• Media Picks #4 – Lean journalism, cooking up an app storm, suggestive headlines

    Media Hack Media Picks Media Picks #4 – Lean journalism, cooking up an app storm, suggestive headlines
    Media Picks #4 – Lean journalism, cooking up an app storm, suggestive headlines

    Media Picks

    Media Picks #4 – Lean journalism, cooking up an app storm, suggestive headlines

    Posted By Alastair Otter


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    For many of us the new year is the traditional time to be re-evaluating lives, making resolutions and planning for the year ahead. So, if your new year plans include launching your own media startup then make sure to read the two articles below. They could save you a lot of pain.

    Top five digital media launch mistakes
    It’s one thing when large organisations, with dozens of stakeholders all needing a voice, make bad decisions, says Elizabeth Spiers. “It’s actually more frustrating to me when smaller, more agile companies make mistakes because I think they’re better set up to learn and adapt.”

    It doesn’t matter where people read your articles, and other lessons in lean journalism
    Sarah Marshal looks back on her time at Journalism.co.uk, an online-only publication, and draws out ten things she learned about making quality journalism out of limited resources.

    Naturally, as you’re launching your startup, you’ll need money and as I mentioned in the final newsletter of last year, Kickstarter is one of the go-to places for funding journalism and publishing:

    Kickstarter publishing projects raised $22m in 2014
    Publishing was the third most common type of project on Kickstarter, with 2,064 successfully funded ventures worldwide, after music (4,009) and film and video (3,846). Another six categories – art, design, food, games, technology and theatre – had more than 1,000 projects.

    Why aren’t more newspapers cutting the number of days they print each week?
    This is certainly not the first time the question has been asked but it’s worth asking again, especially if you’re going to put some real numbers into the equation, which Martin Langeveld does in this piece.

    + In the long run, news will be an unbundled product

    Five trends for nonprofit news in 2015
    Investigative News Network’s Kevin Davis is not just upbeat on the future of non-profit news organisations, he says 2015 is going to be the year of the non-profit news org. “What Serial [podcast] proves is that people will go out of their way for good stories that they can discover and share.”

    The hidden cost of annoying ads is fewer page views
    Many ads are annoying. It doesn’t take a scientific study to figure that out. But could annoying ads online actually cost more – in lost, irritated or disengaged readers? One study says yes.

    NYT Now may not be popular but readers are gobbling up the New York Times’ cooking app
    The NYT Now app might not have been as successful as hoped, says NYT editor Dean Baquet, but its cooking app is selling like hot cakes. The NYT cooking section has attracted more than 8 millions readers on the web and the app has been downloaded more than 300,000 times.

    Read with caution: How headlines change the way we think
    We all know that headlines are especially important in the digital media world, but have you considered that headlines shape the way readers view an article and in some cases might actually affect what they remember from the article.

    The mobile ad industry knows more about us than publishers do. Could they use this inside knowledge to spin off a data business?
    “There’s a ton of interest [in our data] from others, and clearly, there are opportunities to develop ways to break these things off and make them stand alone businesses that could be monetized independently of media,” says McCall. “But one of the biggest problems is that companies often do not have the budgets for data. They may have budgets for media with data, but not data on its own.”

    Damned if you do, damned if you don’t: Aggregator apps: Friend or foe to publishers?
    People are turning to news aggregate apps for a curated and personalised experience. But publishers are concerned about losing front-page readers and control of advertisement placement as third-party providers take over the distribution role.

    How do online publishers get more women to participate in the comment section?
    “We should also consider the algorithms used to recommend articles to readers. The New York Times, like many websites, recommends articles that are similar to those a reader has previously read. This can perpetuate gender divisions if, for example, a woman is recommended primarily articles on the Parenting Blog simply because she read a few articles there in the past.”


    The Sandbox mega list
    The Sandbox is NPR’s Tumblr blog that documents its online work. Before leaving NPR Melody Kramer set to indexing the vast array of information on the blog and the result is a fascinating (and time-sucking) list of how-tos and ideas. From finding decent journalism Facebook groups, to running Twitter searches around breaking news, to tips on using Facebook, Instagram and Reddit, it’s a treasure trove of ideas and tips.

    Tip of the week

    The fastest way to search Twitter, Facebook and Instagram​
    Of course you could open the Twitter, Facebook and Instagram websites and search from there, but if you’re running Google’s Chrome browser you can search all of these sites (and any others you use regularly) firectly from the Chrome URL bar. Nice tip.

    Until next week

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    Written by Alastair Otter

    Data visualisation & design, journalist, hacker.


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