Tag Archives: AOP

#aopsummit catch-up: Journalism ethics and the BBC’s Olympics coverage

We were not able to make it along to the AOP’s digital publishing summit earlier this month, but the Association has helpfully uploaded some coverage from the event.

This includes a video published today from a session that looked at a range of topical issues at the moment: “hack gate, public interest, privacy vs openness, the PCC and press regulation”. Speakers from Heat, Digital Spy, Lewis Silkin and Mumsnet joined the panel which was chaired by BBC technology correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones.

Particularly interesting parts of the discussion include a need to address the issue of press regulation across different platforms by news publishers and the issue of online anonymity, especially topical given the Joint Committee’s recent report on the Draft Defamation Bill.

Last week AOP also posted an article by Cait O’Riordan, Head of Product, BBC Sport and London 2012, in a follow up to her keynote presentation on how the BBC Online is preparing to cover the Olympics next year.

#aopsummit: Follow the Association of Online Publishers annual conference

Journalism.co.uk reporter Rachel McAthy is on the ground at the AOP’s annual summit. A full programme for the event can be found at this link, but you can follow all the tweeted action in the liveblog courtesy of the #aopsummit hashtag.

Tweets from Journalism.co.uk can be found on @journalism_live.

Speakers include: James Bromley from Mail Online; Matt Brittin from Google; Mark Wood from Future; and Tim Brooks from Guardian News & Media.

AOP: Mirror digital director Matt Kelly and the 800lb gorilla in the room

Whether you agree with Matt Kelly’s well-documented views on Google and search engines vs. publishers, there’s no doubting the Mirror Group digital director’s way with words.

Take this soundbite from the Association of Online Publishers’ (AOP) interview when asked what is holding journalists and news organisations back from digital?

Apart from the big 800lb gorilla of the fact that there’s no money there (…) if you accept philosophically that digital has to be a part of your business going forward if you’re going to survive and you accept that at some point there will be a reconnection with the investment and reward that is necessary to pay for all this content, then the next question is are you creative enough? Sure. Have you got enough guts to innovate and to develop create compelling propositions online? Of course we have. I don’t think there’s anything holding us back. It would be nice to bring the revenues forward a bit, but I think we will certainly get there.

Video on the AOP website at this link…

Future of regional news: an ongoing discussion

Last week’s regional journalism panel at City University – in which I took part –  brought out some telling detail: just how many students would be prepared to work for online start-ups (18 out of 70) and the high proportion of income that comes from regional newspaper advertising (73 per cent of the Northern Echo’s revenue comes from advertising, six per cent of that from online). With new local projects arriving on the news scene each day, there are plenty more events at which to discuss and examine the future of regional news:

  • Tonight (Monday 7 December) is probably a bit short notice for the UK Future of News group’s inaugural meeting (Waterloo, 7pm) but keep track of the next date at this link. The group is for anyone interested in the future of journalism: “What it isn’t, is an arena to repeatedly lament the death of print, or the end of quality journalism, or to go around saying ‘paywalls must be the answer, journalists have got to eat,'”says its founder Adam Westbrook.”What it is, is a place where people can think positively, about tangible new ideas to determine the future of journalism. I hope someone will pitch a few ideas which we can all thrash out and stew over.”
  • There’s a good line-up at the AOP microlocal conference on Wednesday 9 December and with Birmingham City University’s Paul Bradshaw, Guardian Local’s Sarah Hartley and Trinity Mirror multimedia head David Higgerson involved there’s likely to be a bit of Twittering on the day: follow #aopforum.  Other speakers include Roger Green, managing director of digital media, Newsquest; Lori Cunningham, digital strategy director, Johnston Press; and James Thornett, executive product manager, BBC Local & Location Services. We’re told some tickets are still available.
  • Journalism.co.uk’s own news:rewired event on 14 January 2010, where independent regional sites will meet traditional brands pursuing new partnerships and community sourcing projects. We’ll be covering social media, data-crunching, citizen collaboration and entrepreneurship, with some of the UK’s leading regional and national online journalists.

Update: Just realised all these regional events are London-based. Any outside the capital to throw in the mix?

#aop3c: eHow.com users earning entire living from ‘How-To’ site

Demand Media’s eHow.com is allowing ‘power users’ to make their entire living by writing for the site, Shawn Colo, co-founder and head of M&A, Demand Media told delegates at the AOP Publishing Summit 2009.

With 50 million unique users a month, and ‘just shy’ of  one million articles published, some of the site’s contributors are earning ‘tens of thousands of dollars’ per year, via its ‘writer compensation programme’.

The site, which provides instructional solutions for users – anything from how to remove a red wine stain to dealing with computer software problems – was bought by Demand Media in 2006, but really expanded in 2008: “We knew it was critical to have a killer application,” said Colo.

Richard Rosenblatt started up Demand Media in 2006 with US $320 million in investor funding. Its family now also includes LIVESTRONG.COM, Trails.com, GolfLink.com, Cracked.com, Mania.com, Pluck Enterprise, Pluck on Demand, and eNom.

More to follow from the summit throughout the day: in the meantime, follow this tweet stream featuring choice 140ch updates by digital journalists and publishers at the event.

Ninety-seven per cent of ‘business decision makers’ use B2Bs online

B2B websites are used by 97 per cent of ‘business decision makers’, a new study conducted by IPSOS for the Association of Online Publishers (AOP) shows.

The results, quoted from the AOP’s release:

  • 97 per cent stated that B2B websites are the form of media most used for work
  • 60 per cent ranked business websites as an essential source of information in their work
  • 60 per cent consider business websites as providing information that they couldn’t get elsewhere

B2B websites are the first port of call when:

  • Researching/informing business decisions (56 per cent)
  • Researching/informing purchase decisions (55 per cent)
  • Gathering sector news (54 per cent)

“51 per cent choosing B2B websites as a preferred source of business information; B2B websites are also favoured over two and a half times more than TV, Radio, Magazines and Newspapers sources combined,” the AOP reported, in a release.

B2B sites are also shown to provide a highly effective medium for advertisers:

  • 43 per cent are more likely to respond to advertising on a business website than advertising in other media
  • 53 per cent of users are more likely to have confidence in, or do business with, a company, if it advertises on a business site they know
  • 74 per cent trust a website more if it comes from a source that they know already (eg. business publication or industry body)

“82 per cent of all business decision makers use at least one B2B digital delivery mechanism for work, rising to 91 per cent among regular B2B websites users.

“Email alerts/newsletters are the most popular (51 per cent) followed by platforms which provide feedback: peer reviews, blogs and forums; but other systems such as RSS feeds, online seminars, podcast, vodcast and video streaming are gaining momentum.

“A core minority of respondents are currently using five or more of these delivery mechanisms; and overall 39 per cent, of those surveyed, expect to increase their use of digital delivery mechanisms in the next 12 months.”

Of those using five or more digital delivery mechanisms (70 per cent) found that B2B websites offer more engaging content and advertising than other business information sources and considered them to:

  • Offer instant access to information (79 per cent)
  • Save time (77 per cent)
  • Offer innovative ways to access information (74 per cent)
  • Allow business decision makers to interact with peers more efficiently (69 per cent)

“This is an important snapshot of the business community and their use of B2B websites, and further supports the insights gathered in the AOP Census 2008 which showed that our members are increasing their investment in content delivery methods including IPTV, mobile, vodcast, podcast and RSS feeds,” Liz Somerville, the acting director of AOP said, in the release from the AOP.

AOP 2008: At yesterday’s digital sweetshop – best of the rest

It was all a bit kids in a sweetshop at yesterday’s AOP Digital Publishing Summit, if we forget all the problems with wifi, of course.

The main aim, for most attendees, In all likelihood, was to talk to all the people they know in online life, but rarely get the chance to talk to in person – over coffee (and odd looking cake/pastries) and lunch during the day, and drinks in the evening.

The programme ranged from panels to energetic speakers with a broad range of digital publishing topics covered – though perhaps not as much new discussion was initiated as some participants hoped, despite Peter Bale from Microsoft attempt to get some answers from YouTube’s Jonathan Gillespie.

A few additional highlights to add to our coverage so far:

Emily’s Bell’s vision for Guardian’s international reach: In the panel introducing ‘the digital pioneers,’ Bell, director of digital content for Guardian News & Media, said the group sees now as a ‘uniquely’ timed opportunity for the brand to expand internationally – and to do so before their rivals do.

Speaking to Journalism.co.uk afterwards, Bell elaborated on her example of the Economist’s well-established grasp of the international market.  Although it happened for the Economist over a 20-year period, she told me that a similar endeavour in 2008 is ‘compressed’ by the web.

Bell also pointed out during the panel that the Chinese words for ‘crisis’ and ‘opportunity’ are one and the same (I tried to keep that in mind as my laptop charger physically broke and the wifi went down).

The Guardian’s move stateside was also referred to by Saul Klein, partner of Index Ventures and moderator of later panel ‘Growing in the Digital World’.

Quoting Simon Waldman, Guardian Media Group’s director of digital strategy and development (and Emily Bell’s boss), Klein said the Guardian’s acquisition of ContentNext was ‘well set up to exploit’. Waldman explained how moves like that prepared the group for a US audience.

The ‘Unlocking the mobile internet’ panel: In the spirit of the thing, TechCrunch’s Mike Butcher gave out his mobile number for questions before probing the panel on their respective views on mobile internet’s future.

Is 2009 the year of mobile? Melissa Goodwin, controller of mobile at ITV says not: “I don’t think it’s next year, I’m hoping it’s 2010.”

“We just want to give you anything you may want,” she said of ITV’s mobile strategy, though she admitted that building advertising revenue was very much an ongoing issue.

Goodwin also revealed that consumers can look forward to Friends Reunited on two iPhone applications in the first part of next year, as reported in more depth over at PaidContent.

Stefano Maruzzi, president of CondeNet International, on outlining Conde’s digital development: As reported over at MediaGuardian and PaidContent, CondeNet, the online arm of Conde Nast, has got lots of ideas about lots of things:

  • Rolling out a Wired website worldwide (and in different languages, he told PaidContent)
  • Keeping Tatler’s online presence minimal
  • Engaging with the iPod user audience

AOP: UK regulators are stifling international expansion, says i-level founder

Andrew Walmsley, founder of digital marketing agency i-level, livened up the panel discussion on the future of the media industry at yesterday’s Association of Online Publishers (AOP) Digital Publishing Summit.

Media regulators in the UK are holding publishers back, said Walmsley, and digital innovations that would thrive in the US, such as Project Kangaroo – the video on-demand service being jointly developed by the BBC, ITV and Channel, are being stifled here.

Journalism.co.uk caught up with Walsmley off stage at the conference and asked him what the regulators should be doing (apologies for the ‘jazzy’ music in the background, not my choice…):


AOP: Today’s television ‘may not be worth sitting still for’, says US author Clay Shirky

Even children can’t concentrate on television anymore, says Clay Shirky, the US-based internet educator, consultant and author of ‘Here comes Everybody: The Power of Organizing Without Organizations’.

In his speech at yesterday’s AOP Digital Publishing summit Shirky told an anecdote about the four-year-old daughter of one of his friends watching a film: “[S]he jumps round behind the TV and [starts] rooting around in the wires, looking for the mouse.”

Today’s television ‘may not be worth sitting still for’, but the computer is for everything.

The problem for media professionals is that the industry still holds the perception that everyone sees publishing in the same way, he explained.

But, he said, citing the example of Flickr, material may be ‘in public but [it’s] not for the public. The cost of putting something out in public has fallen so low.’

“This is a reversal of the usual pattern,” he said. ‘Gather and share has been the usual pattern [of publishing] since time immemorial’, but now grouping comes first.

He split his talk into three categories: the sharing culture of Flickr; the collaborative nature of Wikipedia; and the collective action of internet groupings, citing the use of a Facebook group to force HSBC to reverse its decision on withdrawing students’ interest-free overdrafts.

These examples, he said, show the ‘the environment that’s coming’ and a need to re-think the model’.

“If you wait to hear what the business model is you will hear that your competitors have perfected it,” he said.

Shirky compared today’s media trends to London’s 17th-century gin craze: at first people didn’t know what to do with what they were consuming, but they then learnt how to share, collaborate and collect.

“The action is where people are going after the consumers. Not just consuming, but producing and sharing.”