Tag Archives: newspapers

Friday #Content Reads 27.01.17

Here’s my selection of top reads from the last two weeks…

Buzzfeed have started to take a leading in the Fake News debate. Their feature suggesting that the UK newspaper industry has been peddling fake news for yonks was inspired and shows just how complex this issue has become:

BuzzFeed News has revealed how Macedonian teenagers could make tens of thousands of dollars fabricating stories about Donald Trump, how fake news is spreading to Germany and Italy, and how fake news stories outperformed real news outlets during the US election.

But equivalent analysis of UK social media habits reveals the most popular dubious stories on British politics were almost always the work of long-established news outlets and relied at most on exaggeration rather than fakery. The evidence suggests that rather than reading complete lies, British audiences appear to prefer stories that contain at least a kernel of truth, even if the facts are polluted or distorted.

“We have always had a partisan press that people enjoy and have become acclimatised to,” said Charlie Beckett, professor of journalism at the London School of Economics. “Hyperpartisan news has always been part of our audience’s culture – and we do it better in some ways than fake news.”

Elsewhere, in What does a news organization optimized for trust look like? Melody Kramer wrote:

Perhaps that means thinking more closely about design and editorial choices in terms of media literacy. Maybe that means indicating to readers how many sources were used, or how facts were obtained. Or, if you’re using algorithms to make editorial decisions, maybe that means making that clear and obvious to the reader on every page where the technology is used. Or maybe it means developing more tools like the one The Wall Street Journal made, so that people can realize that what they’re seeing may not be what everyone else is also seeing.

Snapchat have become more vocal about their editorial guidelines:

The new rules more clearly state that publishers should not use overly sexualized or violent images as the initial visual that users are exposed to when they look at Discover and that content intended simply to shock or disgust is not allowed. Some exceptions are made for otherwise-forbidden material that has news value.

For the first time, the guidelines have a dedicated section detailing the warnings that publishers must run when graphic images are deemed newsworthy, as well as when to age-gate that content.

Meanwhile, Axios has launched. I’ve already subscribed to their excellent newsletter and their editorial strategy (Twitter meets The Economist’) is worth keeping an eye on:

The overall feeling these features create is that of a nesting doll, with individual articles nestled within excerpted summaries within a larger news stream. This idea runs counter to the principles of news design on many major websites, which put greater emphasis on article pages. But because every excerpt can be shared on social media, readers are left with a single page that’s composed of dozens of mini-articles.

The design was based on a listening tour undertaken by Axios’ co-founders, who wanted to better understand how people were consuming the news, Schwartz said. The prevailing response: People felt inundated with news and information and spent too much time deciphering what was worth reading and what wasn’t.

Remember photo galleries? That’s right, those things we were told to avoid because it’s all about video now. Well, apparently, people are still clicking on them.

Lastly, in other news, I recently presented at the London Agile Content Meetup group. You can find out what happened here.

Thanks y’all.
 

Content Strategy Links of the Week, November 28

Here’s a roundup of top pages I’ve been reading this week:

Teenagers and tweens watching TV half as much as adults, Ofcom finds 
“Tweens and teens watch just half the amount of live TV as adults each day, and choose to “top-up” viewing by watching clips on services such as YouTube, Vimeo and Vine, according to new research by the UK media regulator.”

It’s not just about print vs. digital media — it’s about culture
Interesting table included here looking at the differences between legacy media and ‘digital-first’. Worth looking at…

This building is an organism for making newspapers
In the Agile world we often talk about how locating people in an office is just as important to product output as knowledge. With that in mind, take a look at this diagram from a 1920s newspaper company.

Digital Publishing: There’s No Place Like Home
Some choice quotes here:
“According to the analysis, a user who visits a news site directly spends, on average, 4 minutes and 36 seconds per visit, while a Facebook user spends just an average of 1 minute 41 seconds on your site. In addition, direct visitors view about five times as many pages per month as Facebook users, and visit the site three times as often.”

“Even though they’re a smaller percentage of overall traffic, app users listen to much more audio,” said Perry. “Mobile users might visit a couple of pages and stay on the site for five minutes, but our app audience seems more willing to listen to a stream for an hour.”

“Despite the reduction in traffic, newspaper homepages harken back to the historic place the front page of a newspaper had in the community. Forgive me for sidestepping into marketing speak, but editors should think of their news organization’s homepage as their ultimate brand statement.”

How are brands driving TV ad viewers online?
“It’s either a case of brands not understanding the importance of driving TV viewers online or they already assume it’s a pointless exercise because viewers disengage as soon as adverts appear.”

How Technology Is Changing Media
An in-depth look at how BuzzFeed is leading the industry’s trends in social, mobile, and video.

 

 

 


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!

Best content strategy links of the week, October 11

Each week I curate a list of great pages I've discovered online covering topics such as content marketing, strategy, mobile, seo and search. I've selected them for their practical insight, useful tools and guidance. I hope you enjoy them!

This week: What Google Hummingbird means for your content, championing content in your team, top tips from Upworthy and keeping it simple with Gerry McGovern…

What Google Hummingbird means for your content
Obviously, with Google deploying their Hummingbird update last month, everyone is talking about how it will impact content. Here’s my top three articles explaining what this means for SEO and content marketing strategies:

Keywords, and #Hashtags, and Hummingbird! Oh My!
Google Hummingbird, and what it means for Online Marketers & SEO
Google Hummingbird: A Mobile Content Marketing Strategy Just Became Essential
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5 content marketing recommendations for the sun+ homepage

There’s been a lot of talk recently about The Sun going behind a paywall and we’re still debating whether this will be a success or not. Competitors like The Mirror and MailOnline have already gone into overdrive to capitalise on this opportunity in search, so what has the ‘currant bun’ done to reposition its proposition? Do doubt probably plenty of PR and marketing – but how about the homepage? Does it give me a real reason to start paying for their content? Let’s see…
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