January 16, 2015
Local Fix: On Profits and Podcasts, Startups and Sustainability, and Third Party Platforms
One Good Idea: Write better headlines. Maria Konnikova reports on new research that shows headlines have a huge effect on readers’ perception and retention of articles. “It’s not always easy to be both interesting and accurate,” she concludes, “but, as Ecker’s study shows, it’s better than being exciting and wrong.”
From Startup to Sustainability
I wrote earlier about Philly Gun Crisis ending daily publication. NiemanLab has a deep dive into “Why Philadelphia’s Gun Crisis Reporting Project couldn’t make it” with some frank reflections on priorities and sustainability from founder Jim MacMillan. At the end of last year John Battelle gave his prescription for “What Media Must Do To Survive” – which for him comes down to “convening power.” Does a publication bring together a community of people who depend on it?
A Few Useful Year End Lists
- Judd Slivka’s “year in apps” is a good round up of tools for mobile journalists (and I like how he used ThingLink).
- Poynter looks forward and backwards by offering a list of “Digital tools you should have been using in 2014“
- In her last week with NPR, Melody Kramer compiled possibly the best round-up of concrete advice and real world examples for social and online media. (Super organized and easy to navigate too)
- Kevin Davis of the Investigative News Network offered 5 trends for nonprofit news in 2015, but really so many of these are relevant to both commercial and nonprofit sites.
- Finally, NiemanLab’s huge list of predictions is full of good ideas and big questions. I pulled out some of my favorites relating to community, diversity and sustainability here.
The Risks and Rewards of Third Party Platforms
The new project, Reported.ly, is publishing directly to Twitter, Facebook and Reddit, rather than driving people to a stand-alone home page. Andy Carvin’sdebrief on how Reported.ly covered the Charlie Hebdo attacks this week offers a glimpse at some of the strengths and challenges of this approach. The Media Briefing looks at both Reported.ly and BBC Pop-up and asks “Is publishing to third party platforms a viable strategy for media businesses?” NowThis and Fusion are both producing content specifically for platforms like Instagram and John Herman notes that BuzzFeed has “a unit that already publishes solely to YouTube and Facebook.” Wired has a good piece on Instagram and news too.
Of Profits and Podcasts
Whether you are thinking about developing a podcast for your newsroom (or already producing one), it is a good thing to see more businesses and individuals sponsoring and supporting great content creators. There is a lot to learn from how podcasters cultivate new audiences, create intimacy and engage their passionate fans. Matt Haughey has a really good look at the history of podcasting with a focus on its challenges yet to come (and a follow up). And the Harvard Business Review asks “Should Your Company Start a Podcast?” (Hint: look before you leap)