10 Ways To Reinvent Your Newsroom Right Now

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On March 16, I held a sessions at the College Media Adviser's Conference in New York on "10 (small) Innovations You Can Use In Your Newsroom Right Now."

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10 Ways To Reinvent Your Newsroom Right Now

  1. 1. 10 (small) Ways To Reinvent Your Newsroom Right Now
  2. 2. Innovation is essential <ul><li>Newsroom should be a center of constant innovation. </li></ul><ul><li>Organization and workflow must include the capacity to innovate. </li></ul><ul><li>We’re entering an era of constant change, at increasingly faster pace. </li></ul><ul><li>We don’t know what’s coming, but we know it’s coming. </li></ul>
  3. 3. What’s next? <ul><li>Are blogs already dead? </li></ul><ul><li>Is Twitter going to kill Google? </li></ul><ul><li>Is mobile the future? </li></ul><ul><li>What do you know about the Semantic Web? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you geo-tagging content? </li></ul><ul><li>What does news look like for location-based services? </li></ul><ul><li>Are you thinking about how to publish into video games and virtual communities? </li></ul>
  4. 4. Failure to innovate=death <ul><li>Being online doesn’t mean you’re doing enough to innovate: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>eBay </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Yahoo </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>CNET </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Salon.com </li></ul></ul><ul><li>All industries eventually are vulnerable to creative destruction. </li></ul><ul><li>There are few second acts. </li></ul>
  5. 5. So what can you do?
  6. 6. Big Innovation vs. Little Innovation
  7. 7. Big Innovation <ul><li>Blow up your newsroom. Today. </li></ul><ul><li>Must have support and buy-in from the top, or it’s doomed. </li></ul><ul><li>Can’t change by consensus, must lead. </li></ul><ul><li>Downside: Could get bogged down for years making little progress. </li></ul>
  8. 8. Big innovators <ul><li>Intel is the iconic example for dumping its memory business in favor of processors. </li></ul><ul><li>Google allocates 20 percent of employee’s time for new projects. </li></ul><ul><li>Cisco Systems has already decided it will have a new business model in 20 years, and is mapping out how to get there. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Little innovation <ul><li>Lead by example. </li></ul><ul><li>Start fast; fail cheap; learn. Repeat. </li></ul><ul><li>Plant seeds. </li></ul><ul><li>Find “sleeper cells of innovation.” </li></ul><ul><li>Demonstrate success to gain more allies. </li></ul><ul><li>Downside: May not create big enough changes, fast enough. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Small innovations you can do right now
  11. 11. <ul><li>Start a wiki Invite the community to help build an information resource. </li></ul>
  12. 12. 2. Aggregate <ul><li>Aggregation is creation </li></ul><ul><li>People always need help finding the best stuff. </li></ul><ul><li>It’s the new version of wire stories. </li></ul><ul><li>Jeff Jarvis of CUNY says: “Do you what you do best, link to the rest.” </li></ul><ul><li>Use Delicious.com; Publish2. </li></ul>
  13. 13. www.dukebasketballreport.com Started by Duke Alumni to collect every link about Duke basketball
  14. 14. 3. Twittercamp <ul><li>Visual stimulus in the newsroom is great. </li></ul><ul><li>Why are you watching CNN? </li></ul><ul><li>Put the community’s conversation on display. </li></ul><ul><li>Connect one screen in the newsroom to a PC, install Twittercamp, an Adobe Air client. </li></ul>
  15. 16. 4. Create a community hub <ul><li>Launch a Ning.com site. </li></ul><ul><li>Create Multi-user Wordpress blog. </li></ul><ul><li>Create a distinct tag. </li></ul>
  16. 18. 5. CopyCamp <ul><li>Invite the community into the newsroom. </li></ul><ul><li>Have a different kind of conversation. </li></ul><ul><li>Use the BarCamp/Un-conference model. </li></ul><ul><li>This is about learning to listen, and rethinking the newsroom’s relationship to the community. </li></ul><ul><li>Nothing beats the connections built through direct contact. </li></ul>
  17. 19. CopyCamp at the San Jose Mercury News: June 2008
  18. 20. 6. Talkshoe <ul><li>If you can make a phone call, you can do a podcast. </li></ul><ul><li>Knowledge management: Right now newsrooms publish 5 percent of what they know. Find easy ways to push that to 10 percent. </li></ul><ul><li>Use free tools like Talkshoe, Blogtalkradio.com, Utterli. </li></ul>
  19. 21. 7. Collaborate <ul><li>Find a project to do with another group on campus. </li></ul><ul><li>Expands your capacity to innovate. </li></ul><ul><li>Brings different perspective. </li></ul><ul><li>Can create sparks of innovation. </li></ul>
  20. 22. 8. Live blog or stream <ul><li>CoverIt Live </li></ul><ul><li>Qik </li></ul><ul><li>Ustream </li></ul>
  21. 23. 9. Beat Blogging <ul><li>Turn your sources into a social network. </li></ul><ul><li>Check out BeatBlogging.org. </li></ul><ul><li>Find ways to build a network to help make your reporting deeper, and more efficient. </li></ul>
  22. 24. 10. Social Media <ul><li>You’re probably on Facebook. Is everyone in your newsroom? </li></ul><ul><li>Make sure you’re building networks, promoting your links. </li></ul><ul><li>What about Twitter? </li></ul><ul><li>Digg? </li></ul><ul><li>Being social means promoting other people’s work, too, so they’ll promote back. </li></ul>
  23. 25. What else? <ul><li>Find a community you don’t cover and create new product for it. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Alumni </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sports </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Prospective students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Research/Intellectual Discussions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Faculty </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Ask what things your community needs help doing? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Finding roommates </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Buying and selling text books </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rating classes </li></ul></ul>
  24. 26. Contact me <ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>Follow me on Twitter at @sjcobrien or @nextnewsroom </li></ul><ul><li>M: 415-298-0207 </li></ul><ul><li>www.nextnewsroom.com </li></ul>

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