News consumption is growing more mobile, but with the number of smartphone and tablet users on the rise, it might make sense for newsrooms to abandon text alerts — which can cost money for both sender and receiver — and shift to push notifications and that old standby, email.
via Nieman Lab:
Ever since the Angels signed star first baseman Albert Pujols and pitcher C.J. Wilson, fans had been going nuts with anticipation for the 2012 season. The growing excitement gave the paper’s Angels editor, Keith Sharon, what he called a “crazy idea.”
“They’ve never been so excited,” Sharon told me. “Given that atmosphere, I wanted to match the intensity and the enthusiasm of the fans somehow. I like flash mobs, I like cash mobs, and what I’ve been telling people is this is an overwhelming choreographed allocation of news resources. I want everybody who sees our website, our print product, our iPad product, our mobile device product to think: ‘They thought of everything. I mean everything.’”
So what exactly does an Angels news mob cover?
A real estate reporter is doing a story about how property values around Angel Stadium have gone up. A business reporter talked to the manufacturer of Angels bobbleheads. A technology reporter interviewed the person who picks the songs and video clips that run during the game. The person who usually covers celebrity gossip filed a story about the 1870s-era baseball cards that are in a Library of Congress collection. One reporter is writing a story about an Angels fan who plans to propose to his girlfriend at the opening-night game.
FJP: Great idea? Overkill? Not quite sure yet.
Illustrating that point: Last year, five technology giants — not including Apple and Amazon — generated 68 percent of all digital ad revenue. By 2015, Facebook is expected to account for one of every five digital display ads sold. In contrast, print ad revenues were down $2.1 billion, or 9.2 percent, last year. Losses in print outweighed $207 million in online advertising gains by a ratio of 10 to 1.
This dynamic gave Pew researchers an idea that has been floated before: Could a tech giant like Google or Facebook swoop in and “save” a household-name newspaper by buying it? Mitchell says there are signs that “speak to the possibility of that happening,” namely the idea that technology leaders might identify news production as a path to omnipresence in consumers’ lives. But why would a profitable company want to acquire an operation — even one with a legacy brand — that’s in the red?
Information obesity, that is. Clay Johnson sums it up quite well in this LA Times piece.
The problem is that these days you can feast on information as never before, and you can do it without leaving the living room couch. But consuming too much of the wrong kind of information can lead to a kind of information obesity as dangerous as that caused by too much of the wrong kinds of food.
Just as we know we should curb the cookies and high fructose corn syrup, Johnson suggests we construct healthy info diets for ourselves.
We eat a lot of junk food because it is cheap and tastes good and we haven’t trained our taste buds differently. Well, your information diet is as important to your general well-being as your food diet. Building a healthy information diet can give you more time, strengthen your social relationships and reduce your stress levels.
For those who don’t trust social news aggregators, while building your diet and picking tools, check out topheadlin.es, a new app-in-progress from the Wall Street Journal’s Jeremy Singer-Vine. (Via Nieman)
In the same way that services like News.me, Zite, or our own Fuego aggregate social news judgments (like Twitter patterns) or personal news judgments (like user behavior), topheadlin.es aggregates editorial news judgments.
Happy dieting (& feel free to let us know how it goes)!
With competition from Aol’s hyperlocal news site Patch, community news site Rockville Central has decided to publish through Facebook only. Via Nieman Lab:
“There are always two different conversations going on,” Cindy Cotte Griffiths, the site’s editor, told me — one on RockvilleCentral.com, and the other on the site’s Facebook page. Why force the two to compete with each other, when they’re actually manifestations of the same community? Facebook is, Cotte Griffiths notes, “where the people are.” (Rockville Central currently gets about 2,000 of its average 20,000 monthly hits from Facebook, she told me.) “Everyone’s always trying to get people out of Facebook,” she says. “And we’re like, ‘Well, we’re already here.’”
Already Facebook has become one of the most prolific drivers of traffic to sites, and the numbers are truly staggering. Facebook’s Justin Osofsky said that traffic to the Washington Post’s website increased 280 percent year-over-year because of social media referrals, according to a blog post written Dec. 28, 2010.
Expect this growth to continue on its rampaging course for the foreseeable future.
Facebook this week posted a job opening for a “journalist program manager,” based out of their New York City office, whose job would, among other things, to be to preach the gospel of the social network as a sourcing and content distribution platform for journalist and publications. Responsibilities will include
Lead development of strategic programs and projects which help journalists use Facebook progressively as a reporting and distribution tool
Identify and document best practices for journalists, including creating content and case studies
Speak at industry conferences and partner events related to journalism and social media
Counsel individual journalists on how to use Facebook
Provide hands on leadership of cross-functional projects to engage journalists in conjunction with the partnership and marketing teams
Serve as an advocate for journalists within Facebook, and identify new product and partnership opportunities
Develop relationships with key industry and academic institutions with journalism programs
If the move to Facebook-only publishing is followed by other organizations, the question will be, what sort of brand dilution occurs when you no longer control your distribution medium? Already Facebook is playing an outsize roll in the media, but what sacrifices will be borne by content creators in exchange for Facebook picking up the tab for publishing and distribution?
Bill Keller, Executive Editor of the New York Times, speaks at a Nieman Lab event about the organization’s relationship to state secrets in light of WikiLeaks.
Important is his discussion of what — and what not — the Times decides to publish, its relationship with the government, and the role of whistle blowing in a democratic society.
Click to listen, right click to download.