Well, Project X may now be called Vox, but the great VC-backed media blitz of 2014 is staffed up and soft-launching, and it looks a lot more like Projects XY. Indeed, it’s impossible not to notice that in the Bitcoin rush to revolutionize journalism, the protagonists are almost exclusively – and increasingly – male and white.
To be sure, the internet has presented journalists with an extraordinary opportunity to remake their own profession. And the rhetoric of the new wave of creativity in journalism is spattered with words that denote transformation. But the new micro-institutions of journalism already bear the hallmarks of the restrictive heritage they abandoned with such glee. At the risk of being the old bat in the back, allow me to quote Faye Dunaway’s character from Network: “Look, all I’m saying is if you’re going to hustle, at least do it right.”
The economics of a conference are astounding – create something extraordinary, and people will pay anything to be there. TED costs $7500 to attend, and they have a waiting list of thousands.
Advertising consultant Cindy Gallop, as quoted in Digiday’s Can Conferences Save The Media Industry?
“Saying the conference industry has exploded is not an exaggeration,” David Adler, founder of BizBash said. “The industry has increased tenfold in the past few years. Twenty percent of marketing budgets in general are face-to-face events.”
The most successful include the likes of the relatively new, small and blue chip events All Things D, TED and the Founders Conference. All three are held up by people involved in conference industry as the way to do a perfect event: invite only exclusive, interesting and innovative people.
But not every conference can become TED. In fact, there may even be too many conferences. Every magazine, newspaper (with a few notable exceptions) and website seems to want to throw an event. Some do it well, while others flail miserably in a sad attempt to mimic their more successful counterparts.
In mid-April, we went live with a half dozen articles which we call “stubs.” The idea here is to plant a flag in a story right away with a short post—a “stub”—and then build the article as the story develops over time, rather than just cranking out short, discrete posts every time something new breaks. One of our writers refers to this aptly as a “slow live blog.”
The results of Fast Company’s experiment with “stubs” — which allowed them to gradually create long-form journalism — pleasantly surprised the team when it brought a lot of traffic. Learn more about their strategy and check out snapshots of their site analytics from Chris Dannen. (via onaissues)
FJP: SBNation, the network of sports blog, rolled out a feature similar to this when Vox Media redesigned the entire ecosystem. This is how Jeff Clark of SBNation’s CelticsBlog described “Storystreams” when the redesign launched:
This is a kind of post that has several updates within that post. It is a smarter way of handling big stories that have many updates (like trade deadline day and media day) rather than editing a single post or breaking it into several smaller posts.
And yes, I’m a Celtics junkie. — Michael
There is no other exciting time to be in journalism, from a technology standpoint, than now. (Although the fear of layoffs does not sit well.). To witness newsrooms transition to mobile, social media and digital-first platforms, and be there on the frontlines of it all, is exactly where agents of change need to be. We are part of history. Not looking in from the outside. Not being critical of the news media 24-7, although I do this quite regularly. But in it. Making decisions that stick or fail. I get goose bumps just thinking about this.
Amy Zerba, amyzerba.com. Difference Between Tenure-Track Professor and a Journalist.
She just left her job teaching to join the Times. Sounds like she can justify that decision.
For people who’ve followed me on Twitter, they’ve gotten to know many of the people I tweet about as characters in a broader Arab Spring narrative. You see their ups and downs, the hopes fulfilled and their dreams dashed. But because it’s happening over twitter, you’re not experiencing these stories in the past tense. You’re experiencing them in the present – as present as you can get. And my characters are real people, whether they use their real names or are forced to use pseudonyms for their own safety.
Andy Carvin, interviewed by Jesse Hicks. The Verge. Tweeting the news: Andy Carvin test pilots Twitter journalism.
For those who don’t know much about NPR’s Andy Carvin, this is a good primer. For those who know who he is, you probably know that he has a book coming out too — about his time reporting the Arab Spring on Twitter.