Every week I traverse the mighty splendour that is the internet for the best editorial strategy reads. Or just stuff that tickled my fancy. In the week that was…
For the last four years I’ve pretty much attended every News:rewired event London and I’ve never been disappointed. True, there may be some topics that are more relevant than others but you’re always certain to discover something new in the world of digital news, even though it might not be directly applicable to your immediate work.
I’ve included my tweets from the event below, but I found Guardian’s Head of Social and Community, Laura Oliver’s outline of how she drives engagement and loyalty quite impressive. According to her, we need to move beyond the notion of community as ‘just comments’ to one of ‘involvement, contribution and trust’. She included some great examples so I’ll certainly be spending more time on the Guardian website looking at how they organise this aspect of digital news. You can read further here.
Why social is key to creating habit-forming news products
“According to Nir Eyal, it’s often fear that encourages a person to return to a product again and again. Boredom drives return visits to YouTube, loneliness encourages people to go to Facebook, uncertainty encourages people to search Google, he says.
So for newspapers, news sites and digital products, perhaps the driver is FOMO, a fear of missing out. People return to find out about the key news events that they don’t want to miss.”
“1. Everyone’s talking about Serial. Seriously. Vox has gone one step further and built an interactive guide to keep track of who’s who in this character-driven crime story. Brilliant? Yes. A step too far? Maybe. But the resulting audio cards are really user friendly and offer sideways entry points into the story, in addition to making it all easier to follow. Now, just think of other ways we could break down a story that might make it easier to for the
audience to enter and understand.”
Why We Crave Human-Curated Playlists
“Context is key for music, and that is where services like Songza and Beats Music are picking up tips from FM radio. These services are essentially using algorithms to help people discover new playlists, instead of discovering new songs. This allows for a marriage of both technology and human curation.”
“Sharing content is another key part of the strategy. Other publishers aggregate news from elsewhere or open their sites to outside contributors to increase their publishing volume quickly and at low cost. With all of Hearst’s magazines as well as newspapers to draw from, the publisher has a long way to go before it has to look to outside sources for content. Part of Lewis’ mandate, then, has been getting Hearst to surface stories that can work across brands. Ultimately, the goal is to have 20 percent of a given Hearst site’s content coming from another Hearst property.”
“An ageing population and an increasing numbers of retirees could mean increasing popularity. However, the test is to ensure that young people continue to reach out to radio as they grow older.
“To address this challenge, radio must continue to be a place of ‘music discovery’ and must adapt to new ways of enjoying content on the go – and on modern media devices.”
“We don’t adhere to the preset roles you have in news organizations,” Seward said. “It prevents a myopic view of how stories need to be told. When you have the ability to think about how to tell a story differently, then it leads to more creative ways.”
“So while Instagram currently isn’t the best host for what most publishers are doing right now, as the platform becomes more video focused publishers with expertise in creating narratives in video form will find Instagram’s a more effective way to reach audiences. Until then, though, as Guyatt says, there’s very little purpose to publishing content to a platform on which it does not belong.”
“The money and raw numbers have finally gotten investors to pay attention, and investors have a lot of press influence. But podcasts have never exploded and have never died. The truth is that they’ve grown boringly and steadily for almost a decade, and will likely continue to do so. And that’s great!”
“To see the mistake here, just look at the most popular mobile app supposedly leading this turn away from the web: Facebook. A substantial portion of Facebook content offers links to other websites. Tapping them opens a browser within the app, and there you are, on the web. The latest version of Apple’s iOS mobile operating system, in fact, brings in-app browsers on par with the company’s own Safari browser in terms of capabilities and performance.”
“Each week, Williams and his designers choose one of the feature articles set to appear in the print magazine, usually the cover story, and brainstorm ways they can add visual design elements that improve the storytelling process. This has become increasingly common at many publications ever since the launch of Snow Fall, the multimedia story project produced by a team of New York Times journalists, designers, videographers, and coders — though when I mentioned Snow Fall, Williams was quick to note that New York’s forays into the medium are much less epic in scale. “It’s possible to build them with each issue and without overwhelming the team,” he said in a phone interview.”
Ok content strategists, here’s my roundup of the best content strategy links from the last week. Prepare to be amazed.
Ok, well, let’s not over-sell it.
How to make an audio slideshow: My step-by-step advice to students
A great reminder of the power of audio slideshows. We used to see a lot of these doing the rounds about five years ago but they’ve seemed to have dropped off the radar in recent years. Still a compelling story-telling format, especially as we move away from galleries. If you’ve spotted any great recent examples please let me know!
Responsive Website podcast: Virgin America
Karen McGrane and Ethan Marcotte have published their latest responsive design podcast. Always interesting to hear about all those internal challenges that need to be addressed in order to serve the audience a better experience.
Fifth of all UK newspaper readers only use mobile devices to access content
If you’re a newspaper and don’t have a mobile strategy, then I’d be pretty worried about the data discussed here.
Why YouTube isn’t enough for publishers
Interesting predicament for publishers – on the one hand you need YouTube to extend reach, but on the other you’re never going to command those CPMs you could via your own player. Answer? Do both…
Lessons learned from the redesign of major news sites
Great article by Ashley Nguyen. Had to agree with this particular point:
“Midway through the [redesign] process, we sought to avoid referring to the project as a redesign at all,” Bob Cohn wrote in November 2012 when he served as the digital editor for The Atlantic. “That seemed to trivialize it, suggesting a facelift or a fresh coat of paint. The goal, we realized, was more strategic than aesthetic.”
The 18 Blogs Every UX Pro Should Follow
Some old favourites here including UX Matters and A List APart…
One secret to the success of Quartz, BuzzFeed and Gawker: They look at news as a service
Matthew Ingram hits the sweet spot:
“Journalists often seem to believe that their job is to tell the reader what they think is important or relevant, rather than thinking of journalism as a service that they are providing, one in which the reader’s needs or desires are paramount, rather than the journalistic instincts of the author. Approaching news as a service or — even worse — as a product is seen as somehow beneath them.”
Here’s the latest entry from our Capital FM team, please share and get involved!
Until next week…