Designing News Products and Business Models from a Netcentric Perspective Richard Gingras [email_address] 650 793 0093 Sal...
Prototypical Blogger? I.F. Stone
Technological change <ul><li>Embrace it. Change with it. It is the playing field; it sets the rules of the game </li></ul>...
Technology progression: simplified Exponential  Convergence
What won’t change We had better hope so! <ul><li>Openness of networks </li></ul><ul><li>Access to distribution </li></ul><...
On an optimistic note… <ul><li>Journalism’s future will be stronger and more valued than journalism’s past or present </li...
Accept new economics! <ul><li>Presume no economic savior, there is none </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Micro-payments are not a mac...
Traffic flows Inbound traffic: Home Page versus Rest-of-Site 50% 50%
Traffic flows <ul><li>Source of rest-of-site traffic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Refer...
Rethink content architecture Necessary to work the “matrix” from every dimension Ephemeral anthrax attack article Persiste...
Topic Pages The  new  article page <ul><li>Real-time micro-sites on important issues, ongoing stories, hot topics </li></u...
Rethink the output “Every new medium begins as a container for the old”  <ul><li>The long-form article is not  the   end  ...
Abandonment by Length 4 100% 44% 30% 29% 3 100% 43% 33% 2 100% 41% 59% 67% 71%
Database journalism <ul><li>How can technology allow more effective use of the fruit of a reporter’s efforts? </li></ul><u...
Leverage the trusted crowd <ul><li>More writers publishing today than ever before </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The blogosphere, W...
Salon Media Network Using the Salon brand to leverage the “trusted crowd” <ul><li>Grow a virtual media organization of eag...
Seek extreme efficiency Salon’s smart covers <ul><li>Stimulating, fast-changing , responsive to audience behavior; support...
Rethink the roles <ul><li>What is the day-to-day role of a reporter? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… when creation and publication...
Break down that wall! <ul><li>Everyone must understand how the product  and  the business works </li></ul><ul><li>Business...
Working the Matrix
Premium advertising Premium pricing requires flexibility and creativity <ul><li>Support creative flexibility beyond standa...
Ecommerce Salon shopping experience <ul><li>Opportunity : Salon is a lifestyle brand -- clear demographic, educated, progr...
Designing News Products and Business Models from a Netcentric Perspective Richard Gingras [email_address] 650 793 0093 Sal...
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Gingras online newsproductdesign-020710

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Observations on the design of next generation news products

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Gingras online newsproductdesign-020710

  1. 1. Designing News Products and Business Models from a Netcentric Perspective Richard Gingras [email_address] 650 793 0093 Salon Media Group
  2. 2. Prototypical Blogger? I.F. Stone
  3. 3. Technological change <ul><li>Embrace it. Change with it. It is the playing field; it sets the rules of the game </li></ul><ul><li>Do not presume it will save any old model </li></ul><ul><li>It won’t! </li></ul>
  4. 4. Technology progression: simplified Exponential Convergence
  5. 5. What won’t change We had better hope so! <ul><li>Openness of networks </li></ul><ul><li>Access to distribution </li></ul><ul><li>Free speech </li></ul><ul><li>What’s killing print is not Google but the openness of the Internet </li></ul><ul><li>Openness broke the newspaper distribution control and the associated business model </li></ul>
  6. 6. On an optimistic note… <ul><li>Journalism’s future will be stronger and more valued than journalism’s past or present </li></ul><ul><li>Newspapers are dying because we have put a press into everyone’s hands – how can that be bad? </li></ul><ul><li>Journalism’s future will be molded not by the painful transmogrification of existing entities but by many new creative endeavors </li></ul>
  7. 7. Accept new economics! <ul><li>Presume no economic savior, there is none </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Micro-payments are not a macro solution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>$40 print ad CPMs are history </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Subscription fees are self-defeating unless content has extraordinary value </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Revenue: assume an RPM of $10 </li></ul><ul><li>Expense: target Cost/MPV of $5 </li></ul>$10 $65 $5
  8. 8. Traffic flows Inbound traffic: Home Page versus Rest-of-Site 50% 50%
  9. 9. Traffic flows <ul><li>Source of rest-of-site traffic </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Search Engines </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Referral Sites: aggregators, email, blogs, social media, news-ranking sites </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Behaviors: query-driven as well as browsing </li></ul><ul><ul><li>83% use search to access news; 53% frequently </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>15-35% of news site traffic comes from search/aggregation </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>It’s not only a good traffic but it’s a great source of new “uniques” and an opportunity to drive product discovery </li></ul></ul>
  10. 10. Rethink content architecture Necessary to work the “matrix” from every dimension Ephemeral anthrax attack article Persistent anthrax attack resource
  11. 11. Topic Pages The new article page <ul><li>Real-time micro-sites on important issues, ongoing stories, hot topics </li></ul><ul><li>Locus for engagement </li></ul><ul><li>Editors as experts of their domains </li></ul><ul><li>Widget structure supports variation by topic </li></ul><ul><li>Increase search rank </li></ul><ul><li>Draw new users </li></ul><ul><li>Drive product discovery </li></ul><ul><li>Increased ad relevancy </li></ul>Salon Articles Audience Engagement Twitter Stream Background Info Aggregated Coverage Ownership
  12. 12. Rethink the output “Every new medium begins as a container for the old” <ul><li>The long-form article is not the end product of the reporting effort </li></ul><ul><li>The end product is far more than that: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Articles, posts, facts, related docs, reader contributions, discussion, databases, etc. etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>And, yes, the long-form should be reconsidered </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Audience is low, abandonment is high </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How might one better achieve the objective to inform? </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. Abandonment by Length 4 100% 44% 30% 29% 3 100% 43% 33% 2 100% 41% 59% 67% 71%
  14. 14. Database journalism <ul><li>How can technology allow more effective use of the fruit of a reporter’s efforts? </li></ul><ul><li>Shouldn’t reporting generate persistent informational resources? </li></ul><ul><li>Yes, but the thought process must change </li></ul>
  15. 15. Leverage the trusted crowd <ul><li>More writers publishing today than ever before </li></ul><ul><ul><li>The blogosphere, Wikipedia </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>More chaff, yes, but also more wheat </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can one optimally: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Harvest high-quality, self-determined work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lead work into areas of interest/need </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Provide guidance on ethics and style </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Develop appropriate compensation models </li></ul></ul><ul><li>There is a huge benefit to those who develop the skills and processes to do this well </li></ul>
  16. 16. Salon Media Network Using the Salon brand to leverage the “trusted crowd” <ul><li>Grow a virtual media organization of eager and capable participants </li></ul><ul><li>Built on Salon’s quality ethic and led by its editors </li></ul><ul><li>Sign-on to Salon policies. Work to it’s forms, guidelines, styles </li></ul><ul><li>Lead work across editorial spectrum </li></ul><ul><li>Evolve compensation models, largely performance-based </li></ul><ul><li>Convert high-quality user contributions into Salon-branded content </li></ul>Video
  17. 17. Seek extreme efficiency Salon’s smart covers <ul><li>Stimulating, fast-changing , responsive to audience behavior; support passive and active customization </li></ul><ul><li>Auto-produced via editorial rules </li></ul><ul><li>Modular for flexibility, localization, experimentation, delivery to various platforms </li></ul>
  18. 18. Rethink the roles <ul><li>What is the day-to-day role of a reporter? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… when creation and publication can be in the reporter’s hands </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What is the day-to-day role of an editor? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>… in an edition-less environment with a crowd of participants to lead, guide, and harvest </li></ul></ul>
  19. 19. Break down that wall! <ul><li>Everyone must understand how the product and the business works </li></ul><ul><li>Business: trust makes the brand </li></ul><ul><li>Editorial: how the economics work </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone: tracking the data </li></ul><ul><li>Everyone: collaborating on product development </li></ul>
  20. 20. Working the Matrix
  21. 21. Premium advertising Premium pricing requires flexibility and creativity <ul><li>Support creative flexibility beyond standard ad units </li></ul><ul><li>Seeking high impact and greater engagement </li></ul>
  22. 22. Ecommerce Salon shopping experience <ul><li>Opportunity : Salon is a lifestyle brand -- clear demographic, educated, progressive, involved, higher-income </li></ul><ul><li>Product : consistent with Salon’s values, further celebrating those values; a self-reinforcing </li></ul><ul><li>Approach : strong editorial personality; ecommerce business with no marketing or inventory costs </li></ul>
  23. 23. Designing News Products and Business Models from a Netcentric Perspective Richard Gingras [email_address] 650 793 0093 Salon Media Group

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