I'm seeing a troubling trend right now. I know these are desperate times, and I remember seeing this happen after the dot.com crash. Online journalists were the first to go, and two years later, managers wondered where all the good online journalists had gone. It's happening all over again.
A good quick primer on how to use Drupal, an open-source community platform that is getting a lot of attention right now in journalism circles.
McClatchy Co., the nation's third-largest newspaper publisher, said Monday its total revenue fell 19.4 percent in November as print advertising declines continued to hurt results.
The New York Times would need about 1.3bn page views a month to support its current cost structure. With that much traffic, they could generate about $300m per quarter in ad revenues, according to a study by ContentNext. To put ath in perspective, Yahoo and AOL currently get around 1bn page views a month.
Large news organisations could survive as web-only plays but they would have to increase their traffic greatly to do so. The New York Times would have to increase its monthly page views from its current 173m to 1.3bn, according to a new study out by ContentNext.
James Surowiecki looks at the troubles of the newspaper industry, and he draws on the common comparison that newspapers followed the example of the US train industry in misunderstanding their business. He says: "…many argue that if newspapers had understood they were in the information business, rather than the print business, they would have adapted more quickly and more successfully to the Net."
"Here’s the problem: People generally do NOT want to follow an RSS feed on Twitter, especially from a news organization. Twitter is a conversational tool. It is a personal tool. If you want to read an RSS feed, you can use Google Reader. If you want people to follow your newsroom’s account, put a person on it. A real person."
You'll have to pay to get the full report, but even the bullet points are interesting. "Newspapers are doing their best to offer features online that consumers find compelling, but they’re still lagging many of the independent news and political sites." And I found this interesting as well. "The local-news niche is frightfully crowded, and there are fewer ad dollars to support those ventures."
"Beat blogging really is a give and take. It’s not about marketing the same old content in new ways or pushing old content onto new platforms. Beat blogging is about expanding ones network of sources." I actually like how Patrick put it on Twitter: "Journalists have to be social on social media for it to work." I'll elaborate on that in a long overdue post shortly.
Keith and the Girl is a great little podcast that I listen to occasionally, and if traditional media want to make the transition from mass media to social media, they should read these tips. I'll be writing about my recent US election road trip, and I used many of the same techniques to build community around the project. Live events and rewarding your most passionate supporters are a good place to start. If you reward positive behaviour instead of just punishing negative behaviour, you'll grow a strong, happy community.
Is consolidation the answer that will save newspapers? If it was, Gannett would be doing better.
Heather Hughes is asking question that a lot of journalists are asking right now. What next? The photojournalist left newspapers after climbing the ranks only to find her opportunities drying up. The fact of the matter is that the market for journalists is shrinking, and many of us who had planned to spend the rest of our lives doing journalism have to consider something else to do. She started her own wedding photography business, but I wonder what text journalists will do. The one thing she asks fellow photojournalists is not to undercut each other and agree to cutrate fees. During desperate times, she advises not to give into desperation.
I just nearly burst my appendix laughing at Chris Applegate’s 20 signs you don’t want that social media project. I am thus inspired to write my own list of tips that, perhaps, one doesn’t really want that internal social media project after all.
- Client wants to code their own blog/wiki software because “we want total control”.
- Client insists that only the management be allowed to have internal blogs.
- The PR department wants to write the CEO’s internal blog posts.
- IT won’t allow anyone to install an RSS reader until it’s been through a code review. Which could take upwards of a year. And that’s not including reviewing updates…
- Client insists on using Lotus Notes as their blogging platform.
- When you ask how much experience staff have of social media, IT replies, “Oh, we block all those sites.”
- The client wants Facebook.
- “Why don’t we just throw some mud at the walls and see what sticks?”
- IT disables all RSS feeds because of “a potential exploit we read about on Slashdot”.
- Client insists on using Sharepoint as their wiki.
- User surveys show some staff have more than 50,000 unread messages in their inbox, yet management insist, “We really don’t have a problem with email here.”
- Management refuse to learn new terminology, resulting in statements like “I just posted a new blog to our wiki.”
- Apparently, IM is “just for kids.”
- Client decides that only “management-approved labels” can be used as tags in the social bookmarking app.
- Client’s wiki is called CompanyPedia, is already out of date and is never used for actual collaboration.
- IT eschew open source software because “Who would provide support?”
- There are regular discussions as to which is the best Web 2.0 application: Lotus Notes or Sharepoint?
- “Why don’t we just install some forums?”
- Client thinks that “adoption” means everyone is going to end up looking after a small orphaned child.
- The CIO still has his secretary print out all his emails.
UPDATE: The above list has now been translated into French by the lovely Frédéric de Villamil!
Good article about internal and external adoption issues in terms of wikis. His preliminary conclusions highlight some of the major issues especially some of the non-technical, cultural issues when it comes to collaborative working using wikis.
Gone in 60 seconds: Most of your viewers. Good, albeit brief, analysis of web video watching patterns. Viewing patterns online are very different than television, and I don't think that will change until (or if) we have more converged devices that allow for much larger viewing sizes. Web video is still not the sit back experience of television. Steve Yelvington says that this study is "the average of apples and oranges".
Heartening to see a by-the-numbers look at education and achievement in the US. Too many stories solely based on anecdotes only reinforce conventional wisdom. Story is worth a read. The key point is that college entrance exam scores have been rising "gradually if haltingly" since 1980.
Damn straight. The definition of news never was "it's news until I write about it" but myopic journalists still believe it is. The entire post can be summed up: "Newsrooms no longer have the luxury of wasting resources on non-stories".