Tag Archives: Karl Schneider

In defence of aggregation: Journalists stand up for maligned practice at university event

The role of news aggregators was defended yesterday by journalists at an event for City University’s journalism students.

Speaking at ‘Pimp My Blog’, Patrick Smith, Karl Schneider, and Tim Glanfield argued that news aggregators add value, rebuking claims by former Washington Post executive editor Leonard Downie Jr that news aggregators are “parasites living of journalism produced by others”.

“I do think we are adding value,” said Smith, the editor of news aggregation site TheMediaBriefing. “We have got a semantic tagging system that actually makes this industry searchable and navigable and I think that has got a good value.”

Patrick Smith at Pimp My Blog:

Glanfield, a former Times journalist and co-founder of Beehive City, echoed Smith and questioned whether newspapers added any value or helped readers by simply “copying each other’s stories over and over again”.

“There are plenty of people who call themselves journalists out there who are basically just copying stuff from each other.

“Whereas what TheMediaBriefing and organisations like that are doing is aggregating news which is adding value.”

YouTube: Tim Glanfield at Pimp My Blog

Schneider, the editorial director at Reed Business Information, criticised newspapers for blaming their failures on others.

“I think there are lots of examples of newspapers trying find someone else to blame, whether it is bloggers, Google, or Craigslist, it is always someone else’s fault,” he said.

“Actually I think newspapers have sat on their backsides and failed to respond effectively to a completely changing media landscape till it is pretty much too late.”

Schneider added that in the future newspapers will have to “fundamentally reinvent themselves” online, because the aggregation found in print does not make sense online.

YouTube: Karl Schneider at Pimp My Blog

Coverage elsewhere:

Thoroughly Good Blog: We’re online publishers now

BBC College of Journalism blog: video

Rajvir Rai is a postgraduate journalism student at City University London. He can found on Twitter @R_Rai.

Apps and widgets? The secret to blog traffic is more simple than all that

Struggling to get traffic to your blog? Want to know what widgets and apps will magically increase your hits and get you noticed? The secret is actually rather simple: Hard-work, regular updates, extensive reading, and good relationships with wider communities will have new visitors flocking to your site.

Speaking at a ‘Pimp My Blog’ talk at City University last night Patrick Smith, Karl Schneider, Tim Glanfield and Martin Stabe dismissed the idea that fancy apps are the secret to huge monthly visitor figures.

“There is no secret to it, there is no widget that can give you traffic,” said Smith, the editor of www.themediabriefing.com. “If it is crap then no one will read it and there is no way out of that.”
Similarly Schneider, editorial director at Reed Business Information (RBI), said: “Your wrong if you get too tied up in technology and the tools, because at the end of the day it is all about a relationship with the audience and telling a story.

While you may not be able to ‘pimp your blog’ out with one single widget, there are still some fundamental things you can do to increase traffic and, as Stabe, interactive producer at the Financial Times, said, “punch above your weight”.

Have a niche and be an expert in that field

The panel were unanimous in stressing the importance of focusing your efforts on one particular area. Schneider cited few examples of niche B2B publications that RBI runs that get a huge amount of traffic because they focus on very specific areas. The best way to get noticed, according to Stabe, is to digest everything you can about one specific topic. By doing this you can make yourself an expert and people will want to know your views.

Build Communities

To get hits you have to serve the needs of a particular community or group. Smith stressed the importance of always asking yourself, ‘what does my site do and who is it for?’ Remember the most successful blogs and bloggers are those with clearly defined communities and readerships. Glanfield highlighted that actually one of the easiest ways to start to form relationships with wider communities is to identify forums that are relevant to your subject matter and engage in conversation with members.

Be interactive

“The biggest change in journalism is that it is becoming interactive. It is not something you do to your audience, it is something you do with your audience,” said Schneider. In other words, use your blog to engage with your audience through quizzes, polls and effective linking to other sites, and make the best of Twitter. Remember it is a two-way street so you have to re-tweet others, engage in dialogue and not just constantly rant and rave.

Remember the web is a multi-media platform

Utilizing pictures and videos can really make a difference to your blog. Think about the how you can supplement your words with visuals and audio.

Essential Tools

Do not despair there are some tools which, if used correctly, can help you boost your online profile.

  • Delicious: will help you bookmark and store anything interesting that you read online. It can also be used as a social networking tool to find other individuals reading in the same areas as yourself.
  • Google Reader: Use this to get a constant stream of updates from sites you have subscribed to. Essential if you want to become an expert in a field and also very time efficient as saves you having to visit lots of sites a day.
  • Dipity: Will help you embed timelines into your posts to give it that visual edge.
  • Re-tweet/Facebook like widgets: Will allow readers to re-twetter, like, bookmark and share your blog posts.
  • LinkWithin: A widget that will allow you link related articles at the bottom of a post.
  • Google Spreadsheets: Are a great way of crowd sourcing data journalism and presenting it in a inventive way.

See presentations from Pimp My Blog on YouTube:

Tim Glanfield

Karl Schneider

Martin Stabe

Patrick Smith

Coverage elsewhere:

Thoroughly Good Blog: We’re online publishers now

BBC College of Journalism blog: video

Rajvir Rai is a postgraduate journalism student at City University London. He can found on Twitter @R_Rai.

The last #jeecamp in pictures

JEEcamp, the online journalism enterprise and experimentation unconference, was held for the last time yesterday (Friday 21 May 2010) in Birmingham but went out with a bang with excellent and revealing speeches from Stewart Kirkpatrick, founder of the Caledonian Mercury, and Simon Waldman, former director of digital strategy for the Guardian Media Group and now group product director at LOVEFiLM.

I have uploaded a few shots of the key speakers to flickr and created the slideshow below, which shows in order, JEEcamp organiser Paul Bradshaw (@paulbradshaw), Simon Waldman (@waldo), Karl Schneider (@karlschneider), Stewart Kirkpatrick (@calmerc), Mark Pack (@markpack), Siôn Simon (@sionsimon) and Matt Wardman (@mattwardman).

Expect other future great events from either Paul Bradshaw and/or his students in the future.

Journalism’s future at the Frontline: ‘The snails attacked us!’

“Aagh, it’s the attack of the snails!” is how Kevin Anderson, digital research editor at the Guardian described the news industry’s reaction to revenue destroying online technology – just what were publishers doing in the mid-90s when the web was first growing, he asked.

Anderson, who describes himself as a digital native since the web’s earliest days, joined a panel of fellow digital enthusiasts at the Frontline Club last night to discuss the dreaded ‘future of journalism’ question: RBI’s head of editorial development, Karl Schneider; Peter Kirwan, media columnist; and Ilicco Elia, head of mobile at Reuters Consumer Media.

Kirwan commented how few of the audience actually paid for news. Anderson also played the sceptical card, pointing out how the Guardian was looking to Guardian Professional and events for alternative funding streams.

Anderson also flagged up the potential for social enterprise type start-ups and collaborative working groups, such as ‘newsroom’ cafes in the Czech Republic.

Karl Schneider – who talked about the value of journalism in providing specific business services – said that 60 per cent of RBI’s revenue comes from online. The industry was “too negative” about the scope for digital advertising, he added.

But the most practical tips of the night came from Ilicco Elia, in our breakout groups: if you’ve got a website, build a mobile site. Don’t make it complicated, make it as simple as possible. (If you want pointers,  he’ll no doubt be happy to help point you in the right direction: he’s @ilicco on Twitter.)

The crowd was as good value as the panel, with many of Journalism.co.uk’s favourite media bloggers: organiser Patrick Smith; Adam Tinworth from RBI; Kate Day, head of communities at the Telegraph; Martin Stabe, online editor at Retail Week;  and Jon Slattery… of the Jon Slattery Blog.

Excitingly we also had chance to spot the newbie Guardian beat bloggers (who later headed off for dinner with Guardian Local mentor/boss Sarah Hartley and new  colleague Kevin Anderson): Hannah Waldram (Cardiff); John Baron (Leeds) and Tom Allan (Edinburgh).

Those interested in continuing the discussion should check out the UK Future of News Group – and its regional nests, springing up over the UK (Brighton, South Wales and West Midlands, so far).

Freelance Unbound: ‘How the social web has changed the journalist’s working day’

Freelance Unbound has published a video of Reed Business Information editorial development director Karl Schneider talking to journalism students at UCA Farnham about the changes in a journalist’s working day. Schneider said:

“As they [journalists] come across pieces of information, if they think it would be useful for the audience to hear it, it’s trivially easy – you can do it in seconds. If they’ve got a bit of information, why hold on to it – why wait until they’ve got five more bits and constructed it into a complete story? Why not publish the bit of information now?”

Full post at this link…