Thursday, June 30, 2011

"Engagement is the unit of monetization"

From report What we know of digital journalism by Bill Grueskin et al.

Shanahan points to a website for a 90,000-circulation newspaper that serves a medium-sized city on the East Coast. (The name of the company is confidential because it’s a client.) This site gets around 450,000 unique visitors a month.
But those visitors differ widely, and Shanahan separates them into four types: The most loyal are the “fans,” who visit at least twice a week. Then there are the “regulars,” good for one or two visits a week. Sliding down the loyalty scale are “occasionals,” who stop by two or three times a month; and finally, the “fly-bys,” who come just once a month.
The most loyal visitors are a very small part of the overall audience: Fans make up just about 4 percent of the total number of visitors, and regulars 3 percent. Occasionals account for 17 percent and fly-bys for more than 75 percent of the total. In other words, more than three-fourths of the people who visit this news site do so just once a month.
Then Shanahan went deeper, to see how the different kinds of users behaved on the site. He knew the most loyal fans would generate more page views than the fly-bys, since fans visit the site more often. But the disparities in usage were far greater than one might expect.
Fans, despite their small numbers, were responsible for more than 55 percent of the site’s traffic. Fly-bys—those people most likely to come from a search engine or a blog—clicked on barely three pages a month. Overall, each fan generated about fifty times more traffic per person than a fly-by.
“When people talk about the size of an audience, that’s a sham,” Shanahan says. In his view, stated numbers don’t reflect how differently the varieties of users act in the way they navigate a site. Publishers mistakenly focus on “page views rather than length of time,” he writes on his blog, Digital Equilibrium. Referring to ad “impressions,” which are views (not clicks) of ads, Shanahan adds, “Using today’s standard, there is no difference between impressions that last one second, ten seconds, or two minutes.”
“The digital world has changed the revenue dynamics for publishers,” he adds in another post. “In the print world, a publisher’s shipment of physical media was the basis for generating revenue. In the digital world, consumption of media is the basis for revenue…. In other words, engagement is the unit of monetization.”

Time To Look For Readers, Not Clicks

paidcontent reporting, Staci D. Kramer:

...It’s fitting that my own reading the last few days has been a new report from the Columbia Journalism School, The Story So Far: What We know About The Business of Digital Journalism (PDF). Writing for the Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Bill Grueskin, Ava Seave and Lucas Graves tell the saga of digital journalism as a business (or a lack of one) from the mid-90s through now. It isn’t all dismal but it isn’t pretty.
And one of the least attractive parts is what so many have done while they’re trying to figure out the business, or when they think they have—chasing the most incremental readers to get hyped traffic numbers to attract certain kinds of advertising or enough clicks to make dollars instead of pennies from Google ads. Outwardly we like to complain about content farms; in reality, a lot of what news outlets are doing to the side of those front-page stories isn’t very different. (That’s not to knock optimizing for search; it’s hard to overestimate the value of doing it right in today’s cluttered content landscape.)
They are trying to make ubiquity and commodity news pay, to make the most out of the fly-bys. In the process, they often wind up making those of us who want to be there feel like we’d rather leave in a hurry. The Tow report looks, in part, at the value of focusing more deeply on some of those others, the regulars who connected by geography or drawn by passion read digital news with the same kind of engagement as newspaper readers. Matt Shanahan of Scout Analytics divides users into fans (at least twice a week), regulars (weekly), occasionals (two or thre times a month) and fly-bys (monthly). At one 90,000-circ paper with a 450,000-montly-unique site, the fans and regulars totaled only seven percent, while fly-bys were more than 75 percent. But the fans, four percent of the audience, made up more than 55 percent of the traffic – and generated 50 times more than the average fly-by.
Shanahan argues that it’s time for publishers to realize the value isn’t in traffic; it’s in the engagement of core users. Instead of making money chasing traffics, they are giving up the ad revenue they could get by serving better contextual ads to users they “know.”
That’s one of the real opportunities for publishers now implementing or looking at meters, subscriptions and even micropay. The most loyal readers or the ones with the most self-interest will pay. The numbers will be small but probably consistent and relatively price elastic as long as they can afford it. Advertisers, in most cases, will pay more to reach them than the masses as long publishers can tell them who they’re reaching.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Norran engages readers through live newsroom chats and community events

editorsweblob reporting:
How do you keep a regional newspaper afloat in a competitive, often cash-strapped world? Anette Novak, editor-in-chief of Norran in northern Sweden, uses three elements to keep readers interested in her paper: co-creation with the readers, transparency with the community and newspaper credibility. These factors keep Norran successful and valuable in the eyes of the community it serves, she said at WAN-IFRA's Summer University in Paris.
Norran has a philosophy of high reader involvement. The paper has a live chat box called eEditor on its site that operates during newsroom hours, allowing readers to suggest ideas and discuss ongoing stories with journalists. The newspaper regularly uses community experts for news articles, and gives them bylines and credit. Novak stressed the importance of involving the audience to effectively cover the region: "you don't have to let them write, but you do have to listen to them."
The paper made the decision to go from being an impartial observer of community life to actively seeking to strengthen the region and help it prosper. Novak believes that as long as Norran is transparent about its support of the community, this is an acceptable attitude for a newspaper. Being critical in news articles and asking tough questions is a way of showing tough love to the community: Norran has also focused on producing more in-depth investigative journalism to show people you can be a critic of your community and still love it.
Norran has launched events aimed at strengthening the community, such as a Christmas market in the main square and ice-skating lessons for immigrants for the local team. It also started a community-generated list of "100 reasons to love where you live," which received so many entries that a list of 1000 reasons will be done next.
These efforts have resulted in connecting a positive message with the brand name, and this has meant an increase in advertising as brands now cannot afford not to be linked with such a positive motor in the community, Novak said.

Pew: Adoption Of E-Readers Doubles In 6 Months, Bigger Than Tablets

Pew reporting:

A new Pew research survey of U.S. adults conducted in May, 2011 shows that ownership of electronic readers such as the Amazon Kindle or The Barnes & Noble Nook is now at 12 percent. The ownership of e-readers doubled from six months prior when it was 6 percent.
The adoption of e-readers continues to outpace tablets such as the iPad and Motorola Xoom. Only 8 percent of respondents said they won a tablet, compared to 5 percent six months earlier. So tablet ownership seems to be growing at a slower pace.
However, the line between an e-reader and tablet is beginning to blur. The Color Nook runs on a version of Android (albeit not as fully functional as the latest tablets). And of course, every tablet now has e-book apps from Kindle, Apple, and others.
Three percent of U.S. adults own both a tablet and an e-reader. (You early adopters will buy anything).
Both tablets and e-readers still trail well behind ownership of other digita devices such as MP3 players (44 percent), DVRs (52 percent), laptops (56 percent), desktops (57 percent), and cell phones (83 percent). This is also the first time in this survey that laptop and desktop ownership reached parity.

Jon Stewart: Tearing young people from newspapers?

WP reporting:
...Gallup yesterday released the results of a poll on the confidence of United Statesians in their media organizations. Overall, the findings are good, with a slight uptick in confidence levels for both TV news and newspapers.
Check out the figures for the all-too-crucial 18-29-year-old demographic. These young adults have lost a frightening amount of confidence in newspapers---from 49 percent to 39 percent---while gaining a frightening amount of confidence in TV news---24 percent to 34 percent.
So we put the facts on Twitter and polled folks for explanations. Some highlights:...

Could newspapers have saved themselves?

WP reporting:By Erik Wemple
If you hang around in the news media business long enough, you’ll hear a certain lament about the last 15 years. It usually comes in a couple of layers:
* If only news organizations had banded together to pool their precious content on the web.
* If only they had started charging for their stuff right from dawn of the Internet.
Then, the thinking goes, darkness wouldn’t have fallen on the industry.
That argument surfaced just last week via James O’Shea, author of the new book The Deal from Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers. A former managing editor of the Chicago Tribune and former editor in chief of the Los Angeles Times, O’Shea told the New York Times, “None of this had to happen.” His book contains this riff: “The Internet and declining circulations didn’t kill newspapers, any more than long stories, skimpy attention spans, or arrogant journalists did. What is killing a system that brings reliably edited news and information to readers’ doorsteps every morning for less than the cost of a cup of coffee is the way that the people who run the industry have reacted to those forces.”
Contrary to popular mythology, it’s not as if they didn’t try. As O’Shea outlines in his book, nine newspaper companies in the mid-’90s joined forces to create the New Century Network (NCN). If the title sounded evangelistic, perhaps that’s because it was: The papers were trying to bring about a new day, one where all their goodies would be packaged nicely and sold for reasonable prices to online readers.
It lasted not even three years. O’Shea chalks up the demise of NCN to “differing philosophies, internecine warfare, big companies, and even bigger egos.” No shock there -- the network consisted of the New York Times, The Washington Post, the Tribune Company, Cox and Hearst, among others. Who would have expected them to get in the boat and row in the same direction?

Over-50s flock to social networks in UK

BBC reporting: Facebook use among over-50s in the UK has risen faster than any other group, according to research firm Nielsen.
Overall, membership of the social network grew 41% between 2009 and 2011. Among older users the figure was 84%.
The trend was similar for Twitter, although unlike Facebook, younger users appear to have drifted away.
Nielsen's findings contradict research published earlier this month that suggested the site's popularity was dwindling in the UK and USA.
The latest study was commissioned by the UK Online Measurement Company (UCOM), which is funded by advertisers and media agencies.
Its measurements are based on the behaviour of panel of internet users, both at home and in work.
The research found that, in May, 26.8 million people in the UK visited Facebook, propelling it past Microsoft's combined sites - MSN, Windows Live and Bing. Only Google was more popular, said Nielsen.
Twitter enjoyed a record month, reaching 6.14 million unique visitors - a 34% increase on the previous month. The number of women aged over 65 using the site grew by 96% over the same period. Business network LinkedIn clocked-up 3.59 million unique UK visitors in May - 57% more than in April...
If accurate, the growth among older users is likely to be welcomed by advertisers, keen to tap the wealthy demographic.
"The younger audience, under 25, monetize very badly," said Simon Spaull, chief development officer at advertising agency TBG Digital.

Is This The Tipping Point For E-Books & Libraries?

ReadWriteWeb reporting:

The American Library Association (ALA) has just released its 2011 Public Library Funding and Technology Access Survey, and among its findings, 67% of public libraries in the U.S. now offer free access to e-books for their patrons. That's up 30% since 2007. Of course, access to e-books ranges greatly from state-to-state: 100% of Maryland and Utah libraries offer e-books, while only 25% of ilbraries in Mississippi do so, for example.
But even in the states where e-book access is commonplace, when it comes to making digital literature available to their patrons, libraries face a number of challenges. We've covered many of these issues here. Most well-known among these obstacles was the controversial announcement earlier this year by publisher Harper Collins to have library e-books "self-destruct" after 26 checkouts, forcing libraries to re-purchase titles in order to secure more checkouts. This among other factors (including, of course, budget issues) has made the future of e-books in libraries unclear.
A number of announcements made during the ALA's annual convention this past week suggest that the tipping point of e-book library lending may be here:
"Always Available" E-Books
: In order to address the problem with wait lists for checking out e-books, OverDrive announced a set of "Always Available" titles so that multiple library patrons could check out titles simultaneously. Although digital texts do make it possible to distribute multiple copies this week, in most cases, up until now, lending of e-books has followed the same restrictions of print. In other words, if a book is checked out - whether it's print or digital - no one else can read it. OverDrive's "Always Available" books do not include all its titles, but it's a sensible start.
Magazine Checkouts
: Digital newsstand Zinio announced it has partnered with Recorded Books to allow digital magazines to be available to library patrons in the U.S., Canada, Australia, and the U.K.
Library Checkouts for Nook
: Library lending comes to the Barnes & Noble Nook with a partnership between the bookseller and digital distributor Baker & Taylor.
The Open Library Serves More Public Libraries
: The Internet Archive announced that it has expanded its OpenLibrary lending program to its 1000th library. This program allows libraries to pool and share their e-books.

Monday, June 27, 2011

Crowd-Sourcing Creative Tongal contest platform cuts out agencies

paidcontent reporting:
Jack Link’s Beef Jerky, made famous by its quirky Sasquatch ads, wants something different. Despite the success of “Messin’ With Sasquatch,” a series of TV spots created by Carmichael Lynch, the company feels it needs a new hit to continue engaging with a young, media-savvy audience. So Jack Link's called on an under-the-radar crowd-sourcing platform called Tongal and its network of some 15,000 creative members.
Since its official launch 18 months ago, Tongal has asked its members—who range from brand enthusiasts to aspiring creative talent to video production professionals—to submit ideas for short video ads to hundreds of campaigns in partnership with brand
advertisers. Their motivation for submitting ideas? Prize money of $15,000 to $25,000, provided by the brand to users who have contributed to a winning idea. The ideas are typically filtered by social media managers at the brand, then go through a “suggestion” phase. Eventually the brand chooses a Tongal member to make the commercial.
It’s a twist on the Doritos and Pepsi Max “Crash the Superbowl” campaign, which offered prize money to brand enthusiasts who wrote and produced award-winning ads. Tongal facilitates collaboration, said CEO James DeJulio. The idea people get to work with execution people and eventually, with the brand. The prize money is typically distributed to 10 to 15 different members, and more importantly, “The people who are really good almost always get paid,” he said. More than 100 campaigns have come to fruition via Tongal.
Jack Link’s is one such brand. Its campaign on Tongal launched at the end of last week with a prize of $20,000 and deadline of June 30. Tongal expects around 500 ideas by the contest’s close. The “creative brief,” available on Tongal’s website, includes an all-caps, bolded Sasquatch caveat: Make ideas off-the-wall, but forget the Sasquatch. No more Sasquatch.

GP och Sydsvenskan startar egen Groupon

Mediavärlden reporting:
Imorgon lanserar Göteborgs-Posten och Sydsvenskan Dealie, en gemensam sajt för gruppköp.
Sajten erbjuder konsumenterna rabatterade erbjudanden från annonsörer i Göteborg och Malmö. Framför allt från lokala annonsörer, som detaljister och restauranger. Målet är att rabattsatsen ska ligga på minst 50 procent.
Annonsörerna betalar genom att dela på vinsten från den försäljning som går via sajten. I gengäld får de exponering i tidningarnas olika kanaler, samt genom e-post och sociala medier till prenumeranter och medlemsklubbar.
"För annonsörerna är Dealie en bättre deal än många av de gruppköpssajter som redan finns på marknaden. Annonsörernas erbjudande får exponering i våra egna kanaler, och inga andra kanaler når så många människor på en och samma dag i våra regioner. Morgontidningarna är egentligen den mest naturliga aktören för dagliga deals.", säger Peter Mayerhofer, varumärkeschef på Sydsvenskan och projektledare för Dealie, i ett pressmeddelande.
Fler tidningar i Stampengruppen vill vara med, och det är något som initiativtagarna välkomnar:

Lessons in Communication, for Newspapers Themselves

NYT reporting:

AS journalists, we spend our lives communicating basic facts to the public, yet somehow we’ve done a poor job of communicating the basics of journalism itself. Its values. What news is and isn’t. Why journalism matters to the broader good. Why it’s the quality of journalism, not necessarily the quantity, that matters most — a notion that journalists have had a hard time communicating even to the executives of their own publicly held companies.
Rarely will you see displays of this divide more vivid than in James O’Shea’s new book, “The Deal From Hell: How Moguls and Wall Street Plundered Great American Newspapers” (PublicAffairs, $28.99).
The subtitle seems misleading, as do so many these days. Mr. O’Shea, a onetime top editor at both The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times, tells the story of these two papers’ magnificently botched corporate marriage — a fine tale, though from the subtitle it would appear that his publisher didn’t want to market it as such, perhaps thinking that no one much cared.
But it wasn’t investment bankers, no matter how irksome their behavior, who caused newspapers’ woes. It was, by and large, newspapers themselves, especially their managements, as Mr. O’Shea makes abundantly clear.
The abysmal state of newspapers today has largely been precipitated by the loss of classified advertising to Craigslist and other online sites; by the mass migration of readers to free online news sites; and, to a degree I hadn’t appreciated, the scandals in the early 2000s that revealed how thoroughly some newspapers had been misstating circulation numbers for years. Once those papers had to issue correct numbers, official circulations fell sharply, with a corresponding loss of credibility among major advertisers.
Mr. O’Shea argues that what’s killing newspapers isn’t the Internet and other forces, but rather the way newspaper executives responded to those forces: “The lack of investment, the greed, incompetence, corruption, hypocrisy and downright arrogance of people who put their interests ahead of the public’s are responsible for the state of the newspaper industry today.” Strong stuff, but Mr. O’Shea can back it up.

La Tribune Starts Charging For More Online Content

paidcontent reporting: French daily business paper La Tribune will start charging for more of its website, in a strategy to edge consumers toward a full-fledged subscription.
The title had already charged a flat €10 per month for online access to the print-originated stories that make up 60 percent of
Now it is also beginning to charge for more individual bits of content, starting with opinion articles for €0.49 each, by introducing Cleeng, a payment mechanism that can require payments for smaller content fragments, including for components of articles and parts of video.
“The step between advertising and subscription is too large for consumers,” Cleeng founder-CEO Gilles Domartini tells paidContent. “The logic is that you can better convert people to subscription through CRM programs after a few successful individual transactions. That is the mid-term plan we have with them.” will soon introduce a daily pass and charging for archive web-originated articles using Cleeng, Domartini says. The company is operating an 80/20 share from payments. A Cleeng user account can be paid using Visa, Mastercard, PayPal, SMS and phone bills.

Three Ways Could Change Book Publishing

Paidcontent repporting:
After a suspenseful buildup, J. K. Rowling has announced that will be an e-bookstore, exclusively selling Harry Potter e-books and digital audiobooks. Pottermore could shake up digital publishing as much as the Harry Potter books first shook up print publishing over a decade ago. Here’s how.
Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) will be cut out as the middleman and could be forced to open up the Kindle to new book-publishing formats. does not officially launch until October, and right now many details are still unclear. But we know that the site will be the only place to buy Harry Potter e-books and that they will be compatible with a range of devices. Rowling stressed that selling the books directly “means we can guarantee people everywhere are getting the same experience and at the same time,” and Pottermore CEO Rod Henwood told The Bookseller, “We want to make sure anyone who buys it can read it on any device. We are talking to the Kindles, the Apples, the Googles, Barnes & Noble (NYSE: BKS) to make sure they are compatible. We set the pricing, we maintain the policy of making them available to as many readers as possible.”
In fact, rumors that Amazon is going to start supporting EPUB have been floating around for awhile now, mainly in association with the news that the Kindle will support library lending this fall. Amazon should probably get on the EPUB train by July 31, when is going to be opened up to a select million users.
Interesting experiments with pricing. Since Rowling is selling the e-books directly, she can do what she wants with pricing. Her UK publisher, Bloomsbury, and her U.S. publisher, Scholastic, are getting a cut, but these books are being published under the Pottermore Publishing imprint, not by Bloomsbury or Scholastic. So look out for bundling, limited-time sales, special editions, maybe even individual chapters for sale. has a lot of freedom here to test various prices and respond quickly to what works or doesn’t. Other publishers can learn from what does and may start to become more creative in their own pricing, although the big six publishers, which use the agency model for pricing, aren’t able to be nearly as nimble as an indie like Pottermore Publishing can.
Most importantly, this could be a major tipping point for e-books.

ABC News Teams with Vook for Multimedia Products for iPad, Android, Nook reporting:
ABC News is producing a multimedia offering of text and video reporting in the form of a video book, or "vook" for the Apple iOS devices, Android and Nook Color.
ABC is working with the New York-based company Vook to create the publications around major news events including the capture of Osama Bin Laden and England's Royal Wedding.
Last week, we spoke with Vook's head of product Matthew Cavnar about the collaboration with ABC News and Vook's production platform which he says is simple to use, he likens it to a simple blog tool.

Penguin Books debuts Jack Kerouac iPad App

Goodereader reports:
Penguin Books has released their first iPad application and delivers an enhanced experience of the seminal Beat Generation classic ‘On the Road’ by Jack Kerouac.
You can look at this new application as the original 1957 classic that defined a generation and a mix of bonus materials. These ‘extras’ includes rare and never-before-seen material: Kerouac family photos, and even audio clips of Kerouac himself. If you fancy yourself an aspiring bohemian beatnik you can walk the path of Jack with fully interactive maps of his legendary trips from 1947, 1949 and 1950. There will also be documents and notes that Jack wrote while on the road.
The original publisher of On the Road was Viking and they have generously donated tons of content to Penguins application. They are coughing up correspondence between Kerouac and the book editors during the writing of the book. Who knows where he found the time but wrote the entire book in three weeks on one giant roll of typing paper.
 On the Road features the dynamics between Jacks character Sal Paradise and Neal Cassady’s alter ego Dean Moriarty. The book chronicled Jack and Neal traveling all over America in Cars, hitchhiking and hoping on trains. While traveling they meet a colorful montage of characters who end up being some the greatest writers of the modern era.
The one factor of the book that amazed me the most is that it introduced the reader to many other writers who were friends of Jacks and were superb novelists in their own right. Literary stalwarts such as William S. Burroughs, Allen Ginsberg and Ken Kesey were all friends of Jack and where featured in On the Road.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

From crowdfunding to data-driven journalism, four ways the Knight News Challenge is shaping the future

Poynter reporting:
As the Knight News Challenge prepares to announce its fifth group of winners today, we looked back at the previous four years, in which 63 projects received nearly $22 million.
The Knight Foundation has spread that money around, including academic research, software tools, urban hyperlocal reporting and basic information needs in developing countries.
In reviewing the winners, we identified four areas of now-rapid innovation in which News Challenge projects have pushed new approaches for journalism: Crowdfunding, the hacker-journalist, data as news and citizen journalism.

Of course, when you make dozens of bets on startups, some won’t pay off. Sometimes ideas aren’t as good as they sounded.
And sometimes good ideas — like conveying information through interactive games — are just harder to execute than anticipated. The News Challenge funded five gamification-of-news projects with almost $1 million. There was some success, but a lot of struggle, Newton said.
Even in the difficult cases, Knight and the participants learned valuable lessons, he said. And projects that did work as planned taught other lessons and blazed important trails to where journalism is headed.
One of journalism’s most urgent needs is finding new business models and funding methods.
Newspaper advertising revenue has been nearly halved since the News Challenge was announced in 2006. Online advertising has grown, but most news sites are still disappointed by ineffective display ads and low CPMs.
The News Challenge has not funded much in this space — only a few of the first 63 projects focused on ways to fund reporting. However, the projects it did fund may be among its most effective.

Knight News Challenge gives $1.5 million to projects that filter, examine data

Poynter reporting:
The Knight Foundation is directing almost a third of its $4.7 million in News Challenge grants this year to help journalists and the public organize and analyze data and documents.
In different ways, several of these projects seek to solve the persistent challenges of journalists working on investigative and daily stories: how to make sense of vast amounts of data and find the stories within.
“Journalists are now drowning in documents and data,” said Jonathan Stray, interactive technology editor for The Associated Press. “The tools we have to deal with this are actually pretty primitive.”
Stray’s project, Overview, will develop advanced, open-source tools to help journalists tackle these real-world problems. Overview will use data visualizations to help journalists explore data, discover relationships among them and zoom in for a closer look.
Other projects will enable public commenting of documents stored online; build simple, Web-based tools to clean and organize data; and figure out how to bring data-driven, hyperlocal news to rural communities.
The five winning projects aimed at data and documents are:Overview: The Associated Press will receive $475,000 to develop visualization tools to help journalists explore data.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Washington Post is making money the new-fashioned way, by playing roulette

In the newspaper business, every year brings fresh buzzwords. Jockeying for the lead so far in 2011 are “new revenue streams” and its corollary “many small bets.” But what does that mean, in practice, for a given paper?
I heard an answer in a talk by The Washington Post’s Ken Babby at the International Newspaper Marketing Association World Congress in New York last month. Babby’s title picked up one of my favorite metaphors for the exercise: “Emerging Digital Media Platforms:  Past, Present and Future Roulette.”
Babby was the top advertising executive at The Washington Post before he turned 30. And, in the 18 months since I met him at a Poynter conference on the future of advertising, his title has morphed to “Chief Revenue Officer” — signaling that some of the best emerging opportunities are not advertising in a traditional sense.
Though I missed the conference, Babby brought me up to speed in a phone interview. He has both a theory of how to play the game so as to beat the odds, and a litany of unorthodox businesses the Post has launched.
Babby prefers the term “strategic bets” to small bets. Some, like mobile and tablet apps are likely to be expensive; some will have a payoff, if any, later rather than right now.
“The roulette wheel epitomizes how many choices we have,” he said, “Our resources are limited — not just dollars but also time.”
So the Post is going for a mix of “short-term cash and long-term value.” One of the successful new ventures is a non-digital one. “We have built a great conference/live events business,” Babby said.

Gannett layoffs are a leading indicator of a permanently shrinking newspaper business

poynter reporting:
The 700 layoffs Gannett announced at its community newspapers Tuesday can rightly be read as a vote of no confidence in the future of print by America’s largest newspaper company.
Given the company’s long history of playing to Wall Street, it is no big surprise, though. Gannett probably would say it is just being realistic in recognizing that these 81 newspapers have permanently become much smaller businesses. The market liked the hard-headed cost control move, with Gannett shares up about 4 percent from late Monday to Tuesday’s closing bell.
Here is my take on the factors that went into the decision, drawn from several sources, including the company’s first quarter conference call with analysts.
Revenues were down for the community newspapers in the first quarter — about 7 percent overall and nearly 10 percent in print — from the same period in  2010. The company has said that the ad losses are continuing in the second quarter. So, in a year when most media, except perhaps Yellow Pages and direct mail, are recovering some of the ad base lost in the recession, newspapers are still in economic decline.
Particularly because newsprint prices costs are up sharply this year (20 to 30 percent), Gannett could not easily reduce expenses in tandem with the disappointing ad results in the first half of this year. As a result, publishing operating margins fells four times as fast as revenues — 25.8 percent. Given Gannett’s long record of high operating margins, several analysts in the first quarter earnings conference call asked what was going wrong.

News International to enable PayPal payments for newspaper content

newmediaage reporting:
News International is to introduce PayPal’s fast checkout system in a move that could bring micropayments for online content from UK titles a step closer.
Readers will be able to use PayPal to pay for The Times and Sunday Times websites and iPad editions instead of entering credit or debit card details for each payment.
The method could make it easier to introduce a micropayment system by simplifying the process for readers. A spokeswoman for News International declined to comment on whether micropayments would be introduced.

From crowdfunding to data-driven journalism, four ways the Knight News Challenge is shaping the future

Poynter reporting:

As the Knight News Challenge prepares to announce its fifth group of winners today, we looked back at the previous four years, in which 63 projects received nearly $22 million.
The Knight Foundation has spread that money around, including academic research, software tools, urban hyperlocal reporting and basic information needs in developing countries.
In reviewing the winners, we identified four areas of now-rapid innovation in which News Challenge projects have pushed new approaches for journalism: Crowdfunding, the hacker-journalist, data as news and citizen journalism.
“Our goal is to be important; our goal is to have impact and to make a difference,” Eric Newton, senior adviser to the president for the Knight Foundation, told me.
Of course, when you make dozens of bets on startups, some won’t pay off. Sometimes ideas aren’t as good as they sounded.
And sometimes good ideas — like conveying information through interactive games — are just harder to execute than anticipated. The News Challenge funded five gamification-of-news projects with almost $1 million. There was some success, but a lot of struggle, Newton said.

The Necessity of Data Journalism in the New Digital Community

Mediashift reporting:
 This is the second post in a series from Nicholas White, the co-founder and CEO of The Daily Dot.
It used to be, to be a good reporter, all you had to do was get drunk with the right people.
Sure, it helped if you could string a few words together, but what was really important was that when news broke, you could get the right person on the phone and get the skinny. Or when something scandalous was going down somewhere, someone would pick up the phone and call you.
Increasingly today, in selecting and training reporters, the industry seems to focus on the stringing-words-together part. (If CJR wants to study something, I suggest comparing alcohol consumption among newsroom employees and circulation. Both have been dropping steadily since the '70s. Coincidence? I think not.)
That's not how we're building our newsroom at The Daily Dot. Don't get me wrong, we want people who can write, but that's not actually our first -- or only -- criterion. While it's still early days, we've done at least two things that are very exciting and critical to our long-term success -- and they're not things that should remain unique to us. I think they point toward the future success of the industry as a whole.
One: Our very first newsroom hire, after our executive editor, was Grant Robertson, who's not only a reporter and an editor, but also a programmer. Two: We have, in partnership with the math whizzes at Ravel, analyzed the Reddit and Tumblr communities, ranking their users on a variety of metrics tracking activity, engagement and influence.
We found it necessary to push early in this direction because of our unique coverage area and we're in the fortunate position of being able to build our newsroom from scratch.

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

People Are Spending More Time In Mobile Apps Than On The Web

People are spending more time inside mobile applications on average than they are on the web, according to an analysis from Flurry, a mobile analytics firm.
Flurry measures the time people spend in apps through its own direct analytics. It got numbers for the web using public data from comScore and Alexa. The analysis is somewhat imperfect, but even if you judge it solely on a directional basis you can see mobile apps are consuming more and more time.
So what are people doing in those apps? Gaming and social networking, which absorb 79% of people's time, according to Flurry. The rest is news, entertainment, and other apps.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Google finds 80% of UK smartphone owners use local search

newmediaage reporting:
Over 80% of UK smartphone owners search for local information, according to research by Google and the Mobile Marketing Association.
The study, conducted by Ipsos and TNS Infratest, also found that over half of smartphone owners access the internet via their phone every day.
81% have searched for local information such as nearby facilities, four out of five subsequently ta
Meanwhile, 55% of UK smartphone owners use the mobile web every day, while 49% said they use it multiple times a day.
Mobile commerce is also increasing in popularity, according to the online survey of mobile consumers across 30 countries.

Cross Platform Report: Americans Watching More TV, Mobile and Web Video

Nielsen reporting:
The average American today has more ways to watch video — whenever, however and wherever they choose. In the Cross-Platform Report, Nielsen finds that the resounding trend is this: Americans are spending more time watching video content on traditional TVs, mobile devices and the Internet than ever before.
Traditional TV
Overall TV viewership increased 22 minutes per month per person over last year, remaining the dominant source of video content for all demographics. In addition, Nielsen data shows that consumers are willing to pay for high-quality TV content, with broadcast-only homes less than a tenth of U.S. TV households.
Mobile Video
Though still accounting for just a handful of hours per month, mobile video viewing continues to see marked gains, increasing 41 percent over last year and more than 100 percent since 2009.
Timeshifted TV
Timeshifted TV continues to grow, both in the penetration of DVR devices in the home and the time spent.
Internet Video
Internet video streaming also saw increases in time spent; this behavior is the highest among a younger and diverse subset of the population.

Nielsen has a New Approach to Measuring Online Advertising

Nielsen reporting:
As networks wrap up their yearly upfront ad sales, there has been no shortage of pontifications about how well (or not) online advertising fared in this year’s negotiations. Media companies are in a race to boost revenue from their online offerings. They know the audiences are there, but are unable to fully monetize their online inventory without the right metrics to prove its value in reaching their clients’ specific targets, relative to TV. On the other side of the fence, TV advertisers know their customers are online. But they don’t have enough evidence that their online media buys are reaching their desired audience well enough to justify allocating more of their ad dollars to the medium.
The answer to this fundamental problem lies in Nielsen’s new approach to online ad measurement which produces Reach, Frequency and Gross Rating Points (GRP) statistics, comparable to TV ratings.
Nielsen Online Campaign Ratings measures the true audience of an online ad campaign by combining Nielsen panel data with aggregated, anonymous demographic data from online data providers. Using this unique hybrid approach, Nielsen is able to measure online advertising campaigns of nearly any size, running nearly anywhere on the web.
This will help advertisers better understand how their media investments are performing against their online only and cross-media campaign goals.

Guardian Aims To Double Digital Revenue In Five Years, CEO Says

PaidContent reporting:
The worsening state of the printed news and advertising market has prompted The Guardian to downsize in print and become “digital-first” earlier than previously expected, Guardian Media Group CEO Andrew Miller tells paidContent.
“We now have a financial imperative we didn’t have before,” said Miller, who was upped from finance chief a year ago. “The financial pressure all newspapers are facing through the shift is such that our losses are increasing and I can’t see a way of those not decreasing without first making ourselves digital-first.”
Miller rejects the idea this is about digital-first now and digital-only next. “All newspapers will ultimately exit print,” Miller acknowledged. “But we’re putting no timeframe on that. This is about repositioning the business to be digital-first. I don’t know if anyone’s said that before at a major newspaper. It’s about finding the right format for newspapers in our portfolio.”
As a response both to changing reader habits and the business model underpinning print, The Guardian will cut back on newspaper pages and run less news reporting in them by next March.
Only four percent of our readers read the paper for breaking news stories in the morning - they read in print in the evening rather than earlier in the day,” Miller said. ‘We’ll do a reformatted daily newspaper in this financial year, with more analysis, longer pieces.”
Miller reckons “it’s quite a bold decision” and “it’s probably accelerated” the eventual print-to-digital transition

Sunday, June 19, 2011

'Influencing Machine': We Get the Media We Deserve

ABC news reporting:
"The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media" (W.W. Norton), by Brooke Gladstone. It's easy to decry the current state of the news industry, and to long for the good ol' days when reporters were unbiased and news outlets cared more about the truth than about pushing a political agenda.
The only problem, as radio host Brooke Gladstone points out in her new book, is that the good ol' days were never as good as we like to believe.
In "The Influencing Machine: Brooke Gladstone on the Media," she traces the industry's history from ancient times to the colonial era to the present. Her conclusions: The media have always been imperfect, and we consumers are partly to blame because they're only giving us what we demand.
In other words, we get the media we deserve.
Her argument is compelling, the history enlightening. But what makes the book so notable is its style. It's presented almost entirely in drawings, like a textbook in comic-book or graphic-novel form. The drawings by Josh Neufeld are definitely good, but the question is whether they're so good they distract from the content of the book.

EJ News Coverage Index: May 30 - June 5, 2011 The Economy Leads, but Politics Lurks

Pew reporting:
A run of gloomy news—more partisan disagreement on raising the debt ceiling, rising unemployment numbers and continued housing woes—drove the economy to the forefront of the media agenda last week.
As the recovery appeared to falter, the U.S. economy accounted for 19% of the newshole during the week of May 30-June 5, according to the Pew Research Center’s Project for Excellence in Journalism. That represented the biggest week for economic coverage since April 11-17, when the narrowly averted government shutdown helped to make that subject the focus of 39% of the newshole.
The growing sense that the economic recovery has stalled invited the media to weigh the impact on President Obama, with analysts noting that his reelection prospects were not helped by last week’s news.
The week’s No. 2 story was a related subject—the 2012 presidential election—that has slowly but steadily crept to the fore of the mainstream media agenda. Last week, attention to the race—mostly focusing on the emerging and potential crop of Republican candidates—accounted for 12% of the newshole, its biggest week of coverage yet.
PEJ’s weekly News Coverage Index examines the news agenda of 52 different outlets from five sectors of the media: print, online, network TV, cable and radio. (See List of Outlets.) The weekly study, which includes some 1,000 stories, is designed to provide news consumers, journalists and researchers with hard data about what stories and topics the media are covering, the trajectories of that media narrative and differences among news platforms. The percentages are based on "newshole," or the space devoted to each subject in print and online and time on radio and TV. (See Our Methodology.) In addition, these reports also include a rundown of the week’s leading newsmakers, a designation given to people who account for at least 50% of a given story.

Guardian News & Media to be a digital-first organisation

Guardian News & Media (GNM), publisher of the Guardian, has revealed plans to become a digital-first organisation, placing open journalism on the web at the heart of its strategy.
Alan Rusbridger, editor-in-chief of GNM, and Andrew Miller, chief executive of parent company Guardian Media Group (GMG), today outlined to staff a major transformation programme in response to "inexorable trends" in media consumption.
Rusbridger told employees that GNM would "move beyond the newspaper, shifting focus, effort and investment towards digital, because that is our future".
Miller said GNM was "embarking on a major transformation that will see us change from a print-based organisation to one that is digital-first in philosophy and practice".
..."We will also be changing the printed Monday to Friday newspaper to take account of changing patterns of readership and advertising. Half our readers now read the paper in the evening: they get their breaking news from our website or on mobile.
"We're encouraged that the latest NRS figures show that the Guardian is the only national newspaper to have grown its paper readership over the past year – up 3 per cent against declines in the quality market of between 8 and 15 per cent. This comes in the year in which the Guardian was named Newspaper of the Year at the British Press Awards.

Guardian going digital first - what it really means

Jeff Jarvis reporting:
This week, Guardian Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger declared that the paper would go “digital first,” following John Paton’s lead and stopping a step short of his strategy at Journal Register: “digital first … print last.”
My Guardian friends are getting a bit tetchy about folks trying to tell them how to fix the institution, but given that it lost £34.4m last year, I’d say the intervention is warranted and should be seen only as loving care: chicken soup for the strategy. So I will join in.
My thoughts about the Guardian have something to do with my thoughts on the article. That’s a logical connection because the means of production and distribution of print are what mandated the invention of the article. So it is fitting that we consider its fate in that context.
But first let’s examine what it means to be digital first. It does not mean just putting one’s stories online before the presses roll. In that case, print still dictates the form and rhythm of news: everything in the process of a newsroom is still aimed at fitting round stories into squared holes on pages. That, as Jay Rosen says, is the key skill newsroom residents think they have (and the skill journalism schools prepare them for): the production cycle of print.
Digital first, aggressively implemented, means that digital drives all decisions: how news is covered, in what form, by whom, and when. It dictates that as soon as a journalist knows something, she is prepared to share it with her public. It means that she may share what she knows before she knows everything (there’s a vestige of the old culture, which held that we could know everything … and by deadline to boot) so she can get help from her public to fill in what she doesn’t know. That resets the journalistic relationship to the community, making the news organization a platform first, enabling a community to share its information and inviting the journalist to add value to that process. It means using the most appropriate media to impart information because we are no longer held captive to only one: text.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Three companies answer 6 key questions about their iPad app development

Poynter reporting:
It’s been just over a year since the launch of the iPad, and organizations that took a “wait and see” approach to developing apps are starting to jump in. If you’re at one of those places, there are a number of questions to address before you get started. While no solution will fit all situations, the questions are the same.
Here’s how three very different organizations — CNN, the News & Record in Greensboro, N.C., and Better Homes and Gardens — answered six key questions as they developed their first apps for the iPad.
The first question when considering an iPad app is obvious, but not necessarily simple to answer: What are you trying to achieve?
Three new apps, three very different processes, and all three are pleased with where they arrived. And all say it was a tremendous learning experience.
Brewer’s advice for news organizations that are just getting started: “I would not dump a lot of money into it until you have a full-on strategy for paid [content],” he said. “This was just something we could get out there and dabble with and see what happens.”
Gump said that a company should know what it’s trying to accomplish before building an app. “Not every company needs an iPad app — although most would probably benefit,” he said.

Does a new report mean doom and gloom for local online news? Maybe, but here are a few balancing factors

NiemanLab reporting:
Matthew Hindman’s new paper showing miserably low levels of local online news consumption is a terrific addition to research on how journalism gets produced and consumed online. He found, using panel data from comScore, that local news sites received, on average, only about three pageviews per person per week in their local markets.
And that’s in total, adding up all local news sites — individual sites fared even worse. The largest local news site in a typical market reached only about 17.8 percent of local web users in a given month, and it drew only about five minutes of the typical web user’s attention during that month.
Nikki Usher summarized the report’s findings for us in a separate post. But while Hindman’s research is a welcome reminder of local online news’ limitations and failings, I think there are a number of factors that complicate his findings a bit. Here are four reasons why I think the doom and gloom that I expect to circle around this report might not be spot on.

comScore’s dataset isn’t perfect...
Reach does not mean impact
Local news does not equal “news”
Watch your comparison sphere

Wait, the New York Times Paywall Is Working? Not So Fast, Mr. Blodget reporting:
The New York Times made the right decision in erecting a paywall, if you ask Henry Blodget of Business Insider. He points to the fact that the company has a total of 100,000 subscribers following the erection of its new paywall and an uptick in print subscriptions, which a NYT executive told him on background.
Blodget says, “I told you so.” Not so fast. The numbers he’s citing are really preliminary, the NYT is still heavily discounting its subscriptions, and this purported gain in print subscribers is way too ambiguous to carry the argument Blodget is clearly dying to make.
... Crank the arithmetic and you see that the Times’ current paywall may, at best, be delivering roughly what Times Select did. That’s not good news, because TS wasn’t considered a big hit, to put it mildly. And as the company notes, there’s no way to know how many of those discount subs the NYT will retain, or how many previously freeloading Web readers might actually buy subscriptions.
The real question underlying all this is whether the trade-off between digital and print subscriptions, subscription revenues, ad revenues, and operating costs improve the NYT’s position. If a too-expensive paywall brings back some print people but doesn’t increase digital subs substantially,  the Times will still be hurting.
Is it? Too soon to tell, really. Which is why Blodget’s over-eager lunge at “rightness” is not only premature, but dangerous. To claim success for the NYT’s paywall on such thin data is to effectively lull the industry back to sleep when it’s never been more important to stay on high alert.

Tablets make digital textbooks cool on campus

 CNBC reporting:
The Inkling digital books use the touch technology on the Apple iPad to allow students to interact with the text, and other content. The students can digitally highlight material and make notes, in the same they would with a pen, but then those notes can be shared with others in the class.
"If I understand something and my friend doesn't, I can help explain to it to her and it reinforces it to me," says freshman Courtney Richardson. "You obviously can't get that in a traditional textbook."
For associate professor Ian Shepherd, the students' notes in the text provided real-time feedback on what they were absorbing in class and what they were missing.
"It allows me to focus on coming up with a new application that perhaps is more relevant to a student," he says. "It has reinvigorated my love for teaching."
ACU students were given the iPads for this year's pilot program. After using them, three-quarters of freshman say they'd be willing to buy their own tablets, if at least half of their textbooks were available on the iPad.
A national study from the Pearson Foundation also found students with tablets overwhelmingly prefer digital texts, the first sign of students embracing e-books in a couple of years of the college surveys.
While students in college today are very attached to their mobile devices, they have not been enamored of e-books. In 2010, digital books accounted for just 3 percent of textbooks sales according to the National Association of College Stores.
Analysts say it's because until now e-textbooks have been little more little more than PDF copies of physical books, impractical for students who are accustomed to highlighting their paper copies as they study.
Researchers at online education firm Xplana say the shift toward tablets in the year ahead will jumpstart demand for e-texbooks in the $8 billion U.S. education book market.
"iPads and other tablets will be in the possession of about 20 percent of college students by the fall of 2012," says Xplana director of research Rob Reynolds. "That's a huge impact. It's fastest growing technology that we've seen in education."
Reynolds predicts digital book sale growth in the higher education market
will double over the next four years to $1.5 billion by 2015, and account for 25 percent market share.

EReading Pilot Project – The iPad and Reading and Writing Practices

Duke CIT/Randy Riddell reporting:
Preliminary findings also indicate that ereading does have some positive impact on scholarly reading practices, but has a negative impact on scholarly writing practices. In my own usage, I found the reading of pdfs and books considerably more efficient on the iPad because it was more portable and I could organize my annotations more easily than in print. Taking quick notes was extremely easy, and this proved incredibly helpful during administrative meetings, conferences, and making notes in class about variety of ideas. Writing, however, in a sustained way, was quite burdensome on the iPad, even with the external keyboard. The features of iPad applications were not yet as sophisticated as word processing capabilities on the computer.
This disjuncture between the iPad’s usefulness for reading and difficulty with writing bring to mind questions about how we define writing. To my mind, writing is all too often conceived of as occurring at a unified moment in time, writing up data findings, or pulling an all nighter to get a term paper done. Writing is also too often defined as long projects. A case could be made, though, that writing happens across long lengths of time, in little pockets of thinking, and that the little notes and ideas one may jot down at random times throughout a day are just as significant as those moments of longer, sustained writing. In a way, then, the iPad encouraged me as a writer to capture my thoughts in a succinct way and let them percolate for a while until I had time to expand, abandon, or adapt them later at my computer.

Friday, June 17, 2011

At Cable Show: New Video Advertising Models

Slowly but surely, through careful experimentation and continuing technology development, the major media companies are starting to see the framework for their future business models emerge.
At the Cable Show in Chicago this week much of the interest shifted from content to technology. Tablets were being shown everywhere and programmers were blasting their intention to offer their content on every platform in creation. A picture emerged of an ecosystem in which a tv network could serve video ads differently on every platform, using interactivity, related text and images and even the ability to tether ads from one platform to another (for those of us who multitask and have our IPad or Phone out while watching TV.
The most interesting demonstrations came from technology companies that were part of a new universe of businesses that were building the new video advertising infrastructure. For the first time there were demonstrations of multi-tiered systems that were able to not only serve video advertising across several platforms, but could also allow for coordinated multi-media messaging, which begins to look like the future of advertising.
For the first time television programmers can see a world where they can monetize their viewers and all the platforms those viewers use. This will come just in time, as at least one major network found itself in an interesting situation about a month ago. A couple of NBC shows apparently were view MORE by people accessing the show on digital platforms than on the air when they were first aired. Consumer power to watch whenever they want is growing every day.
The system I saw demonstrated also allowed the advertiser to view a dashboard watching the resulting response to their advertising on multiple platforms, including Ipads, Android phones and tablets, and even the old reliable 60″ plasma.

Michael Skoler: Community, not audience, is a new business model

We are social beings. Three-quarters of all American adults belong to voluntary or organized groups, according to "The Social Side of the Internet," a study published this year by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. In fact, today's social media culture may be reversing the decline in social behavior that Robert D. Putnam documented in his book "Bowling Alone." While 56 percent of non-Internet users belong to a group, 80 percent of Internet users participate in groups, according to the study.
Clay Shirky, a professor at New York University who studies the effects of the Internet on society, writes eloquently of how technology is unleashing the greatest wave of social communication and collaboration in our history. The companies flourishing in today's digital, social culture provide more than valued content to people. They deliver valued connections. And they turn this community, the content it creates, and the trust it engenders into money.
Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter are the icons of the social economy. Even Google, the organizer of digital information as opposed to people, upended the search business with its algorithms that tracked connections—the links people share with others. There are hundreds and thousands of lesser known, quickly rising businesses that are, at their core, built on community even when it isn't obvious. Here are just a few examples:
Angie's List has more than 1.5 million members in over 150 cities who pay about $10 to $60 a year to be part of a community in which members rate and review service providers (plumbers, doctors, etc.) to help each other. In the face of free alternatives, Angie's List has turned its community into annual membership fees in the $50 million range and an even larger income stream by allowing companies that are highly rated by members to pay Angie's List for the privilege of offering discounts to its members.
PatientsLikeMe, a seven-year-old company, helps 100,000 patients

Americans watching more video, but TV declines among most active online consumers

Poynter reporting:
Americans are spending more time watching video on TVs, mobile devices and the Internet than ever before, according to a new Nielsen report. The statistics show opportunity for news organizations to invest in engaging, online video content. The report is largely good news for broadcasters as well, as total TV viewership increased 22 minutes per month, per person over last year. However, TV watching has declined among people who watch the most online video. This behavior is led by 18- to 34-year olds, but it may hint at future consumption patterns.

New Guardian digital focus to center on ‘open journalism on the Web’

Poynter reporting:
The Guardian has announced a new effort to transition from a print-centric approach to digital, “placing open journalism on the Web at the heart of its strategy.” The approach will include investments in digital (including a new U.S. operation, based in New York), emphasis on mobile, and changes to the weekday paper to account for shifting readership and advertising. “We are expanding into America and continuing to pioneer what we call open journalism – editorial content which is collaborative, linked into and networked with the rest of the Web,” Guardian Editor-in-Chief Alan Rusbridger said. || Earlier: Janine Gibson to lead Guardian’s new digital operation in USA

Is internet making us sad, lonely, isolated or...

NiemanJournalismLab reporting:
The accusations are familiar: The Internet is making us sad. The Internet is making us lazy. The Internet is making us lonely.
Pew has taken all of those ideas head-on with a new study, “Social Networking Sites and Our Lives” — the first national, representative survey of American adults on their use of social networking sites. Pew interviewed 2,255 of those American adults, 1,787 of them Internet users, between late October and late November of 2010; the survey group included 975 users of social networking sites (SNS) like Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn, and Twitter. The survey builds on Pew’s 2009 report on technology and isolation, which found that, while there’s been a correlative decline in the size and diversity of people’s closest relationships since the advent of digital technology, the decline hasn’t been caused (whew!) by the Internet.
And today’s findings corroborate that. Americans’ use of social networks has nearly doubled since 2008, Pew notes, and “there is little validity to concerns that people who use SNS experience smaller social networks, less closeness, or are exposed to less diversity,” its report concludes. Furthermore: “The likelihood of an American experiencing a deficit in social support, having less exposure to diverse others, not being able to consider opposing points of view, being untrusting, or otherwise being disengaged from their community and American society generally is unlikely to be a result of how they use technology, especially in comparison to common predictors.”
Overall, then, compared with non-Internet users, Facebookers are 5.89 times more likely to have attended a political meeting, 2.79 times more likely to talk to another person about voting, and 2.19 times more likely to report having actually voted.
While it’s still legitimate, I think, to wonder how the structures of social networks play out on the broader cultural level, it’s increasingly clear that our early dystopian fears of an Internet of Isolation are largely unfounded. We may be bowling alone, yes — but we’re also doing a lot of other things together, as a community, online and off.

Who clicks more on local news, New York or Omaha? Surprising data from the FCC on local online news

NiemanJournalismLab reporting:
While one can argue with some of the interpretations, Matthew Hindman’s new study on how local online news is consumed gives us interesting data on reader behavior. And beyond the headline — people don’t consume a lot of local online news — there’s also an interesting data set that goes beyond national generalizations to individual markets.
Below, I’ve broken out three slices of that data set that get at the same question: How does local online news consumption differ from community to community?
Hindman’s analysis looked at 100 metro areas in the United States and examined sampled data from comScore on how web users in those metro areas use the Internet. He then tried to identify all noteworthy local news sites in those cities. (You can read the full paper for his methodology, but he was looking in part for any local news site that was viewed at least once by at least 1 percent of the comScore sample in a particular month.) Armed with that list, he was then able to see how much of a typical web user’s Internet time was spent at local news sites.
The first slice of that data: How many pageviews did a typical web user of each metro area generate per month on local news sites? A higher number means more clicks and more engagement on local news sites. So, for example, in Baton Rouge, a typical web user generated 26.1 pageviews on Baton Rouge-area news sites. On the other end of the spectrum, a typical Los Angeles web user generated only 3.9 pageviews on L.A.-area news sites.
There’s a wide spectrum of results from the top 100 markets. You’ll notice that No. 1, far and away, is Salt Lake City — specifically, at KSL-TV, whose big investment in online classifieds generates a remarkable 250 million pageviews a month. It’s a big outlier in this dataset.
...The next slice is of something called the Herfindahl-Hirschman Index. It’s a statistical measure of the vibrancy of competition and the distribution of market power in a given market. It uses a scale of 0 to 10,000, with 10,000 representing a perfect monopoly and 0 representing perfect competition and the absence of market power on the part of any of the competing businesses. (I am not a statistician, so I hope I’m doing this justice.)
If you’d like to see all of the market-by-market data from Hindman’s report, either check the pdf (starting on page 41) or see the Google Spreadsheets version I uploaded.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Newspaper Associaton of America data

NAA reporting:
Trends & Numbers
This section is designed to provide quick access to the facts and statistics that define the changing newspaper industry. In addition, it aggregates reports either produced or commissioned by NAA in the areas of Advertising, Audience, and Circulation.

Top 10 Online Advertising Trends Of The Decade

Following up on the Top 10 Tech Trends Of The Decade and drilling down on trend item five, in this post we’re going to look at the evolution of online advertising and what we might expect to see in the coming decade. At present, the online advertising industry is at $55 billion, and mobile advertising is at $2 billion. With the rise of Asia, Africa, and Latin America, mobile advertising will gain momentum. Let’s take a closer look.
1. Paid Search Rules:
Google ruled the past decade with paid search advertising. There is still no better, more effective form of advertising on the Internet. Keywords are becoming expensive, but if you know what you are doing, you will still be able to find cost-effective ways of acquiring customers using PPC.
2. Organic Search Gains Momentum:
Increasingly though, marketers are starting to understand the importance of organic search. Almost 90% of the entire Web’s search traffic flows through organic search, yet the search marketing industry is generally obsessed with PPC. This decade, some sanity and rationalization will take the place of this weird dichotomy.
3. Display Advertising and Vertical Ad Networks:
The best trend I have spotted during the past decade is the rise of vertical ad networks like Glam Media, Federated, HotChalk, Travel Ad Network, and others that focus on specific verticals. This is pretty much the only way for advertisers to do brand advertising across the fragmented spectrum of blogs and other online hangouts for audiences, including social media. In the coming decade, vertical ad networks will get better at providing more value to advertisers through advanced technology for audit, measurement, analytics and optimization, as well as richer engagement capabilities like interactive and video ads.
4. Social Media Advertising:
Social networks, especially the big ones like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn, have a lot of...

Online Advertising Trends for 2011

As another year draws to a close, we can look forward to seeing numerous “best of” or compilations featuring the last year’s on-goings. From movies to sports, there’s definitely no shortage of lists.  Instead of adding to the category of what we already lived through, below are a few online advertising trends we can expect to live through next year.
• “Pay Per” Business Model will continue to dominate the online world – Thanks to Google, we’ll continue to see the “pay per” real-time bidding model continue to grow as advertisers embrace the ability to pay for only those eyes that see or click on an ad (no wasted money on uninterested audiences).  2010 saw Google launch their Pay Per Call service which allows users to select and call a phone number from within a browser. Advertisers are then charged for each incoming call generated from the banner or ad word served. Advertisers are handed leads and consumers no longer need to hunt for a pen.  Thanks Google! This advertising trend is sure to stay around.
• FCC will square off with online tracking advocates – We can also expect to see a strong stand against the FCC’s proposed “Do Not Track List” from various watchdog groups, creating a fierce battle with definite affects for advertisers.
• Availability and quantity of online content will continue to grow – If tasked with finding an online audience without behavioral or geographical targeting, advertisers will be forced to seek additional and different methods of delivery for their message.  The quantity of online branded entertainment will increase – allowing advertisers to create unique, interesting content with a message about their product woven in.  2010 saw  Youtube’s views per day increase from 1 billion to 2 billion illustrating people are increasingly turning to the internet for entertainment and content.
• Advertisers will seek new ways to online target/track consumers – Social media outlets will see a flurry of new companies looking to send their message via new opportunities such as promoted Tweets on Twitter. Especially if online tracking is no longer available. Best Buy, Red Bull, Sony and other influential brands have already signed on for the service. I’m fairly confident we’re not going to see Myspace rise up and grab some of the Social Media market share from Facebook, but then again I never would have predicted Farmville to be an internet phenom.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Uusi e-kirjayritys lupaa kirjailijoille muhkean palkkion

Uusi kirja-alan yritys E-painos ryhtyy tuottamaan ja myymään digitaalisia versioita jo julkaistuista kirjoista. E-painos tekee sopimukset suoraan kirjailijoiden kanssa, muuttaa teokset sähköiseen muotoon ja myy e-kirjat jälleenmyyjille.
Yrityksen perustajat, WSOY:n entiset työntekijät Jussi Keinonen ja Matti Niskanen, lupaavat kirjailijalle suuren osan – 75 prosenttia – myyntihinnasta.
Tuotantokustannukset pysyvät alhaalla, sillä yritys aikoo erikoistua jo toimitettuun kirjallisuuteen. Jos kirjasta on olemassa sähköinen tiedosto, e-kirjaversion voi tehdä jopa muutamassa päivässä. Muussa tapauksessa valmiit kirjat skannataan ja oikoluetaan.
Yritys iskee hyvään saumaan, sillä kustantajilla saattaa olla oikeudet uusien kirjojen sähköiseen julkaisuun, mutta vanhempien kirjojen oikeudet ovat kirjailijoilla itsellään.
E-painos ei kuitenkaan aio ostaa kirjailijoilta oikeuksia. "Kirjailija on itse julkaisija. Hän päättää jakelusta ja hinnasta", Keinonen kertoo.