Crossplatform week 3


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Crossplatform week 3

  1. 1. Crossplatform Journalism Week Three
  2. 2. What’s the same • People online are no different from people offline – They want good, interesting relevant content – They don’t want fluff – They want it to get straight to the point and, if they have time, the option to read more.
  3. 3. What’s different?
  4. 4. A double role for the journalist! • This means the journalist is no longer just the creator of a story, but also the curator. • Creates - in terms of pulling together the story and reaction from multiple resources - does your story have words, audio and pictures? • Curates - provides links to further reading, to original sources, to differing points of view. Don’t just think text - are there pictures, video, audio?
  5. 5. Triple role for journalists • As well as content and curate, there’s a third element... • On page and off-page SEO, code to help the story reach out to the maximum audience
  6. 6. Writing for online • Writing for online follows most of the basic rules of good offline writing - accurate, insightful, informative/entertaining (or both) • Online also gives it the benefit of speed “I keep six honest serving-men, (They taught me all I knew); Their names are What and Why and When, And How and Where and Who” - Rudyard Kipling
  7. 7. Writing for online Taken from Taken from
  8. 8. Writing for short attention spans or 3G • Headline • Intro • Main details • Quote • More at...
  9. 9. The modern trend... • Headline • Then • Tell • Story • In • Bullet • Points
  10. 10. But we’ve all gone tabloid • Sadly - or brilliantly, depending on your point of view - we no longer have huge, epic sentences and paragraphs that can spawn hundreds of characters and many lines as a journalist attempts to capture an incredibly complicated issue - either by summarising or by copying from the technical prime source and we now have more judicious use of white space to capture attention spans and make an article seem far more ‘readable’.
  11. 11. But we’ve all gone tabloid
  12. 12. But have we gone too far • Sentences of 30 or so words - a few lines - are OK • But what about these ‘list-like’ articles we see now? • “10 ways to boost your copy” followed by 10 one-line bullet points that end with a question to boost ‘engagement’. • Brevity taken too far - or the future?
  13. 13. But have we gone too far?
  14. 14. How long should everything be? • Google prefers - but does not exclusively favour - long text so aim for 500-2000 words (aka #longreads) • Bear in mind people on mobiles may not want to read 2000 words • A variety of content can often be the best strategy - long, short, list, picture, video, audio • Headlines - around 60 characters • Summary - up to 160 characters/55 words
  15. 15. Some writing tips • Passive is the industry standard but online text can appear more engaging if written using active verbs instead • Use subheadings (feel free to add keywords) every 300-400 words, depending on article length
  16. 16. Starting with the easy... • Normal news story as usual • Paragraphs of no more than 30 words • Include links where possible to information provided from quotes or other data • Use relevant linking, not just click here. • So... “The minister said in his press release...” not “Click here to see what the minister said”. • Can you embed video or audio content? • You could also include full text at end of story
  17. 17. Full PR Text at end
  18. 18. Linking code • Inserting link: • <a href="">Visit W3Schools</a>
  19. 19. Sharing pictures...
  20. 20. Images • Have videos/images properly named, so “MP Craig McGill resigns.jpg” not “Axxcc67.jpg” • Make sure to fill out caption and ALT text info • If trying to rank high in Google News, don’t link to pic elsewhere. Embed on own site.
  21. 21. Sharing pictures...
  22. 22. Sharing pictures
  23. 23. Sharing video
  24. 24. Embedding
  25. 25. Remember... • Search engines like approx 60 chars for title • Description text gets around 160 characters • Keywords, categories and tags are separate
  26. 26. Curating • Two forms of curating: – Material directly relevant to the story – Tangential material that may be of interest to readers
  27. 27. Curating
  28. 28. Code for manual curating • Inserting link: • <a href="">Visit W3Schools</a>
  29. 29. Finding out your keywords • Keywords change per story. An MP resigning would be “MP” “MP name” “resigns” “quits” and perhaps the reasons for resigning • Keywords are the words placed high in headlines or intro pars. Google ranks by how high up the words are. • The more keywords you rank well for, the easier it is for people to find you. • What are your keywords?
  30. 30. Keyword finders • • Google keywords:
  31. 31. Categories and tags • All content on blogs can be specified into tags and categories. No limit to either but there is one slight difference between them: – All blogs posts must have a category – Tags are optional but further define the content – If you ran an IT blog about Microsoft for example... • Categories: XBox360, Surface, Zune, Windows • Tags (for XBox360): games, hardware, news, reviews • Tags (for Surface): hardware, software, rumours, review –
  32. 32. Linkbait • The art of making content so compelling people feel forced to share • • • Consider people’s emotions What punches buttons? Alternatively, what makes you want to punch the author’s nose?
  33. 33. Linkbait • Consider: an article where women talk about not having children. Linkbait could include: • • “People who want kids should be locked up” • “Children are only good as organ donors otherwise they’re just a drain on life & money” • “What woman has a life so empty and pitiful she feels she needs children to feel fulfilled?” “If motherhood is great, why are mums always looking like they want to cry?”
  34. 34. Linkbait • Consider: an article where women talk about not having children (cont...) • • “I earn £100K - because I had an abortion” • • Why it’s OK to pity women who have kids • “People have kids to avoid working” “I feel sorry for tired, bedraggled looking women who stand at bus stops with their whining kids” The path not taken: would you be happier childfree?
  35. 35. SEO
  36. 36. Embedding
  37. 37. How Google works
  38. 38. Embedding
  39. 39. SEO
  40. 40. SEO and WordPress
  41. 41. SEO
  42. 42. Seven basics of SEO for journalists • Make sure that your keyword appears in the HTML title tag of the page • Use the keyword towards the top of the page in a bold (or large) typeface • Use each keyword 2-3 times on each article • At least 500 words when possible • Have a picture in the article • Make sure your keywords are (at least) categories in your blog and variations (if possible) are tags • Don’t duplicate content across pages
  43. 43. SEO in action
  44. 44. Code behind the scenes <!DOCTYPE html PUBLIC "-//W3C//DTD XHTML 1.0 Transitional//EN" ""> <html xmlns="" xml:lang="en" lang="en" xmlns:fb="" xmlns:og=""> <head> <meta name="description" content="A Vatican spokesman said the Pontiff will retire on February 28. It is not known why he is resigning, but the decision is highly unusual as the vast majority of incumbents die in office." /> <meta name="keywords" content="Pope Benedict XVI resigns First Pontiff 600 years stand longer strength carry on" /> <meta name="channel" content="News" /> <title>Pope Benedict XVI resigns: First Pontiff in 600 years to stand down because he 'no longer has strength to carry on' | Mail Online</title> <meta name="verify-v1" content="DXwlrsxbqxSv+FTFkWUfgflBvFJfx2YbNf/HmABrVyY=" /> <meta name="msvalidate.01" content="12E6B4B813EB44C9BFC8F6A21F1D01F5" /> <meta name="y_key" content="1a7e912afbfcab2f" /> <meta http-equiv="Content-Type" content="text/html; charset=iso-8859-1" /> <meta http-equiv="Content-Language" content="en" /> <meta http-equiv="imagetoolbar" content="false" /> <meta name="MSSmartTagsPreventParsing" content="true" /> <meta name="Rating" content="General" /> <meta name="doc-class" content="Living Document" /> <meta name="robots" content="noodp,noydir,all,noarchive" /> <link href="/xml/opensearch.xml" title="Mail Online Search" type="application/opensearchdescription+xml" rel="search" /> <link rel="canonical" href="" /> <link href="" rel="publisher" /> ! ! ! ! ! <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href=""/> ! ! <link rel="stylesheet" type="text/css" media="screen" href="/coloursCss/colours-75-build-399.css" />
  45. 45. Google Author Rank
  46. 46. Google Author Rankings • Set up an account with Google • features/authorship/index.html • Also worth reading (though more technical): google-author-tags/
  47. 47. Targets for next week • Take one story you have created • Put the original online/Moodle • What are the story’s keywords? • What title and description would you give it? • Could you make it interesting/engaging in under 100 characters? • Could you use the content of others to make it better?
  48. 48. Targets for next week • Could you write the story into 5-10 bullet points that still tell the complete tale? • Could you tell the story as an audioboo? • If you were to rewrite the story as a personal blog, how would you do it? • Three ways you would link to the story to make people click on it