Facebook is kicking mainstream publishers out of the feed - but giving the local folks a boost. Are you local?
I remember when hyperlocal meant a blogger being obsessive over her part of town…
One good reason that council newspapers can't replace local journalism.
Is Techmeme media? Gabe Rivera, Founder & CEO, thinks it is, even though they don’t write any of the content. The term “media” is overused, he suggests. When people say “media” they almost always think of broadcast media of various sorts. Bruno Patino, Senior Executive Vice President, Strategy Digital Director, France Télévisions Group & France 5 talks about the evolution of television and people start constructing social conversations online around TV shows as they watch them. This represents a loss of control for the media; they’re still in the game, they just don’t control it any more. And that’s not a bad thing. It maximises the experience.
Rivera suggests that most social media isn’t really integrated with existing media, just sort of bolted on the end. Very often tweets are just amplification or repetition. Fournier points out that media is changing on multiple fronts. TV is evolving into the multi-screen experience. Other media is now being published through social networks. There is lots of experimentation, and there will be failures and successes we learn from.
Patino argues that people don’t “deliver” the news any more, you give up control of your news when you publish it, and people will absurd it into their networks. The context in which we are telling stories is changing.
Crampton moves on the conversation from social to local. Social is about scale; local is the response. Garlinghouse reminds us that traditional media has struggled to fund local coverage for decades. Patch is AOL’s attempt to reverse that – targeted at areas of around 50,000 to 80,000 people. But he thinks Twitter is garbage – or at least he says as much before he starts back-peddling, throwing out the world platform instead. He thinks there’s a huge opportunity at the intersection of the social graph, the interest graph and the local graph. Crampton challenges the sustainability of the Patch model, and Garlinghouse says that the experiment will play out over the next few years. Some Patch sites are already profitable.
Scaleability is the key question, says Patino. We used to call local 500k to 600k. That’s not local on the web. The ground is changing everywhere, so the old volume business model just breaks.
Alexia Tsotsis from Techcrunch challenges the relevancy of local media. Patch is at about 10m uniques in 18 months – but it’s clearly a challenge, says Garlinghouse. But to say that local community is irrelevant is short-sighted at the very least. Patino thinks that we have to find a solution, so that local powers continue to be monitored. But Rivera wouldn’t do a local site. There are plenty already – and by definition, there isn’t much to aggregate and filter. The abundance just isn’t there. Garlinghouse points out that stories of national importance can start in local areas – it’s something like citizen journalism curated. The question is: are local merchants interested enough to advertise on the platform?
Is mobile passing the desktop for media yet Probably not, says Rivera. However Twitter says that over 50% of its activity is on mobile, and it’s over 30% for Facebook. Garlinghouse would like to see more customisation of news experience based on your social, mobile and interest graphs. Patino certainly thinks mobile is the new frontier for TV and very important. They’re looking at iPhone and iPad appellations that allow you to catch up with, and share, TV. And Fournier suggests their DailyMotion deal was driven by similar considerations.
Now, if I were any one of the major regional newspaper groups, I would be beating a path to the door of Starbucks to offer my, say, TrinityMirror (Cardiff) content for the ‘portal’ that has just opened up every time I open up my lap-top in a Cardiff Starbucks.
It’s a whole new way of finding your audience; that doesn’t involve them buying a copy of the local newspaper from the grizzled old vendor stood outside.
The London riots sent traffic through the roof, with 35,000 visitors on the Monday, when riots in Lewisham took place and 45,000 visitors on the Tuesday, when Brockley Kate provided coverage of the aftermath and we provided a live report, during which mostly nothing happened. On a good day, the site normally gets 2,000 visitors.
- Be great! – Niche websites work, they can capture audiences. All of our content is exclusively written by professional journalists – it’s about high-quality content.
- Search engine optimise – 5,395 pages – 75% of traffic comes from Google.
- Know your market and products – make sure you know who your advertisers will be and target them with research, clear suite of products. Keep clear differentiation between ad and ed.
- Establish a clear sales strategy – Either divide your role to focus on sales some of the time, or get a professional. Make the process as easy as possible – and provide great reporting.
- Forge partnerships – work with radio and print. Syndicate your content in a controlled fashion – but cash is almost always better than a contra deal.
- Compromise your model – stick to the plan
- Be afraid to stand up for yourself – lots and lots of problems with plagiarism. 25 organisations have plagiarised 200 individual infringement.
- Spend all your time on Twitter – make sure your social media activity is bringing you an audience and money.
- Rely on UGC – think this decade will see a resurgence in professional journalism
- Stop moving forwards – Redesign coming, iPhone app, franchise model for sites…
- News International starting to block paid-for aggregators from crawling its sites. The paywall cometh…
- Which Flip should I buy? Nice analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the various pocket video cameras.
- Should publications host blogs for their community? Almost certainly. We need to get over teh fear of uncontrolled content and stop ghettoising “reader blogs”, though.
- Demand Media is coming to the UK. Be afraid. They do SEO-driven content better than you, whoever you are. Better think of a new strategy…
- A hyperlocal news ebook.
- Paul Conley has some gloomy predictions for B2B media. (Note: he’s talking about RBI in the US)
- 5 Sources of Thinking on New Journalism
- 10 things every journalist should know in 2010
- Kevin Marsh writing about the end of journalism “as we know it”.
- Local paper uses a community politics idea to encourge engagement on its site.
- Marc Reeves examines the reasoning behind his new hyper-local blog.
- Here’s Jay Rosen talking about dealing with audience atomisation. (Shame on Media140 for limiting embedding of that video)
- And how’s this for a magazine concept on a tablet device?