UTA Shorthorn 2010 kickoff meeting

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Presentation to staff of UT-Arlington Shorthorn

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  • Remember, your job is not to produce a newspaper. It is to inform your audience BY ANY MEANS NECESSARY.




  • These are rules I share with old media folks, but they apply here too.

    Don’t use the shelter of academia as crutch for being dogmatic and married to The Old Ways. You’ll get out and find yourself kvetching with the dinosaurs.

  • I know you’re news people, but your readers are being done a disservice. A service guide without a database AND without ads is pretty useless.
  • SEO.

    Different headlines for print and online.

    Apply to be in Google News.

    Your audience isn’t going to your site, they’re going to Google. (And Twitter, and Facebook)

    Natural language URLs
  • You need to pay attention to what your readers want. DAILY. At least.

    Top stories. Top searches. Referrers. Twitter trends.

    Who is responsible for social engagement?
  • Without overspending in time and $, must be friendly to all formats. For instance, there are several simple Joomla plugs to mobile-ize your site.

  • Every student organization is a potential content partner. You don’t need an investigative reporter to cover the engineering club meeting -- let them.

    But, if a good writer can find a good story at the engineering club, run it.

    Open comments cure all.
  • More than half of PN, Texas Tribune Traffic are databases. They are sticky, SEO friendly and useful.
  • There’s a void to fill. And it can be done without a big tech investment.
  • Does your audience watch The Daily Show or CNN? Or Both?

  • You need to understand that your every piece of content is now its own publication. How can you make that useful, connective, additive and valuable?

    How can you rebundle in new ways that are useful?

    You are not a newspaper.
  • Nothing is too mundane. The more niche (staying within your mission), the more engagement it can bring.



  • UTA Shorthorn 2010 kickoff meeting

    1. 1. The college paper in the digital age UT Arlington / August 23, 2010
    2. 2. 1.) Background
    3. 3. I’ve been there High school newspaper editor Executive publisher, Duke University Undergraduate Publishing Board Custom publishing for UNC D Magazine Texas Lawyer
    4. 4. Differentiators, circa 2006 The Daily You™ Customized content and advertising for each user Small staff to cover full metro Content partner model Open comment system Social media / profiles Emphasis on databases Focused on one metro
    5. 5. Differentiators, circa 2010 The Daily You™ Customized content and advertising for each user Small staff to cover full metro Content partner model Open comment system Starting to use news site to Social media / profiles drive (Emphasis on databases) commerce Focused on one metro
    6. 6. Where we were wrong Very hard to sell local advertising as a new brand Citizen journalism is mostly a myth. Can’t replace daily newspaper ... yet We didn’t know the role so-called social media would play The average reader isn’t as web-savvy as we thought. People said we were too pessimistic about the prospects of traditional media. Compared to what’s happened, we weren’t pessimistic enough.
    7. 7. 2.) Help me understand Print vs. online readership Where read? Student usage of email, Twitter, SMS, etc. Advertising? How much currently web-only? Alumni / community audience? Goals?
    8. 8. 3.) Analysis
    9. 9. Key questions How to get more traffic How to engage community How to maximize resources How to make money
    10. 10. Doing a lot right Open-source Social media YouTube etc.
    11. 11. The new rules Content matters Distribution matters, but original source does not Commodity is death Be more local AND niche The industrial age is over The widget builder must sell, market, plan There are no experts “Compromised coverage” better than none
    12. 12. Print ≠ Web ≠ Mobile Different tools for different jobs 24/7 Interact Wear many hats
    13. 13. “News is what somebody somewhere wants to suppress; all the rest is advertising.” - Lord Northcliffe Done right, advertising is a reader service.
    14. 14. What are they seeking?
    15. 15. Format matters
    16. 16. “Do what you do best and link the rest” - Jeff Jarvis Who are your content partners? Who is blogging? Tweeting? Twitter List of UTA students / departments? UTA FB Wall posts feed?
    17. 17. Who are your content partners?
    18. 18. Databases Events (more!) Places People Ratings Reviews Topic guides
    19. 19. Have fun
    20. 20. New audiences Who? How? Alumni Newsletter Arlingtonians Outreach? ??? BE a content partner
    21. 21. Unbundling and rebundling
    22. 22. Everything matters
    23. 23. There is more experimentation than at any time in history Learn from it with a critical eye.
    24. 24. Links and reading This preso: http://bit.ly/shorthornintro Trendsmap: http://trendsmap.com/local/us/arlington Mobile joomla plugins: http://extensions.joomla.org/ extensions/core-enhancements/mobile Chonicle of Higher Ed article: http://chronicle.com/ article/For-College-Newspapers/123750/ Rebuttal: http://wpjourno.com/2010/08/04/for-college- newspapers-the-importance-of-platform-is-often- overrated/ How to overcome college paper challenges: http:// www.pbs.org/mediashift/2009/02/5-challenges-for- small-college-media-and-how-to-overcome- them049.html Easy animated videos: http://www.xtranormal.com/ Advice for 2010 journalism students: http://www.ojr.org/ ojr/people/robert/201008/1878/ Great ongoing reading: http://www.google.com/reader/ bundle/user/06939217921768702876/bundle/MediaBiz
    25. 25. Mike Orren http://pegasusnews.com http://mikeorren.com mike@mikeorren.com @mikeorren

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