5 Things You Should Do in 2008 to Immediately Improve Your Web Site
Who convened it?
SUBURBAN NEWSPAPERS OF AMERICA
So why that online focus?
Cf report: State of the News Media 2008:
Newspapers in USA ended 2007 with 8.4% less circulation daily, 11.4% less Sunday than 2001.
Plus, print newspaper ad revenues experienced their worst drop in more than 50 years.
Network news programs averaged 23.1 million viewers a night, a drop of 5%, on 2006.
Here’s one response to the pressure:
"This week's toll of the dead” Mark Potts, 26 June 2008
The Boston Herald is laying off 130-160 employees.
Daytona Beach News-Journal is cutting 99 jobs.
In Detroit, the joint operating partnership that prints and distributes both papers wants 7 percent of the workforce–150 employees–to take buyouts.
The Hartford Courant is cutting 57 newsroom positions.
The Palm Beach Post is eliminating 300 jobs across all departments (130 in the newsroom).
The Baltimore Sun will cut 100 jobs in all departments by August.
The San Jose Mercury News is cutting 17 more employees, nine of them editorial …
The Portland Press Herald and Maine Sunday Telegram cut 31 jobs.
Total: Roughly 900 jobs eliminated just this week (and the week ain't over).
During the past 7 months, 4,500 posts have been cut at U.S. papers: http://snurl.com/3047y
For some: a shift in resources…
Survey of 259 editors
2. More on changing industry, audiences in First World.
In 2000, 60% of people said they had got news online ever; 22% said they did it “yesterday”
In late 2007, the number who got online news ever was up to 71% and 37% said they were online for news “yesterday.”
Many people, especially the young, are just shifting to the same branded news content online produced by old media newsrooms.
Here’s the paradox:
“ More people in more places are reading the content produced by newspapers than ever before … But revenues are tumbling” (Pew)
It is a race between them – whether that content will increasingly be produced on the cheap (a slippery slide to collapse)… OR whether the expanded readership outside the physical paper can be monetised.
Web was first seen by newspapers as a Stranger .
Then as a Source …
Subsequently as Subversive (a threat).
Now it is seen as a Strategic ally…
Could it become a Saviour ?
And what about mobile?
3. Existing business model is breaking up.
Where it all began:
Media content untied from physical formats.
= it’s all data – with scores of possible platforms to play out on.
And: EXPLODING of traditional horizontal integration of processes formerly under the control of one media house.
IT WAS: Info gathering – editing – packaging – dissemination – loyal audience.
Info gathering: DISTRIBUTED
UGC; “import” via embedded links
Global outsourcing, User editing and ranking
Multi-purposed platforms, 3 rd party aggregators
RSS, others’ platforms, get users to circulate
Links, Search engine based; Recommendation
Unbundled, Disarticulated, Dispersed
Dissolution of BUSINESS MODEL!
As audiences shift, ad revenue doesn’t parallel.
“ The crisis in journalism may not strictly be loss of audience. It may, more fundamentally, be the decoupling of news and advertising.”
News Web sites not growing in advertising revenue as quickly as other kinds of Internet destinations. And these figures do not include the most important revenue source, search, where news is a relatively small player.
4. New architecture of Information Society.
There is a fundamentally new structure to media – Jeff Jarvis, buzzmachine
Eyeballs and economics
Content devalued by supply of online content including user-generated content, a bunch of which includes content created by people who don't care if they get paid for its creation.
Web: Ease, ad supported content, free culture.
= Information is not a scarce commodity; we’re drowning in it. What is scarce is the human attention needed to make sense of it. We live in an attention economy. (21 st century PR.)
5. Web 2.0 = competition … and an opportunity.
Social networks & semantic web
About networks surfacing content, rather than isolated surfing and searching.
“if the news is important, it will find me”
“ Free up content to FOLLOW audiences…”
People return to places that send them away!
From internet of documents to database : metadata becomes critical.
Read- write web: user contributions, not just “old suspect” content producers.
Test: today ?????????? is king?
Us Us Us Us Us Us
There is no single or finished news product anymore . As news consumption becomes continual, more new effort is put into producing incremental updates…
News is shifting from being a product — today’s newspaper, Web site or newscast — to becoming a service — how can you help me, even empower me?
Conversation, not a lecture…
Us & Them
6. New news production
News agency model: 1-2-3
Step 1: news alert headline for breaking news, and possibly then:
Step 2: short present-tense story mainly for web & broadcast, and then:
Step 3: details and format the content for different news platforms – eg. possibly as a textual news analysis, multi-media …
Looking ahead: News Diamond
Alert (mobile, email)
Article/package (print, audio, video forms)
Context (hyperlinks, embedded content - widgets)
Analysis/reflection (article/package in various formats)
Interactivity (flash, chats, forums, wikis)
Customisation (rss, ratings, social networking)
CMS is king… New York Observer: “90% of the functionality of the NYT … at less than 10% of the cost”
New newsroom role at Telegraph: head of comment and community Mojo’s filing video…
Time in a Web 2.0 world
1-5 Hours per Week = Participant (UGC)
5-10 Hours per Week = Content Provider
10-20 Hours per Week = Community Director
7. Mobile – Africa’s answer?
Reuters last year : world wide mobile phone subscriptions reached 3.3-billion users or half the world’s population .
Compare this to television usage (about 1,5-billion users)
… or to desktop internet usage (about 1,1-billion users).
8. Looking ahead
Hardware : Form factor hurdles overrated.
Software : Android = an open source, Linux-based operating system for mobile devices.
Habits : DVB-H & 2010 will drive conversion of cellphones from interpersonal comms to an interactive media device.
Mobile opens whole new market for location-based services.
Business model : mix of subs, ads, free, UGC.
“ There is a very big disconnection between optimistic thinking about the future newsroom and the preparation , training and resources that editorial organisations seem to be giving to it.” George Brock (WAN)