Each year, Web Summit attracts digital enthusiasts from around the world, seeking networking opportunities and juicy thought-leader presentations. This year, however, there seemed to be very little of that, from a content maker perspective at least. The 2016 event in Lisbon was heavy over-subscribed (50,000 attendees was the number quoted) and there was a change in style from previous summits – relaxed sofa ‘chats’ with speakers over detailed analysis. When there was a formal presentation you heard yourself muttering ‘thank god for Power Point’ which is, as you all know, a hideous crime.
Some hastily scribbled thoughts following the recent US elections. What do US journalists (and perhaps all of us) need to do going forward?
- Don’t get too hung up on this whole echo chamber/filter bubble analogy. Although its been important to acknowledge the narcissistic nature of social media, we now need to be careful that these kind of convenient and simplistic metaphors don’t obscure the good work journalists are doing every day to ‘break on through’. When you start talking about people being ‘trapped’ in their own ‘bubbles’ it starts to sound like ‘What’s the use?’ We need to engage, listen and speak a language that the majority understand.
- Take as a given that advocacy ‘journalism’ websites is only going to get bigger and bolder. They will continue to attack academia and mainstream media for being elitist/disconnected from the populace/ordinary man/forgotten man.
- The answer? Become excellent, amazing journalists. Let’s get better every day at what we do.
- Let’s take another look at local news where investment has slipped.
- Help Facebook become the responsible publisher it needs to be.
- Challenge the notion that free news probably isn’t worth reading. Don’t hide the truth behind a wall.
- Find news ways of funding good journalism – like getting Google of Facebook to pay for it.
- Work with UX/Design to create experiences that facilitate comfortable reading of complex issues.
- Reject the notion readers are only interested in surface skimming over depth.
- Fight the titillation of fake news with well-researched, annoying details.
- Listen more, comment less.
A list of my most interesting content strategy-related reads this week…
Here’s What Makes The Guardian So Successful On Facebook
A great insight into FB distribution strategy at the Guardian. And if you like that, find out what Buzzed are up to in the video space as well.
Facebook videos live fast, die young
We all knew this right? but still interesting read…
‘While YouTube and Facebook have established themselves as major hubs for mobile video, the lifespan of content on each platform is markedly different. Put in astronomical terms, a Facebook video is a brief supernova, peaking early and then quickly fading out; a YouTube video is more like a cooling star that emits a small flash of light then slowly decays.’
Facebook is going to start showing you pieces people actually read
Time online is back people!
With a scripted daily comedy news show, Mic looks to add a little late night TV to the social video mould
Interesting to see how Mic is choosing the comedy format to increase reach amongst the millennials. Again, it’s an example of a team that has been given the freedom to experiment.
How to build audiences by engaging your community
Great starter-guide for approaching community journalism in your newsroom.
Netflix Knows Which Pictures You’ll Click On–And Why
“One of Netflix’s earliest findings was that interest tended to drop off when an image touting a show or movie contained more than three people. It seems that users find it hard to focus when there are too many people, and may not be able to absorb cues about the storyline. This was a surprising insight for Netflix, given that some shows are popular precisely because they have large casts. Orange Is the New Black is a good example of this. “While ensemble casts are fantastic for a huge billboard on the side of a highway, they are too complex at small sizes,” Nelson says. “They are ultimately not as effective at helping our members decide if the title is right for them on smaller screens.”