Tag Archives: journalism

Best content strategy links of the week: September 12, 2014

Greetings interweb people!

Like some beautiful burning phoenix rising from the flames I present to you my often-cited but never seen, content strategy links of the week. I’ve been a little preoccupied by a new job recently but no more excuses – let’s get this off the ground again. So here it is, in all it’s glory, repeated every Friday.

(I mean the blog series, not the actual same content.  That would be ridic.)

Next Radio 2014 Highlights
Obviously, I’m going to mention the UK radio industry event that was held in London on Monday first. I’ve written about it here but it’s worth flagging that the presenter videos from the event are now being posed on Next Radio website. Thanks to James Cridland and Matt Deegan for organising the event.

The container model and blended content – a new approach to how we present content on the Guardian
Interesting overview by Nick Haley on the content strategy decisions behind the new responsive Guardian website. Nice notion around ‘blended content’ and how they are using this new modular approach to inspire serendipity and increase dwell times. As Nick himself writes: Blended containers were a vehicle which exposed content to people they may not ordinarily encounter but is interesting to them. The containers both support existing patterns of behaviour and may spur on new patterns.”

Interestingly, when I visited the site it took me a while to realise I wasn’t actually on the Beta version. But then again, that might be me just being thick.

Vertical campfires: our user research walls
I loved this overview of the UX process at GDS from Kate Townsey. Check out the use case scenarios. Notice these are not fully-fleshed personas which have the tendency to drift off into fantasy – this is just enough detail to help the team focus on the user needs.  And notice it’s on a wall, not hidden away on someone’s laptop.

How we built the the new wired.co.uk homepage
Again another open, honest account of a responsive site launch – and I don’t just like this because of the cool parallax formatting (although the responsive ads absolutely rock). I particularly like the question posed by Pete Miller: “…what is the purpose of a website’s own content discovery experience when there are extremely popular purpose-built cross-site content discovery platforms – search engines, social media, content curation apps such as Zite or Flipboard”.

I don’t pretend to have the answer to this either, but worth pondering.

Does journalism still require impartiality?
Great article by Kellie Riordan on the importance of editorial curation to help users identify the best bits of info each day. This has to be balanced, of course, with the fact that people are now posting clips faster to social media than can be identified, verified and curated by journalists.

What has changed in the digital era is not so much the need for impartiality but the method to achieve it. New media prefer transparency and plurality to achieve impartiality, old media achieve it with objective methods. Let’s acknowledge that both methods can lead to quality journalism, or for that matter, to poor journalism.

But it’s also important to recognise what hasn’t changed. Audiences now have access to more information and a variety of different perspectives to form their own conclusions. Do audiences need a journalist to de-code the news or contextualise the facts anymore? I think they still do. This is what hasn’t changed. “

Does The Internet Still Need Comments? Yes, But A Different Kind
Interesting article on a the recent trend of bloggers and publishers removing comments from their articles. It also highlights how users are simply using the comments section to share the article on their friend’s Facebook pages and not commenting at all. In which case, should we really be calling these comments at all?

Responsive Web Design Podcast
No weekly content strategy roundup would be complete without mentioning Karen McGrane and Ethan Marcotte’s excellent weekly podcast on responsive design. They’ve interviewed some great companies (Capital One, Fidelity, Marriott and The Boston Globe) about their responsive design decisions and it’s compulsive listening. Highly recommended.

And finally, fans of this post will know that I have an eclectic taste in music. I found this the other day and I’m still trying to make sense of it. Good ol’ Brian…

See you next week!

Three Amazing Things I learnt from News:Rewired (July, 2014)

I went to Journalism.co.uk’s news:rewired conference held at MSN in London on Wednesday (23 July) and here are my random notes from the event.

1. “Newspapers will outlive sites”
This was by far the most provocative statement of the day, delivered by WSJ’s mobile Editor David Ho and beautifully crafted for a roomful of journalists. However, his statement was heavily qualified as he pointed out seven signs that has led to this change:

  • News consumers are shifting to mobile.
  • Most data traffic on mobile happens via apps, not websites.
  • Mobile Web visitors tend to skip home pages and go straight to articles via search and social.
  • Tech companies are focusing on deep-linking technology to take users from one one app to another, bypassing Web browsers.
  • Technology is becoming more personal and anticipatory – contextually aware of user actions and environment.
  • User interfaces are evolving beyond screens to focus on voice and gesture control.
  • The Internet of Things and wearables loom right behind smart phones poised to deliver a profound change.

He spoke further:

Newspapers have been around for about 400 years and they have a lot of staying power. The people who like them really like them.People are beginning to understand something that we at the Journal figured out four years ago when we launched our iPad app. A finite self-containing non-updating content set still has value – the concept of the edition still matters, especially in a world of non-stop news.”

These are not new facts but they were eloquently put and Ho even got us to play Flappy Bird after his opening keynote which is no small feat. In short, think platform, not destination.

2. “Explain it in one sentence and why people should share it”
Bella Hurrell from the BBC raised some very valid points around infographics – and I agree. Sometimes you have to question if your infographic project is communicating knowledge in the quickest and most informative way possible or is it just an exercise in pretty looking graphics? Does it really need to absorb so much resource? What are your trying to achieve? Have you lost the plot? (This is a question I often ask myself). 

Further reading here.

3. Buzzsumo
There were a lot of social media tools presented at the event but Buzzsumo really stood out for me. If you haven’t explored it yet you can find out more here.

Until next time.