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Technology Evolution and its Impact on News

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1 Technology Evolution and its Impact on News
Richard Gingras

2 Beware! Do not presume the old journalistic model will be saved by new technology It won’t!

3 Technology Progression: Simplified
Networks Faster, more pervasive, hopefully cheaper Computers Faster, smaller, more multi-functional Mobile Thinner, more powerful, hopefully carrier independent Displays Thin, flexible, embedded Projection Pico! Embedded, personal, pervasive GPS Geo-code Pervasive Embedded

4 What won’t change We had better hope so!
Openness of networks Access to distribution Free speech What killed newspapers was not Google but the openness of the Internet Openness broke distribution control and busted newspaper business models

5 Implications of the Web on News Product Design
Richard Gingras

6 On an optimistic note… Journalism’s future will be stronger and more valued than journalism’s past or present Newspapers 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

7 Accept new economics Presume no economic savior, there is none
Newspaper economics were based on controlled distribution – that’s now anachronistic Micro-payments are not a macro solution $40 print ad CPMs are history Subscription fees are self-defeating unless content has extraordinary value Revenue: assume an RPM of $10 Expense: drive to a PV CPM of $6

8 Traffic flows Inbound traffic: Cover Page versus Rest-of-Site
50% 50%

9 Traffic flows Source of rest-of-site traffic
Search, aggregators, , blogs, news-ranking sites (e.g. Digg, NewsTrust) Behaviors: query-driven as well as browsing 83% use search to access news; 53% frequently 15-25% of news site traffic comes from search/aggregation It’s not only a good traffic but it’s a great source of new “uniques” and an opportunity to drive product discovery

10 Rethink content architecture
Core of the matrix is the story Like music, the atomic unit of news has changed Need/opportunity to rethink form and function Don’t think editions; don’t think ephemeral streams of articles Is it an article? Or is it a living resource? Ephemeral anthrax attack article Persistent anthrax attack resource

11 Create living resources
Web rewards URL stability Better page rank and placement in search More visitors and usage against a single topic More sharing and engagement

12 Leverage the trusted crowd
More writers publishing today than ever before The blogosphere, Wikipedia More chaff, yes, but also more wheat How can one optimally: Harvest high-quality, self-determined work Lead work into areas of interest/need Provide guidance on ethics and style Develop appropriate compensation models There is a huge benefit to those who develop the skills and processes to do this well

13 Building trust via transparency
People trust people, not institutions – and the institutions are shrinking The site’s value and values should be clear Ethic policies Editorial processes Author bios and history of work Recent Articles

14 Rethink the output “Every new medium begins as a container for the old”
The long-form article is not the end product of the reporting effort The end product is organic: Articles, posts, facts, related docs, reader contributions, discussion, databases, etc. etc. And, yes, the long-form should be reconsidered Audience is low, abandonment is high How might one better achieve the objective to inform?

15 Abandonment by Length 59% 2 67% 3 71% 4 100% 41% 100% 43% 33% 100% 44%
30% 29% 71% 4

16 Database journalism How 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

17 Rethink the roles What 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?

18 Richard Gingras 650 793 0093
Finis Richard Gingras

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