Presentation on theme: "Technology Evolution and its Impact on News"— Presentation transcript:
1Technology Evolution and its Impact on News Richard Gingras
2Beware!Do not presume the old journalistic model will be saved by new technologyIt won’t!
3Technology Progression: Simplified NetworksFaster, more pervasive, hopefully cheaperComputersFaster, smaller, more multi-functionalMobileThinner, more powerful, hopefully carrier independentDisplaysThin, flexible, embeddedProjectionPico!Embedded, personal, pervasiveGPSGeo-codePervasiveEmbedded
4What won’t change We had better hope so! Openness of networksAccess to distributionFree speechWhat killed newspapers was not Google but the openness of the InternetOpenness broke distribution control and busted newspaper business models
5Implications of the Web on News Product Design Richard Gingras
6On an optimistic note…Journalism’s future will be stronger and more valued than journalism’s past or presentNewspapers are dying because we have put a press into everyone’s hands – can that be bad?Journalism’s future will be molded by many new creative endeavors, not by the painful transmogrification of existing entities
7Accept new economics Presume no economic savior, there is none Newspaper economics were based on controlled distribution – that’s now anachronisticMicro-payments are not a macro solution$40 print ad CPMs are historySubscription fees are self-defeating unless content has extraordinary valueRevenue: assume an RPM of $10Expense: drive to a PV CPM of $6
8Traffic flows Inbound traffic: Cover Page versus Rest-of-Site 50%50%
9Traffic flows Source of rest-of-site traffic Search, aggregators, , blogs, news-ranking sites (e.g. Digg, NewsTrust)Behaviors: query-driven as well as browsing83% use search to access news; 53% frequently15-25% of news site traffic comes from search/aggregationIt’s not only a good traffic but it’s a great source of new “uniques” and an opportunity to drive product discovery
10Rethink content architecture Core of the matrix is the storyLike music, the atomic unit of news has changedNeed/opportunity to rethink form and functionDon’t think editions; don’t think ephemeral streams of articlesIs it an article? Or is it a living resource?Ephemeral anthrax attack articlePersistent anthrax attack resource
11Create living resources Web rewards URL stabilityBetter page rank and placement in searchMore visitors and usage against a single topicMore sharing and engagement
12Leverage the trusted crowd More writers publishing today than ever beforeThe blogosphere, WikipediaMore chaff, yes, but also more wheatHow can one optimally:Harvest high-quality, self-determined workLead work into areas of interest/needProvide guidance on ethics and styleDevelop appropriate compensation modelsThere is a huge benefit to those who develop the skills and processes to do this well
13Building trust via transparency People trust people, not institutions – and the institutions are shrinkingThe site’s value and values should be clearEthic policiesEditorial processesAuthor bios and history of workRecent Articles
14Rethink the output “Every new medium begins as a container for the old” The long-form article is not the end product of the reporting effortThe end product is organic:Articles, posts, facts, related docs, reader contributions, discussion, databases, etc. etc.And, yes, the long-form should be reconsideredAudience is low, abandonment is highHow might one better achieve the objective to inform?
16Database journalismHow can technology allow more effective use of the fruit of a reporter’s efforts?Can more reporting generate persistent informational resources?Yes, but only if the thought process changes
17Rethink the rolesWhat is the day-to-day role of a reporter when creation and publication can be in the reporter’s hands?What is the day-to-day role of an editor in an edition-less environment with a crowd of participants to lead, guide, and harvest?