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  1. 1. Dan Pacheco Senior Product Manager The Bakersfield Californian / Participatory Media Making the audience part of the conversation
  2. 2. How has media changed?  The line between reporter and reader is blurring. – Reporters getting scooped by bloggers – Collective blogs (citizen journalism), re-editing (slashdot)  Readers expect more of a conversation – Point and counterpoint between reporters, bloggers, readers – The term “readers” is tired. “Audience” the new buzz word.  And it’s not just happening with news! – Social networking (MySpace, Facebook, LinkedIn) is emerging as a major mass medium, especially with younger audiences – Self-serve advertising is taking over, largely outside of our walls
  3. 3. Why is Participation Important?  As audiences fragment, community ties them together. – Less time, more choices, and enabling technology cause people to gravitate toward the 1 or 2 things they care most about. – Successful community products serve niches. – “One size fits all” only gets you so far.  Niche audiences expect interactivity. – Reading and “consuming” media is only where it starts. – People with specific interest, identity want to connect with others.  Impossible to serve every niche with staff alone – Let the community help! Self-serve publishing, ads, everything. – In the future, 30% of our editorial, ad staffs will evolve into thought leaders and facilitators of publishing and conversations.
  4. 4. and “Bakomatic”  Created, niche participatory Web site for young people in Bakersfield. – Intentionally separate from newspaper. – Underground flavor.  Created a generic, multi-brand community platform that let us do the same for many audiences. – One site is now 7 and growing!  Key features: – Content, both from us and from the community. – Social tools that help people: – Make friends, find dates – Meet and converse with people with shared interests – Find people with stuff to sell/recycle, or to buy my stuff
  5. 5.  2006 EDGIE WINNER for Most Innovative Visitor Participation!  First direct Craigslist competitor created by a U.S. newspaper. Only 2nd in world after Sydney!  Launched Jan. 2005. Craigslist opened in Bakersfield next day.  Web site only – no print (yet).  Targeted at Bakersfield youth & “young at heart” (18-35).
  6. 6. Bakotopia’s Value Proposition Driving behaviors  Bands, events, socializing. No news, but people post reviews.  People post things for sale, musicians wanted ads.  Users create profiles, and bands upload music.  Grass-roots marketing, profiles, social networking are drivers. Home page Posting stuff Viewing categories Viewing profiles Viewing interests Reading content 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. Rank Feature The users are the content! Note that profiles and “connecting” beat content in traffic hands down!
  7. 7. Persona – it’s all about ME! User profiles let people:  Express themselves and their interests  Bands can showcase music  Link to friends’ profiles  Rate each other View Recent Profiles
  8. 8. Band Radio & Podcast • Bands can upload music to their profiles • We approve new tunes, but after that it’s hands-off. • Best stuff shows up on home page, in “Bakotunes” Podcast. Play Bakotunes
  9. 9. Interests: Find Your Vibe (View Recent Interests)
  10. 10. How Interests Work Find people who share your vibe in just a few clicks. (Try it here) Nice circular traffic that builds pageviews!
  11. 11. Social Networking, continued “Will you be my friend?” Let the users market you by marketing themselves!
  12. 12. Social Networking & Media How does it relate to media?  Gives people a sense of ownership of something connected with your brand. – “My profile,” “My Space,” “My blog”  Persona and identity are central to civil conversations. – If I know who you are and what you’re into, I can talk to you. – People often find each other through shared interests. They do it through news stories now. This makes it easier.  Great way to drive frequency – I’ll go online to read guestbook posts on my profile long before I will to read a news story. – Social networking lets users market your site for you!
  13. 13. Why did we build our own?  Launched Northwest Voice on a vendor (iUpload). Realized we needed an economical way to serve many disparate audiences, and observe activity across them all (total market reach).  The needs of Bakotopia, our “youth” brand, were way out of the scope of “citizen journalism”. Examples: free anonymous listings, bands & music, user profiles, social networking.  We didn’t want something that was created to spec for the lowest-common-denominator newspaper customer.
  14. 14. Before Bakotopia, Northwest Voice  The first “participatory media” / “citizen journalism” product created by a U.S. newspaper.  People submit articles through the Web site, or via e-mail. – Kids’ accomplishments, recipes, and sometimes controversial stuff going on at the neighborhood level.  Best articles are queued for print editions, using a content management system.  Recently added comments, profiles and other direct participation (features from
  15. 15.  A weekly magazine and web site targeted to English- speaking Hispanics  “Affirmational media” – acknowledges something that’s uniquely a part of you. More of a magazine style.  Has strong traditional media model, with a staff of 8!  Planning to enable user- contributed stories URL: Más – Affirmational Media
  16. 16. And More!  Southwest Voice – Like Northwest Voice, but in southwest part of city  – Softer sell than getting new residents to read the paper.  Tehachapi News – Weekly in nearby mountain town, owned by Californian.  – Very soon, we will inject persona and social networking into the fabric of the flagship newspaper Web site.  First Licensee – Due to launch in June!
  17. 17. Profiles  Took over our newspaper site’s registration system  Unified metrics let us look across core and new products.  Profiles & more coming soon!
  18. 18. What’s Our Role? Readers / users have more control than ever, but media professionals still have a significant role to fill  In a room of disparate voices, who ties it all together?  Who finds the story behind the story?  Who calls “bull” when people use their newfound “citizen journalism” power to manipulate and deceive? MY HOPE: We let people communicate more of the day to day, human interest. That lets us focus more time, energy and money on public service journalism.
  19. 19. The Money Question Primary goal was to use community to build audiences. Now we can allow ourselves to reap rewards.  Northwest Voice and Mas print revenue subsidizes Bakotopia and technology development.  Bakomatic saves money -- cheaper (and better) than vendors.  Just launched some experimental sponsorship ads on Bakotopia. Will add more to Voice and other sites.  Later this year: self-serve, community-based advertising. Better for the advertiser, and the audience.