Archive for the 'online trends' Category

Measuring news consumer interest around Occupy Wall Street

My most recent article in Harvard’s Nieman Lab explores why Occupy Wall Street is perfect for web journalism. I interviewed editors from the New York Observer, The Atlantic, and Reason to determine how hungry news consumers are for OWS content.

Bob Cohn, the online editor for The Atlantic, told me that 10 percent of the publication’s top 100 posts for the month of October concern Occupy Wall Street — by far the largest concentration of any one topic. “The full range of the digital vocabulary — videos, slide shows, text articles — is doing pretty well,” he said. “I think it’s a complete reflection of reader interest.”

Growing coverage from media outlets, Cohn said, also signals the evolution of Occupy Wall Street from a single protest to a genuine movement. He believes that many journalists were surprised when it gained legs — three to four weeks ago nobody would have been able to predict that the coverage would have blossomed into what it is today. And part of the reason news outlets are seeing so much traction on it is because it’s a movement that lends itself well to the Internet. “I think this kind of fast-moving story from city to city really is tailor-made for web coverage,” he explained. “On the other hand I’m certain that for many print publications there’s tremendous opportunity for long-form print coverage. But in the early days it’s so dynamic; it’s a great opportunity for web journalism.”

How my team at JESS3 drove 200,000 views to one of its videos

Over at JESS3, the creative design agency I work for, I describe how I secured over 100 embeds and thousands of tweets and Facebook shares for a single video:

On January 17 we released both a YouTube version and Vimeo version of the video, and JESS3’s PR team immediately went to work promoting the video to journalists, bloggers and social media users. Using our micro-targeting techniques, we first focused on tech writers who had already written about the coming anniversary. Within the first few hours after releasing The State of Wikipedia, TechCrunch — arguably one of the most influential blogs covering the tech sphere — had embedded it and covered it.

Not long afterward, Mashable — the most widely read social media blog — had written about it as well. Combined, the TechCrunch and Mashable posts alone generated over 2,000 retweets and 500 Facebook shares. ReadWriteWeb also covered the video.

After this initial success we began fanning out and pitching other communities. We successfully pitched dozens of design, advertising and animation blogs, getting hitafter hit after hit. We then moved into the long tail, pitching smaller blogs and Wikipedia enthusiasts who had influential audiences.

Is StumbleUpon trying to make the traffic it drives more “sticky”?

Now, with the widgets, publishers will have the ability to embed content that it on another page of their site, giving StumbleUpon users something else to click on locally, rather than nearly being encouraged to leave. According to a StumbleUpon representative:

The widget is a way for us to offer people a better way to see curated content on a specific Web site that other users have surfaced

StumbleUpon’s new tools help publishers stumble upon repeat visits

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The traffic-conscious journalist

Let me be clear… as I’ve said in previous posts, all these statistical reports are meant to inform our journalism, NOT to rule it. The new content engine we’re building calls for each full-time staffer and each contributor (all topic-specific experts) to be responsible for attracting and building an audience of repeat visitors — that is, loyal readers — around their brand name and their knowledge. Pandering for traffic is not brand building. Winning the respect of your audience is.

To achieve that, journalists and other experienced content creators need to apply their professionalism to the new ethos of digital publishing. They need to build a bridge from traditional media values to all those traffic numbers.

Journalists and Statistics: Paying Attention to the Data of a New Media World

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Would Batman be able to hide his secret identity in the 21st century?

The collective intelligence of the Internet’s two billion users, and the digital fingerprints that so many users leave on Web sites, combine to make it more and more likely that every embarrassing video, every intimate photo, and every indelicate e-mail is attributed to its source, whether that source wants it to be or not. This intelligence makes the public sphere more public than ever before and sometimes forces personal lives into public view.

Upending Anonymity, These Days the Web Unmasks Everyone

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What happened on the internet in the last 60 seconds


60 seconds internet

Are content aggregators inherently more profitable than content creators?

Because making a blockbuster movie is expensive, people assume that it is a scale business—that is, the bigger you are, the more cheaply you can produce something. But the defining characteristic of scale is high fixed costs that can be spread most efficiently by the largest player. Moviemaking is not this kind of business. The cost of a blockbuster does not vary based on the size of the studio producing it. Creating hit-driven content in any medium does not require significant fixed costs. Some series-based or other kinds of continuously produced content may have a larger fixed-cost component, but they are the exception, not the rule. Aggregation, on the other hand, by its nature requires a large fixed-cost infrastructure to collect, manage, market, and redistribute content. This is why a cable channel with 20 million subscribers loses money but an identical one with 100 million subscribers might have 50 percent margins.

Why Content Isn’t King

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