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  • Steven Wilson-Beales

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:

  1. News consumers are shifting to mobile.

  2. Most data traffic on mobile happens via apps, not websites.

  3. Mobile Web visitors tend to skip home pages and go straight to articles via search and social.

  4. Tech companies are focusing on deep-linking technology to take users from one one app to another, bypassing Web browsers.

  5. Technology is becoming more personal and anticipatory – contextually aware of user actions and environment.

  6. User interfaces are evolving beyond screens to focus on voice and gesture control.

  7. 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.

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