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Technology Evolution and its Impact on News. Richard Gingras richard@richardgingras.com 650 793 0093. Beware!. Do not presume the old journalistic model will be saved by new technology It won’t!. Technology Progression: Simplified. What won’t change We had better hope so!.

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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 richard@richardgingras.com 650 793 0093

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

    3. Technology Progression: Simplified

    4. What won’t changeWe 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 richard@richardgingras.com 650 793 0093

    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 flowsInbound traffic: Cover Page versus Rest-of-Site 50% 50%

    9. Traffic flows • Source of rest-of-site traffic • Search, aggregators, email, 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. Recent Articles 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

    14. Rethink the output“Every new medium begins as a container for the old” • The long-form article is not theendproduct 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 100% 41% 2 59% 100% 43% 33% 3 67% 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 reportinggeneratepersistent informationalresources? • Yes, but only if thethought processchanges

    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. Finis Richard Gingras richard@richardgingras.com 650 793 0093