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Way Beyond News America East

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A presentation on the evolution of selected highly engaged hyperlocal news sites for an industry conference in March 2012.

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Way Beyond News America East

  1. 1. Way Beyond News:A Template for Assessing and Meeting a Communitys Information Needs Elaine Clisham and Ed Efchak America East March 2012
  2. 2. Today’s Discussion• A new example of local information delivery• A better understanding of customer needs across multiple groups• How “community” has changed in a digital environment• How the user now determines what is relevant• What this means for you• No easy answers, but lots of big questions 2
  3. 3. August 27, 2011 3
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  5. 5. What Did You Care About?• What’s going on in my immediate area?• How do I separate fact from rumor?• How can I get information quickly, especially information that will help me stay safe?• How can I get help/offer help? 5
  6. 6. Jersey Shore Hurricane News 6
  7. 7. Existing Information Sources• Not local enough – regional or bigger in scope• Not fast enough – local newspaper sources were seen as too slow• Any rapid information came from sources neither local nor relevant – from New York or Philadelphia• Not trustworthy – local media was regarded as inaccurate and unreliable• Not easily available via mobile 7
  8. 8. Hurricane Irene and JSHN Launch: 23 August – 30 August 2011 8
  9. 9. Hurricane Irene and JSHN Launch: 23 August – 30 August 2011 9
  10. 10. Vermont Flooding 2011 10
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  24. 24. Jersey Shore Hurricane News 26,395 like this 3,406 talking about this From hurricanes to trusted local source: What has JSHN become?17 February 2012 24
  25. 25. JSHN Today • Weather briefings • Traffic updates • Breaking local news and emergencies • Local assistance • Community sharing and outreach • Good news about local places • A community discussion board… MANY items shared by Facebook fans! 25
  26. 26. Jersey Shore Hurricane News“A bottom-up, two-way news outlet, JSHN is newsfor the people, by the people. JSHN covers weatheremergencies, major breaking news, traffic incidents,and silver/amber alerts. JSHN is also a communityresource (events, missing dogs, etc).” Some examples… 26
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  35. 35. A Facebook Pagewith Engagement 35
  36. 36. Jersey Shore Hurricane NewsCompared With Selected Media Facebook Pages Facebook “Likes”News 12 New Jersey 90,343Palm Beach Post 27,410JERSEY SHORE HURRICANE NEWS 26,350Newsday 24,589Pittsburgh Post Gazette 17,189Dallas Morning News 15,216Bangor Daily News 14,501Chicago Reader 11,026Orange County Register 11,010Press of Atlantic City 10,062Albany Times Union 8,267Asbury Park Press 7,186Philadelphia Inquirer 6,484Bergen Record 1,221 20 Feb 2012 36
  37. 37. Jersey Shore Hurricane News Compared With Selected Media Facebook Pages Facebook “Talking About”News 12 New Jersey 3,874JERSEY SHORE HURRICANE NEWS 2,028Palm Beach Post 1,446Newsday 1,488Pittsburgh Post Gazette 1,120Dallas Morning News 427Bangor Daily News 1,284Chicago Reader 269Orange County Register 459Press of Atlantic City 642Albany Times Union 334Asbury Park Press 994Philadelphia Inquirer 540Bergen Record 44 23 Feb 2012 15:02 EST 37
  38. 38. JSHN Has Evolved Into Far MoreThan Its Weather Emergency Origin 38
  39. 39. JSHN Averages 88 Posts / Day Driven by Weather, Breaking News, and Traffic 39
  40. 40. Examples of “Breaking News” Reporting on Jersey Shore Hurricane News • Phone outage in Hunterdon County • Homeless tent fire in Lakewood (Ocean) • Fire in Glen Rock (Bergen) • Vandals in Toms River park (Ocean) • Shooting /Woodbridge Center (Middlesex) • Robbery suspect in Asbury Park (Monmouth) • Fire in Hoboken (Hudson) • Edison transformer fire (Middlesex) • Fire in South Plainfield (Union) • Burglary in Jackson (Ocean) • Assault in Cliffside Park (Bergen) • Military artillery live fire training at Ft Dix (Burlington) • Warning of sex offender in Buena Vista (Ocean) 40 • Missing child /Manahawkin (Ocean)
  41. 41. The JSHN Community • 75% Women • Families • Commuters • Age Group 25 - 44 41
  42. 42. Hearing The Voice of the JSHN Customer• Created a website specific to the project http://communityneeds.wordpress.com• Site content audit conducted daily February 12 – March 9• Conducted two waves of survey research• 62 Individuals responded to our initial digital site inquiry• 132 follow up interviews conducted• Conducted February-March 2012• Other research efforts 42
  43. 43. Digital Survey Research • Site/page utilization • Overall satisfaction • “Jobs” or “needs” definitions • “Community” definitions • Participative role within the community • Level of engagement • Demographics and behaviors • Site options (monetization, etc.) 43
  44. 44. JSHN: Basic Premises• News that can delivered and used immediately• Information I can trust• I can contribute to this community 44
  45. 45. What we asked:You’re here because you have a relationship with Jersey Shore Hurricane News; because they provide you with something you don’t feel like you get anywhere else. What is that? 45
  46. 46. Customer Needs/JTBD:“Give me information I can use right now” “It’s great to have a real-time connection like this” 46
  47. 47. Customer Needs/JTBD: “Give me information I can use right now”“Local news as it happens. Community collaboration and information.” 47
  48. 48. Customer Needs/JTBD: “Give me information I can use right now” “Current, up to the minute local news information. A sense of community inreporting coming from multiple sources.” 48
  49. 49. Customer Needs/JTBD: “Give me information I can use right now”“Up to date EXTREMELY local news concerning not just big headlines,but issues that affect us directly (lost pets, people in need of help, etc.) It helps bring the people to theforefront, and really get things done rather than just report events. Its a great sounding board for up to the minute news directly from the mouths of those in our area.” 49
  50. 50. Customer Needs/JTBD: “Give me information I know I can trust” “The information has never been wrong.As with any business you obtain customers by forming a trust with them. If you break that trust you will lose them. There hasnever been a story on the page that created any sort of negative buzz. Many times I notice the source is even cited.” 50
  51. 51. Customer Needs/JTBD: “Give me information I know I can trust”“There seems to be a level of trustamong the members of this group that monitors what’s posted anddiscourages false and misleading information.” 51
  52. 52. Customer Needs/JTBD: “Give me information I know I can trust”“It is trustworthy because we all have a vested interest in providing precise information on subjects that we have knowledge in. The fact that it is a“user”-supported venue of information brings forth the best in all of us ... we are there to help each other.” 52
  53. 53. Customer Needs/JTBD: “Give me an opportunity to participate in a community that is important to me”“A community that I can relate to andcommunicate with in an adult manner as opposed to ‘trolls’ on many otherforums such as the comment section of an online newspaper.” 53
  54. 54. Customer Needs/JTBD: “Give me an opportunity to participate in a community that is important to me” “Local traffic, alternate routes, weather, local events and people that I care aboutbecause they are here in my neighborhood. All of these things are reported by my neighbors who also care about our community as much as I do. My only infolink during Hurricane Irene was JSHN. I was able to ask questions of my neighbors who stayed behind while we evacuated.” 54
  55. 55. Customer Needs/JTBD: “Give me an opportunity to participate in a community that is important to me”“I feel it is my duty to post information if it is relevant to the community of JSHN…” 55
  56. 56. What we asked:Why do you stay connected to JerseyShore Hurricane News even now that there is no weather emergency? 56
  57. 57. Customer Needs/JTBD:“Give me news that is relevant to me right now” “It is literally news from the source from the people who see things happening with their own eyes ... uncensored and minor issues thataren’t pushed to the back burner like other news outlets.” 57
  58. 58. Customer Needs/JTBD:“Give me news that is relevant to me right now”“It the most up to date and relevant to me and my family. I trust my neighbors more than the other semi- local media outlets.” 58
  59. 59. Customer Needs/JTBD:“Give me news that is relevant to me right now” “[I rarely get local community information] from newspapers because quite frankly, its very ‘yesterday’ in what it portrays.” 59
  60. 60. How has this happened?• Traditional newsmedia organizations do not trust people.• Traditional newsmedia organizations are afraid to take risks, do new or different things.• Traditional newsmedia organizations are not structured to be fast.• Traditional newsmedia organizations have forgotten what it’s like to be the customer. 60
  61. 61. JSHN and Vermont Flooding succeeded because …• Traditional newsmedia organizations see only audiences – they do not see contributors or partners• These sites welcomed readers as active creators; they already have trust in the community• Legacy journalism is perceived as farther from the source: farther = less value• In today’s world, the connection among audience members is what gives content its value 61
  62. 62. Social Media has Changed the Paradigm• JSHN is an example of, and capitalized on, the way people live their lives today; it never had to change the way it operated• JSHN is a perfect example of unique local news, a key reader interest driver• JSHN’s value is in streams/always on, always there; will have (or can get) critical information when you need it• JSHN makes you feel you are part of what happens/you are there; your contribution is valuable to other community members 62
  63. 63. News flash: The Internet isn’t the problem “ … crappy newspaper executives are a bigger threat to journalism’s futurethan any changes wrought by the Internet.” 63
  64. 64. News flash: The Internet isn’t the problem“The biggest threats to newspapers aren’t just their familiar revenue problems and ever- proliferating competitors, but also the opportunity costs of failing to innovate moreboldly — to be transformative, not incremental, in moving forward.” 64
  65. 65. The Real Issue for Newsmedia Organizations is in How Little Information has Personal Relevance Detailed Content Analysis of One New Jersey Daily Newspaper Folio January 29- February 10, 2012ABOUT ONE-THIRD OF THE CONTENT IS “NEWS VALUE-ADDED” 65
  66. 66. Refocusing today’s resources CONTRACT OUT/Adds OUTSOURCE/ INVEST RESOURCESgreat AUTOMATEvalue MAXIMIZE OUTSOURCE/ EFFICIENCIES/ STREAMLINE/ STANDARDIZE STOP DOING IT STOP DOING ITAdds littlevalue Someone must do it ONLY we can do it 66
  67. 67. Refocusing tomorrow’s resources• What will be key growth drivers in three years?• How much am I investing in them now?• What will be irrelevant?• How much am I investing in those things now? 67
  68. 68. Chances are … 68
  69. 69. Implications• The need for “tech-knowledgy” staff and future thinkers – a training responsibility• The reallocation of staff and other resources to new opportunities – for example, to mine and cultivate this community to be truly “many : many”• The importance of measuring the right metrics, not taking no for an answer 69
  70. 70. Lessons for all of us• We have forgotten how to be our customer (reader or business)• Our job today is to provide information that will help our customer— regardless of where it comes from originally. It’s no longer one : many and we are The Source.• Aggregation/curation from many sources is a key service• What we think is news might not be important information 70
  71. 71. Some bad signs• You don’t have control any more• You don’t have much trust• You’re over-investing in the present, and under-investing in the future• You’re not looking for unmet needs• You’re not seeking ways to grow community 71
  72. 72. How the “Vermont Flooding” Community Grew • Passive/lurker • Shared experience => photo contributions: “I can add value/makes me a member” • Seek expertise from the crowd: “Is this road open?” • Ability to provide expertise => greater value • Self-organize to help => shared activity => belonging • Celebrations (rituals) 72
  73. 73. What’s next for us• Answers varied widely on whether community members would pay, but many wouldn’t and all thought it would lower participation• Therefore, need to identify revenue streams that don’t hinder engagement! – Audience: Offline conversations and events – Businesses: How do they want to be connected with their customers?• Also need to develop success metrics that reflect engagement 73
  74. 74. What’s next for you• What are the important conversation-drivers in your community?• How can you facilitate those conversations?• How can you liberate resources: – Nimbleness – Future investment• How can you build your community? 74
  75. 75. Elaine R. Clisham http://eclisham.net eclisham@gmail.com Edward Efchakwww.customersbydesign.com eefchak@gmail.com 75

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