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#Podcast: How news outlets offer personalisation on digital platforms

August 30th, 2013 | 1 Comment | Posted by in Podcast

In efforts to grow engagement on digital platforms and give some organisation to the wealth of information online, many news outlets offer personalisation features, delivering relevant content to individual users.

This can be based on a number of different factors, such as their location, their interests and in some cases their social media connections.

In this week’s podcast we look at a number of different approaches in the news industry to personalisation: from how publisher service Near You Now aims to surface locally-relevant content to how the Financial Times’s web app recommends content based on browser history. We also look at the role personalisation plays in interactive content and the selection of content on news reader apps.

We also speak to City University London professor Steve Schifferes about his report from last year on personalisation, which he co-authored with Dr Neil Thurman.

The podcast hears from:

  • Bede McCarthy, group product manager for content, Financial Times
  • Professor Steve Schifferes, director of Financial Journalism MA, City University London
  • Sean Clarke, head of interactives, the Guardian
  • Anthony Sheehan, founder, Near You Now, Xylitic
  • Martin Stoddart, vice president of business development, Zite

You can hear future podcasts by signing up to the iTunes podcast feed.

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#news2011: Editors urged to focus on ‘conversation’ and ‘try everything’

November 28th, 2011 | No Comments | Posted by in Events, Journalism, Online Journalism

In the first panel session of the Global Editors Network summit in Hong Kong today, which looked at the impact of personalisation and “pro-sumption”, the overriding theme was for media companies to focus on a two-way conversation in order to meet the needs of their consumers.

Dan Gillmor, director of the Knight Center for Entrepreneurial Journalism in the US, described the ecosystem as “more diverse”, adding that news outlets need to change their attitude “from knowing everything, or pretending to know everything, and imagining their role as more of a guide”.

He cited the Guardian’s open newslist project as an example of community engagement which makes “perfect sense”, but later added that the involvement of the audience in journalism would need to differ based on the specific case or project.

In some cases the audience can vote and make decisions and in other cases they will be part of the process in a different way and in some cases journalists will do the job they are trained to do and then get things from the audience. There are many ways to get the audience into this process. Not all are co-decisions but collaboration in a variety of ways.

He also called on editors to engage in a conversation with those working outside the journalism sphere, urging them to “be very willing to use ideas from people not involved in journalism”.

Fellow panel member Robert Amlung, head of digital strategy at ZDF TV in Germany, also spoke of the importance of community involvement and the development of the conversation in television specifically to a two-way process.

I do trust the audience … We’re not letting the audience decide then dictate. As journalists we have our position, our ethics, all this we bring to the conversation and this will enrich the conversation and I still think journalists have something to contribute. It’s two-way, we will get something back. We get more feedback and when we do it right it will enhance quality.

During his presentation he discussed the array of platforms now being used to access content, but added that while there are these new windows for content to be seen through, “the old world” and its communities must not be forgotten.

New possibilities arise but the old world remains strong. Classical traditional media is still very much used … even newspapers are quite profitable today. It would be nonsense to talk about the demise of other media.

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