk about your PRODUCTS in an organic way
  • 22. Tweeting matters!
    Take your official account seriously
    TWEET OFTEN! 10/15 a day minimum
    Encourage reporters to engage and promote their own stories
    Have a policy – even a simple one
    e.g. Humour is fine within limits
    Standard structure for tweeting links
    Spelling/factual errors not tolerated
    Be careful mixing personal and professional
  • 23. “But our readers don’t tweet”
    “Those who believe that Twitter is mainly about “broadcast” for mainstream organisations are not just wrong, they are wilfully ignoring the successes and failures of many others… Some people will work very hard to exclude the experiences of others that challenge their own preconceptions of their working environment.
    I’ve called this “special pleading” in the past. Every single market we serve at RBI has given me reasons why social media won’t work in their market… Every single piece of special pleading has been proved to be false.”
    - Adam Tinworth, RBI,
  • 24. Setting goals
    Replenishment or growth?
    Newsletter signups, unique users?
    Improved quality of conversation?
    Social media/community goals shouldn’t be separate from your main business objectives
  • 25. Focus on valuable products
    Two full-day conferences, two full-length research reports, within seven months of launch.
    One editorial member of staff.
  • 26. Join us
    @mediabrief - search for TheMediaBriefing
  • 27. See the full list of links and slides at now
    Flickr credits:
    Books pic from heathermariekosur
    Typewriter from 500CPM
    Crowd shot from laubarnes