Wednesday, February 27, 2013

10 ‘Snowfall’-like Projects That Break Out Of Standard Article Templates

mediabistro reporting:

“Snowfall” has become a verb in many newsrooms after The New York Times launched its beautiful multimedia project earlier this year. Though the format was touted as the future of online storytelling by some, The Times wasn’t the first to pull of this type of format. If you’re looking for inspiration to make snow fall in your own newsroom, here are a few other examples, not all of which come from newsrooms, as I think it would be irresponsible of us to confine ourselves to the sphere of news organizations when collecting inspiration for innovative storytelling formats.
1. Pitchfork: Glitter in the Dark

Publishers See Mobile Measurement Gap

Digiday reporting:
Complaining about third-party measurement in media is as old as media itself. See: carping about Nielsen ratings in TV.
On the Web, the de facto measurement standard is ComScore. For years, publishers have griped about the accuracy of the numbers, pointing out that ComScore’s panel-based measurements often differ, sometimes significantly, with their own internal figures.
Now, publishers have a new list of gripes, starting first and foremost with the problem of audiences spread across different devices. With mobile now comprising as much as 40 percent of some publishers’ traffic, it is a major issue, several publishers said. ComScore claims to be addressing this, but some publishers see it as little more than another ploy to drum up revenue.
“It’s laughably bad for us, and they still try to sell us anytime we complain or ask questions about methodology,” Erik Martin, gm of Reddit, said in an email. “They insist on using their tracking beacon, but every time we’ve tried that, it slows down our site tremendously and they have no answer.”
The ComScore multipaltform product is a synthesis of three products — media, mobile and video. Planners use ComScore to determine which publishers get on advertising plans. That means publishers have a lot to lose if their numbers are off significantly.
“ComScore doesn’t count mobile traffic, period,” said one publisher. “Add that to their normal bullshit, panel-based discrepancies, and their numbers are not based on reality.”...

...Lipsman said that ComScore does count mobile traffic, but that phone and tablet are lumped together. There’s no standalone tablet measurement yet, but publishers can see their mobile traffic in totality.
“Tablets [are] a universal concern that goes beyond ComScore,” said Brian Hughes, svp of audience analysis and practice lead at Magna Global. “It’s a huge knowledge gap in our industry right now not to have passively measured insights on what types of media are consumed on tablets and how long people spend with them. All the tablet research that exists today is based on surveys, and we are always suspect of self-reported behavior.”

Monday, February 25, 2013

What Nextdoor is doing right with hyperlocal and Patch is doing wrong

Gigaom reporting:
Serving hyperlocal community-level or neighborhood-level markets with news and information is a tough business — just ask NBC, which recently closed the doors on its EveryBlock unit, or AOL, which is still fighting to keep the losses at its Patch operation from sinking the ship. So why should anyone pay attention to a startup like Nextdoor, which just got $21 million in financing from a group of venture capital funds? Because Nextdoor is doing the exact opposite of what Patch and others have done — instead of making its network wide-open, it is keeping the barriers to entry high, and that could be the key to its future success...
Instead of starting with the news and then trying to add social-networking aspects later, Nextdoor started with the social networking side: the idea behind the service is that you and your neighbors need a place to talk about those school closings or crime reports or even where to find a good mechanic or babysitter, and doing it on Facebook or Twitter or another public network isn’t appealing for a variety of reasons, including privacy concerns.
So what Nextdoor does is make it as difficult as possible to join — the exact opposite of what Facebook and even Patch try to do. Only people who actually live in a specific neighborhood can join the Nextdoor network for that area, and the service doesn’t just accept your word: it verifies it by checking your credit-card information, calling your home phone or sending a postcard directly to your house with a special registration code on it.

5 reasons mobile will disrupt journalism like the Internet did a decade ago

Poynter reporting:
Imagine being able to rewind to the 1990s and help your news organization make key decisions — and create new habits — to help prevent a landslide of layoffs and enable the business to thrive on the Internet. That’s the opportunity we have today with mobile, the second tidal wave of change about to collide with the news industry.
To compete in this new world, news organizations must adopt a “mobile first” mindset and create sustainable mobile businesses. But many newsrooms believe that a “mobile, too” approach will be enough, as advocated by Business Insider’s Henry Blodget.
“The reality is that we live in a multi-screen world, not a ‘mobile world’ that operates parallel to a ‘desktop world,’” he writes in a blog post. “For some services, such as news and information, the laptop/desktop screen is still by far the most dominant screen. So abandoning that screen, or designing for another screen first, just doesn’t make sense.”
Blodget’s view is matched by many in journalism, but it misses the big picture. Here’s why.
1. A responsive design isn’t a mobile strategy
The mobile revolution isn’t about design and distribution as much as it is about revenue disruption...

Sunday, February 24, 2013

The future of tablets: More sensory, personalized devices, less ‘awful’ enterprise apps

TabTimes reporting:
A lively, free-spirited discussion on the future of tablets by a trio of well-known Silicon Valley analysts wrapped up the first TabTimes Tablet Strategy West conference this week.
Tech blog superstar Robert Scoble moderated the discussion and contributed plenty of his own ideas including the notion that “predictive technology” like Google Now is filtering out to our devices.
He said, for example, that sports arenas and stadiums are starting to design services for customers at the events who bring their devices (smartphones and tablets) with them such as exclusive video views of the game action.

“Now that they know people will bring their devices to the game, they want to figure out 'how do you get a beer to that person'?” said Scoble, the Startup Liaison Officer at Rackspace.
Ben Bajarin of Creative Strategies agreed there is a lot of personalization, but said we sometimes give our devices and services too much credit for being “smart.”
“Google Now is an anticipation engine, but our devices aren’t really that smart, we have to set them up and customize them first,’ he said. “We’re nowhere near a future of uber personalization.”
Analyst Rob Enderle disagreed, noting that services from Google and Amazon do learn a lot by simply tracking our behavior online.
“Amazon is the best example. They do learn about you and what to sell you and they turn that into revenue,” he said.
Analyst Maribel Lopez said a related trend is a variation on the idea of real-time information called the Right Time experience. “It’s the idea of getting you the information or service just when you need it.

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Print advertising revenue at Washington Post was down 14% in 2012

Poynter reporting:
Revenue at the Washington Post Co.’s newspaper operations was down 7 percent over 2011, the company said in a release of its fourth-quarter and year-end earnings Friday. Revenue from print advertising was down 12 percent in the fourth quarter and 14 percent for the year. Online revenue was up, with a 6 percent increase in online display ad revenue over 2011. Daily circulation went down nearly 9 percent over the previous year, and Sunday circulation was down about 6 percent: “average daily circulation at The Washington Post totaled 471,800 and average Sunday circulation totaled 687,200,” the release said. The release does not break out circulation revenue.
The Post’s newspaper division had an operating loss of “$53.7 million in 2012, compared to an operating loss of $21.2 million in 2011,” the release said.

Friday, February 22, 2013

TIME magazine publishes a 36 pages long article

Poynter reporting:
Time magazine’s new issue features “the longest single piece ever published by a single writer” in the magazine, according to a press release: Steven Brill’s 36-page behemoth story about the American system of healthcare.

The story is available free to non-subscribers.
Bloomberg Businessweek’s cover takes on the American system of housing: Susan Berfield (with Amanda J. Crawford and Peter Coy) looks at a developing housing boom, which sort of looks like the last housing boom.;postID=4668230931680312495

5 Academic Publishing Trends to Watch in 2013

Publishing Perspectives reporting:
2012 was certainly an eventful, some would even say turbulent, year in the unpredictable world of academic publishing. A crescendo of calls for a complete re-imagination of traditional pay-for-access models, the ‘Academic Spring’ campaign, the high profile Cost of Knowledge Elsevier protest, and the launch of a plethora of new initiatives aimed at directly challenging the role of publishers, capped a tempestuous, transitional year. So what can we expect from 2013?
Here are five predictions of what are likely to be the prominent academic publishing trends and developments in the year to come:

1. R.I.P. Impact Factor? The academic and research community has long bemoaned the monopoly that the Impact Factor has had over the scholarly ecosystem.

4. The Inexorable Rise of MobileAfter news that smartphones had reached 50% market penetration in the US last month, and recent Pew Research Center’s latest research indicated that 25% of American consumers now own a tablet, it’s increasingly difficult to argue that the future of computing is not mobile. The trend is even more stark when we look to emerging economies. In India, for example, the mobile web has already surpassed use of desktop internet.

5. The Future is DataDynamic data, or the ability to publish and commercialize data so that users can manipulate and interact with it, is by no means a new concept, but certainly something that NGOs and journal publishers in particular are exploring with increasing vigour. Instead of simply supplying complicated raw data that can only be interpreted by the most judicious of statisticians, publishers are now creating interfaces with formatting templates, filters and tools that can generate customised reports. This new form of data provision opens up a publisher’s data to wider audiences, so that economists, for example, can delve deeper into economic trends and market analysis. 



Thursday, February 21, 2013

Publisher: Biggest threat is continued downsizing of newsroom

Reynolds Center reporting:
A newspaper’s competitive advantage over TV is the size of its newsroom, according to a Texas publisher.
Jim Moroney at The Dallas Morning News  said newspaper newsrooms typically are two to four times larger than their TV counterparts. The larger scale, Moroney said, allows newspapers to devote the resources to more in-depth stories with analysis and perspective.
“That’s how we compete and differentiate ourselves from the TV stations,” he said. “The biggest threat to our industry is the continued downsizing of our newsroom.”
Four publishers on Tuesday discussed their thoughts about the future of the industry. From left, they were consultant Alan Mutter (moderator), Terry Kroeger of The Omaha World-Herald, Jim Moroney of The Dallas Morning News, Larry Kramer of USA Today and Mike Klingensmith of Star Tribune Media Co. (photo by Carlie Kollath Wells)
His comments came as part of part of an executive roundtable Tuesday at the Key Executives Mega Conference in New Orleans. The roundtable featured the publishers of the Star Tribune Media Co., USA Today, The Omaha World-Herald and The Dallas Morning News.
The publishers also attributed their paywall success to the local, unique content from their staffs. All the papers represented, except for USA Today, have some form of paywall.

Innovation from upstarts

emedia vitals reporting:
While digital replicas have allowed publishers to quickly establish a presence on the iPad and other tablets, much of the design innovation with tablet magazines is occurring among digital-only publishers that are unconstrained by legacy print conventions. These digital-only publishers are offering compelling tablet experiences, leveraging interactivity and other enhancements without abandoning traditional layout and navigation principles.
Consider the latest title from Future Publishing, a weekly called Football Week that covers the UK’s English Premier soccer league. Launched earlier this month, the iPad publication includes several innovative design elements while preserving what Mike Goldsmith, editor in chief of Future's digital editions, called its “magazineyness.”
Football Week features a customizable cover (based on a reader’s favorite team), data-driven statistics and standings, and live updates from league games. The navigation is clean throughout and more intuitive than many digital replicas I’ve seen.
Future is also getting creative with advertisers: One section of the magazine, sponsored by EA Sports, promotes EA’s FIFA 13 video game, and an interactive game called “Extra Time” prompts readers to enter an EA-sponsored weekly sweepstakes.
“There is no manual for this,” Goldsmith told The Guardian. “We're making something that's as beautiful as a magazine, but as live and relevant as a website. It's been really enjoyable, and also a real rollercoaster."

Don't let anonymous audiences pull you down

emedia vitals reporting:
The anonymous audience is a revenue anchor that pulls down business performance for media publishers. A behavioral analysis of fly-by visitors highlights just how much of a drag they are on the revenue model.
A robust revenue model creates multiple streams of revenue from an audience member. The revenue potential of an audience member is defined by both the engagement behavior with media (i.e., advertising revenue) and the purchase behavior for events, daily deals, commerce or subscriptions (i.e., direct revenue). To quantify the revenue drag of the anonymous audience, Scout Research analyzed the revenue potential of an anonymous visitor compared to a registered visitor at every level of loyalty (i.e., fly-bys, occasionals, regulars and fans).
The infographic to the right illustrates the results from the analysis of anonymous fly-bys compared to registered fly-bys within an audience. For the analysis, a fly-by was defined as a visitor who visited the site no more than once every two months. The analysis looked at six months' worth of audience activity on a media website.
The first notable difference between anonymous and registered fly-bys is that registered fly-bys generate 7.5 times more page views than anonymous fly-bys. In other words, registered fly-bys have 7.5 times more revenue potential for the display advertising on the site.

As digital traffic booms, Forbes evolves its ad revenue model

emedia vitals reporting:
The reinvention of Forbes Media extends well beyond its content model. The business side of the house is in transition as well as the business publisher seeks to diversify its ad products and keep pace with the growth of the digital audience.
Forbes is building out both its advertising products and its operations as it seeks to capitalize on a steady rise of website visitors. In a phone interview, Chief Revenue Officer Meredith Levien talked about the growth of Forbes’ digital business and the opportunities that lie ahead in areas such as native advertising and mobile.
By most measures, the growth of has been impressive. Unique monthly visitors increased 67% from June 2010 to January 2013 (comScore U.S.). January’s 16 million unique visitors in the U.S. was a 26% bump from January 2012.
comScore's report also notes, however, that three in 10 ads are never actually in view, “leading to significant waste, weaker campaign performance and a glut of poor-performing inventory that imbalances the supply-and-demand equation and depresses CPMs.”
Publishers such as Forbes are looking to counter that wasteful spending with native advertising programs that more closely integrate brand messaging and editorial content. Forbes’ BrandVoice program (previously called AdVoice) is one of the more successful examples of native advertising to date. BrandVoice allows advertisers to publish blog posts on using the same publishing tools as editorial staff and contributors. The only distinction is a logo on each post that identifies the brand. As Chief Product Officer Lewis D’Vorkin likes to say, the posts sink or swim on their own merit, just like any other post.
Two dozen advertisers have participated in the online and print iterations of the program since its launch in 2010. About a dozen are actively posting on, Levien said.  About 15% of total advertising revenue comes from brands participating in BrandVoice – a figure that Levien expects will rise to 25% this year. (Forbes does not break out specific BrandVoice spend.)

Forrester: Marketers Should Talk Less, Design More

MarketingDaily reporting:
A new report from Forrester says that while marketers may be increasingly proficient at reaching out to consumers through new technologies including social and mobile, they need to figure out how to talk less and design more.
While overwhelming consumers with chatter is already a problem, with 53% of online adults already saying they’re annoyed by the amount of advertising they see and 37% saying that they would rather not be contacted frequently by brands, marketer blabbing is about to explode. 
In the near future, writes Forrester analyst Anthony Mullen, just about everything will be digital -- from wearables to wine labels. “Forget about the third screen,” he writes in the report, based on interviews with such vendor companies as Adobe, Microsoft, and SapientNitro. Between falling price points and new technology, which already has 85% of tablet owners using them while watching TV, “eventually, you can expect displays painted on any surface; Microsoft, Philips, and Samsung are all testing nanotech paint to create ad hoc displays.”
In order to be heard amid all that noise, marketers will need to cut spending on paid advertising, and instead funnel it into innovation, consumer insights, and “adjacent practices, such as customer experience, analytics, IT, and product design.”

Read more:

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Killing the “Pay First, Read Later” E-bookselling Model

Publishing Perspectives reporting:
Sometimes you encounter an idea that seems so obvious it’s amazing that nobody has thought of it before. That’s how Yoav Lorch feels about Total Boox, his intriguing new reading platform that is about to be unveiled this March. The idea is simple: instead of paying up front for a book you may never even look at, you download it for free and then only pay according to how much of the book you read....
Total Boox is currently set up for tablets using both the Ios and Android operating systems. Users will supply credit card information and their accounts will be charged according to how much of each book they read on or offline. The system is logical —if you read 10% then you pay for 10%, if you read 100% you pay for 100%. Publishers are free to set their own prices, and Lorch thinks that this system may enable them to ultimately charge higher prices. “I think that part of the downward trend on Amazon, of giving deep discounts is because of the uncertainty involved. Buyers want to minimize risk; but that risk is eliminated on Total Boox. And if people only pay for what they read, then ultimately they may be willing to pay more.”..
“The publishing community is frightened,” says Lorch. “There’s a lot of fear. But there’s more fear regarding what’s going to happen if they don’t change. Amazon will kill them. They understand this, and they know that the eBook will not remain similar to what it is now. Everybody knows this.” Libraries could also benefit, he adds: “This could help close the painful gap between publishers and libraries. If the publisher is going to be fully paid for every person reading the book, then they have nothing to lose.”

Tech Predictions for 2013: It’s All About Mobile

NYT reporting:
If there is one theme that will be the topic of digital business this year, it is mobile.
ComScore, which tracks Web and mobile usage, published a report about what happened in 2012, and what to expect in 2013.
It shows that the effects of a movement toward mobile are everywhere, from shopping to media to search. According to the report, “2013 could spell a very rocky economic transition,” and businesses will have to scramble to stay ahead of consumers’ changing behavior.
Here are a few interesting tidbits from the 48-page report.
The mobile transition is happening astonishingly quickly. Last year, smartphone penetration crossed 50 percent for the first time, led by Android phones. People spend 63 percent of their time online on desktop computers and 37 percent on mobile devices, including smartphones and tablets, according to comScore.
Just as they compete on computers, Facebook and Google are dominant and at each other’s throats on phones.Google’s map app for the iPhone, which had been the most used mobile app, lost its No. 1 spot to Facebook after Apple kicked Google’s maps off the iPhone in October. Now, Facebook reaches 76 percent of the smartphone market and accounts for 23 percent of total time spent using apps each month. The next five most used apps are Google’s, which account for 10 percent of time on apps.
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images As smartphone use continues to increase, companies such as Google must compete to secure influence in the app market.
As mobile continues to take share from desktop, some industries have been particularly affected, and they are seeing significant declines in desktop use of their products as a result. They are newspapers, search engines, maps, weather, comparison shopping, directories and instant messenger services.

Monday, February 18, 2013

The Need for a Digital "New Journalism"

Monday Note reporting:
News reporting is aging badly. Legacy newsrooms style books look stuck in a last Century formalism (I was tempted to write "formalin"). Take a newspaper, print or online. When it comes news reporting, you see the same old structure dating back to the Fifties or even earlier. For the reporter, there is the same (affected) posture of effacing his/her personality behind facts, and a stiff structure based on a string of carefully arranged paragraphs, color elements, quotes, etc.

I hate useless quotes. Most often, for journalists, such quotes are the equivalent of the time-card hourly workers have to punch...
 1/ Readers' Time Budget. People are deluged with things to read. ..
2/ Trust factor / The contract with the Brand...
3 / Competition from the inside. Strangely enough, newspapers have created their own gauge to measure their obsolescence. By encouraging their writing staff to blog, they unleashed new, more personal, more... modern writing practices...
4/ The influence of magazine writing.
Digital media needs to invent its own journalistic genres.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The newsonomics of zero and The New York Times

NiemanJournalismLab reporting:
Perhaps zero is the loneliest number.
That’s the number The New York Times Co. — the United States’ second largest newspaper company — ended up with 2012, as it reported revenues last week. The most accurate number, when the year’s anomalous 53rd accounting week is taken out, is 0.3 percent up. Still, that’s a variety of zero, especially when we look at NYT Co.’ last quarter, where it ended down 0.7 percent.
Zero would seem to indicate not much happening here. Zero is an unsexy digit for corporate revenues — flat, as in pancake. It’s not growth, and it’s not death-spiral decline — both phenomena much easier to describe. So zero is causing lots of problems for those — financial analysts, investors, and media beat reporters — trying to describe the state of legacy print media today. But, in fact, the Times’ zero is noteworthy, and tells us much about the strategies — and straits — of our publishing times.
The New York Times Co.’s zero, in fact, is actually a milestone number. It’s the first increase, however meager, in overall revenues since 2006, when it managed a 1.8 percent increase in revenues.
Check out the chart below and you can see, year by year, the sharp decline in NYT Co. revenues. Back in 2007, advertising and circulation revenues totalled almost $3 billion. The decline since then has happened almost entirely in advertising.
If you take out the $276 million earned in 2007 by the company’s Regional Newspaper Group (sold off in 2012), the Times’ remaining flagship and New England properties would have produced about $1.7 billion in advertising back then. That means ad revenues are 52 percent of what they were seven years ago

Content Marketing: The Fallacy that More Content is Better

cmi reporting:
Here’s a little state of the industry that I’ve noticed:
  • There are hundreds of marketing gurus out there who will tell you that more is better.
  • Brands and publishers alike are setting up massive newsrooms to newsjack every possible opportunity.
  • Keyword phrases are being locked and loaded, as we speak, into thousands of content marketing programs around the world — curated content and original content alike.
  • Organizations of all sizes are figuring out how much content they can get out of every contractor they work with, and how to get that investment down to as little per hour as possible.
Now, I’m not saying that any of this is wrong; but it’s definitely not better.....
Think about your current content marketing program. Now read the questions below:Do you have a documented content strategy as part of your marketing program, or are you just filling channels with content?
  • Is the content you are distributing truly best of breed — meaning that it’s as good or better than anything else available?
  • Are you really making an impact on your customer’s lives or careers with the information you provide to them?
  • Are you in the game just to sell more, or are you in it to make a difference?
  • Are you setting up your content marketing department around more or around best?
How do you know if your content is truly epic?
Here is one easy litmus test: Are you seeing behaviors change?
Are customers sharing your content? Are members of your customers’ networks sharing your content? Is your content a central part of conversations on the web? Are prospects signing up to receive your content on an ongoing basis? If you don’t deliver your content at the regularly scheduled time, are customers calling you to find out where it is? Are influencers creating new content from your old content?

ComScore Says 5.3 Trillion Ads Shown In 2012, But 3 In 10 Are Never Seen

TechCrunch reporting: just released its Digital Future In Focus report for 2013, offering a broad swath of data in areas like social networking, search and mobile. But the most interesting finding, at least to me, involved display advertising — that 5.3 trillion impressions were served in the United States, but three in 10 are never actually rendered in-view.
That’s consistent with what comScore said in last year’s report when it found that 31 percent of ad impressions are never seen by consumers. Even though this is ongoing issue, the report says we should “look for advertisers to demand more accountability and publishers to reconfigure their site design and ad inventory to improve performance in the coming year.”
More broadly, large advertisers are getting smarter with their ad buys, comScore says, using programmatic buying and improved targeting, so they don’t need to increase their ad buying as much as in the past. For example, there were 144 advertisers delivering more than 1 billion ad impressions in the fourth quarter of 2012 — pretty steady compared to the 145 in the same period of 2011.
Who are these large advertisers? Well, the top advertiser by impressions was AT&T, followed by Microsoft, Experian, Verizon, and State Farm. (AT&T was the biggest advertiser last year too.) The biggest advertiser category was online media, followed by retail and finance.

Time Inc., the Unwanted Party Guest Being Pushed Out the Door

Media decoder reporting:
On Wednesday, Time Inc., the largest magazine publisher in the country, found itself at the wrong end of a 10-foot pole. Its corporate parent, Time Warner, which has a broad and lucrative array of entertainment assets, was making plans to spin off much of the tattered print unit in a shotgun marriage with Meredith, a Midwest-based company that was trying to do much the same thing.
Under the plan, which is far from final, the two companies would contribute magazines to create a new, publicly held company that would be left to make its own way.
In shearing off its print division, Time Warner is following a path laid down by News Corporation, which announced last year that its entertainment assets and print assets would be split into two divisions. Its stock hit a five-year high when the plan was floated last June, and sometime early this summer there will be two companies – Fox Group and News Corporation – that will allow the fast-growing film and television assets to grow unencumbered by legacy print businesses.
Print publishing may have lost significant currency with consumers and advertisers in a digital age, but investors have a far deeper animus. They see little possibility that the business as a whole will right itself, and they find its lack of growth wanting compared to the cable, television and film businesses that are now the epicenter of the media business.

Monday, February 11, 2013

Tablets Provide Better Print Reader For Older

MediaDailyNews reporting:
Newspapers and magazines may find the tablet a saving grace with older readers.
They have an easier time reading text on tablet computers than print on paper, according to a new study by German researchers -- which may speed adoption by older consumers who enjoy daily news reads, provided that consumer electronics marketers can alter habits.
Researchers at Johannes Gutenberg University in Mainz, Germany studied the amount of cognitive effort required to read text displayed on different media, including paper, e-readers and tablet computers. After dividing participants into two groups, one consisting of 36 subjects ages 21-34, the other of 21 subjects ages 60+, the researchers tracked eye movements and brain activity with electrodes to determine how much neural power was required to read text presented in the various formats.

The older readers displayed a lower level of brain activity when reading text on an iPad tablet, the study found, and finished each page of text three to four seconds faster, on average. The researchers attributed this result to the tablet computers’ bright, backlit screens, which enhance contrast and make it easier to distinguish text.
Younger readers showed no appreciable differences in the amount of time or mental effort required to read a page of text, regardless of format.

In November, a study published by researchers at New Jersey’s Robert Wood Johnson Medical School found that tablets could help people with moderate vision loss read. The study tracked the reading speeds of 100 subjects with moderate central vision impairment when using iPads and Kindle tablets, versus print.

Read more:

How four newspaper organizations created new revenue streams

Poynter reporting:
U.S. newspaper organizations are shedding print ad revenue far faster than they can generate replacement dollars, reported Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism a year ago, and those organizations remain stubbornly resistant to innovation — except for a few outliers. For a follow-up, PEJ has just released a study on four such outliers that are making much faster revenue progress than the norm.
One of those cases, Clark Gilbert’s Mormon-owned Deseret News, will be familiar to those who follow the industry’s transformation efforts. The three others provide fresh looks and results:

Five ways media companies can build paywalls around people instead of content

paidcontent reporting:
With a few exceptions, the paywalls and subscription plans that have been erected by hundreds of newspapers and other publications over the past year share one quality — namely, they ask readers to pay a single amount for everything that is published, regardless of what those readers are interested in. What else could these publications do? Here’s one suggestion: Why not monetize individual writers? Doing do could build stronger relationships with readers that would create more long-term value, and possibly prevent some star writers from going the Andrew Sullivan route.
This might not be easy to do — especially since many media outlets seem to have their hearts (and wallets) set on paywalls as a solution — but the industry is in such dire straits at this point that almost any reasonable idea probably shouldn’t be ruled out. Some publications are betting on sponsored content, some are relying on real-world events and others are looking at affiliate links or “brand journalism.” Why not personal paywalls? (Note: We’re going to be talking about alternative monetization strategies at our paidContent Live conference in New York on April 17).

Why personal paywalls? Getting to know readers

I’ve tried to argue in the past that one of the biggest weaknesses of traditional paywalls or subscription plans is the undifferentiated quality they bring to a newspaper’s content: everyone hits the same wall and is asked to pay the same amount, regardless of their interests. This reinforces one of the overall weaknesses many traditional publishers have, which is that they know virtually nothing about their readers — or at least not enough to take advantage of that knowledge in any meaningful way. They are about as personalized as a street-corner newspaper box.
This is important because advertisers in particular are looking for personalized targeting, which is one of the reasons they are looking to new providers such as Facebook and Twitter for their business...
...2) Create new forms of specialized content:
3) Host live events featuring your writers:
5) Provide access to your writers’ expertise:

Offer your core readers more, not less 

Sunday, February 10, 2013

Coming Soon: A Juniors' Edition of The New York Times?

Forbes reporting:

On a conference call to discuss the publisher’s fourth-quarter earnings, Denise Warren, chief advertising officer and general manager of, acknowledged that the Times is gauging “the potential for an entry-level product,” among other explorations.
That’s presumably an allusion to a youth-targeted digital edition called NYT Junior, which is one of several possible new products the Times has been asking readers about in a survey, reports Ad Age’s Nat Ives.
Get ‘em while they’re young, right? It’s not such a far-fetched idea. Time and Sports Illustrated both have for-kids versions, while the Huffington Post launched a vertical called Huffpost High School (later rebranded Huffpost Teen) in 2011.
Asked about NYT Junior, a Times spokeswoman told me, via email, “We are testing concepts for how to package our core digital subscription bundles and/or potentially introduce new paid products as we close in on two years after the digital subscription launch. This one, yes, is something designed for first users, but I can’t give you much more clarity as we are in a testing/surveying phase.”

The Next Journalism will be a service that helps build community

Tom Rosenstiel reporting: This column, launching today, will be about where news media culture is heading. We are calling it The Next Journalism.
The subject matter will range widely. The search for new revenue to subsidize the mission of journalism will be part of the focus. So will experiments in how to use new technologies and platforms to gather and report news. The ethics and values that make news useful and reliable will be another topic. And a central goal will always be to understand the changing nature of how the public consumes and shares news. The column will not shy away from debate, though argument will not be the prime purpose.
It will be a reported column, one grounded in facts and offering new information. But it will be a column with a point of view.
With that in mind, readers are owed a few disclosures about the assumptions and predilections that will inform that opinions found here.
I believe that in some quarters too much of the conversation about the future of news leans toward the theological rather than the empirical. That may be understandable during a moment of change because it helps move people to think in new ways. Yet as the digital revolution matures, it can also become less helpful. It is important — and will become more important — to understand the world as it is, not only as we theorize it or wish it to be. In this space I will strive to approach topics with a cold eye and an open mind.
The ideas in this space will be grounded in history — not nostalgia. I’ve been a press critic, reporting on media, since the mid-1980s. The digital transformation is profound. It is also not unprecedented. One of those precedents is that many of the predictions about the future prove mistaken.

Surprise: Android tops iOS for device satisfaction and brand loyalty

TabTimes reporting:

If you think the iPad and the iPhone are the undisputed champions of the tablet and smartphone, it’s time to think again. In the space of a week, two new studies claim that it is Android which now attracts greater user satisfaction and brain loyalty.
The first of these reports came from media brand researcher Brand Keys, which indicated that Samsung and Amazon are now beginning to overhaul Apple for brand loyalty in both the smartphone and tablet markets.
The firm even spelled out in its 2013 Brand Keys Customer Loyalty Engagement Index how Apple’s brand loyalty is slipping, paying particularly close attention to Samsung’s increasing market share in the smartphone space.
 “It is an enormous switch-over,” Robert Passikoff, president of the New York-based Brand Keys, told Mobile Marketer. “The more personal aspects beyond just connectivity are becoming the important emotional engagement factors and that, generally speaking, brands that cannot do that are not going to be at the top of the list...
...On Device Research carried out a study of 93,825 U.S. mobile users between July of last year and January 2013 and discovered that Apple’s iPhone 5 only ranked as the fifth best smartphone, a result which led the iOS device trailing four Android-powered models.

Users were asked to rank their smartphone between 1 ( “very unsatisfied” ) and 10 (“very satisfied”), and while the iPhone 5 scored respectively (8.23), it was still leapfrogged by the Samsung Galaxy Note 2 (8.26), the HTC Rebound 4G (8.32), the Motorola Droid Razr (8.5) and Motorola Atrix HD (8.57).
Announcing the results in London today, the researcher also highlighted that 4G smartphone owners are more likely to be satisfied with their device, and told TabTimes that the iPhone 5's relatively poor showing was down to the battery life, maps on iOS 6 and -- more surprisingly -- the size of the device, a sign perhaps of increasing demand for bigger smartphones....

What is a magazine?

Flippingpages reporting:

...But what is a magazine, especially now that we have the option of producing novel digital forms? Since I’m posing the question, I have the luxury of not having to answer, which is fortunate, as for such an apparently simple question with at least one bleeding obvious answer, ‘a magazine’ is becoming increasingly hard to define.
What follows, then, are a few definitions we could use, but they’re intended as discussion points rather than definitive answers;

A magazine is a point of coalescence for passion
The magazines you read are always by definition about the things you’re passionate about, whether that’s explicit hobbies or objects, or about a lifestyle you have or aspire to. And they’re a reification of and focal point for that passion – something that will persist regardless of a magazine’s medium. (Note, of course, that magazines don’t have the monopoly on this.)
A magazine is something that makes you feel cooler/smarter/more interesting
The implicit or explicit lifestyle a magazine embodies is likely as important a factor in a purchase decision as the actual information it conveys.
A magazine is a treat
Of course, some people subscribe to magazines and journals for business reasons, but for the consumer magazine market, whether a reader subscribes or picks up a copy from a newsstand, they’re probably doing so because they fancy a small, comparatively cheap (and fat-free!) treat. Will this persist? What would happen, say, if everything were free to consumers, deliberately or through endemic piracy?
A magazine is something that informs, inspires and enriches your life...