Tag Archives: #su2011

#su2011: Forget hyperlocal, the future’s ‘hyperpersonal’

A new era of online publishing where readers are served ‘hyperpersonal’ news directly linked to their interests is taking shape, according to a consultant for world publishing body WAN-IFRA.

Stephan Minard told the organisation’s summer university in Paris, that personalisation would be the key element that will make modern news websites successful in the coming years.

Publishers needed to learn more about their readers, build up data on them and then serve an experience that is unique to them. Algorithms, not editors, were the new gatekeepers, he said.

Minard said news organisations could learn a lot from the world of marketing and e-commerce: “Personalisation is not science-fiction. It’s everywhere on the web – Google, Facebook, Amazon.”

Combining subscriber data, behavioural research and other data on a reader’s interests and habits, sites should be able to build a reliable picture of a user and serve content that is personalised to them.

Minard gave the example of the Washington Post, which launched personalised social news site Trove in April, which relies on a user’s Facebook interests to define their profile.

However, he issued a warning about offering content that was too personalised. There was a risk of isolating users in a “web of one” by only serving them material about a very tightly defined subject and cutting them off from the wider world.

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#su2011: iPad creates new demand for evening news

Apple’s iPad has created a new appetite among readers for fresh news content in the evening, according to AFP’s head of editorial research and development.

Speaking at the WAN-IFRA summer university in Paris, Denis Teyssou quoted research from comScore which found the iPad was changing the game regarding news consumption towards the end of the day.

While computers are the dominant device for news during the working day, and smartphone use is relatively constant throughout the day, tablets overtook both of them to become the number one device in the evening.

However, Teyssou said some existing news products tailored for the iPad – notably Rupert Murdoch’s The Daily – did not necessarily cater for this evening boost in audience.

Teyssou is the head of editorial for AFP’s research and development division, Medialab, which is responsible for developing iPhone and iPad apps, user-generated content, data tools and mash-ups.

He presented an overview of how the tablet publishing market is developing, one year after Apple launched its iPad.

Before the launch, analysts were cautious about how many units would ship. ABI Research had estimated four million sales in 2010. The actual figure was four times the size.

The figure is now expected to grow rapidly in the next few years. Infinite Research expects that 147.2 million tablet computers will ship in 2015.

Analysis from Gartner, also for 2015, estimates Apple will have achieved total cumulative tablet sales of 138 million worldwide by then. Another 113 million tablets will have shipped that use Android as the operating system.

Out of the apps in Apple’s iPad Hall of Fame, news apps are the second biggest category, behind games. Traditional players dominate, with CNN, NPR and the Wall Street Journal occupying the top three positions.

However, the next four positions are occupied by newcomers:  content aggregator Flipboard, customisable news reader Pulse, Instapaper, and RSS app Reeder for iPad.

Other news apps that Teyssou thinks will grow in popularity include personalised magazine Zite, News.me and news aggregator Ongo.

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#su2011: New online open newsroom a hit for Swedish newspaper

A pioneering Swedish newspaper that involves its readers in the daily editorial decision-making process says the new approach has been a massive hit with users and advertisers.

Norran, a large regional daily in the north of Sweden, has opened up its newsroom with a tool called eEditor, a live chat powered by CoverItLive where readers can discuss story ideas with journalists in real time.

The blog is monitored by a senior journalist throughout the day. The newslist and minutes from conferences are published online and readers suggest possible angles and ask questions.

Editor-in-chief Anette Novak said Norran had completely overhauled its image by involving readers and being more transparent.

Speaking at the WAN-IFRA summer university in Paris today, she said: “I realised that if anybody asks: ‘do we need Norran?’ they would decide: no we don’t. We had to stop it before the question even occurs in their heads.”

She said web traffic and Facebook referrals were up – and key motoring and property advertisers who deserted during the recession had come back. The experiment has also allowed the paper to broaden its coverage.

“We believe that we have strengthened our brand,” Novak said.

“Transparency is the new objectivity. We post the job list – the stories we are working on today.

“The instant feedback and the personal reply is extremely important. It’s the feeling that there’s somebody there live now.

“You have to answer in a good way, a polite way and a knowledgeable way, or you can lose trust.”

Novak said some news organisations were so focused on getting a return on investment from digital projects that they lost sight of their readers’ needs.

“If we follow the money… that will make us go for projects that we know will make money and we will keep doing the same thing over and over again. We have to experiment.

“Get readers involved with your brand, engage them with their hearts and minds and the money will follow.”

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