Journalistic quality vs the money men

Useful study on metrics vs journalistic pride, but leaves out a key aspect: the sales guys – because this is how the money is made and the metrics are ultimately determined. Time was, quality audiences would be worth more to advertisers than quantity. Why hasn’t online ad selling (and buying) caught up yet? Only when it does will there be incentive to move beyond page views and unique users as the key metric. Programmatic ad sales could be the answer, or could worsen the situation further – too early to tell. Anyway, worth a read: “Online media is made of clicks. Readers click from one article to the next. Advertising revenue is based on the number of unique visitors for each site. Editors always keep in mind their traffic targets to secure the survival of their publications. Writers and bloggers interpret clicks as a signal of popularity. The economic realities underpinning the click-based web are well documented. Yet much work remains to be done on the cultural consequences of the growing importance of Internet metrics. I conducted two years of ethnographic research (observing newsrooms and interviewing journalists, editors, and bloggers) exploring whether web analytics are changing newsroom cultures. The answer is a qualified yes, but in ways that differ from the ones we might...

Twitter launches analytics

Twitter Analytics will be fun and useful, but why no ability to sort by best/worst performers? How can we tell what does/doesn’t work if we can’t see what does/doesn’t work? Intro here. Analytics themselves here (you need to activate before you’ll start seeing...

Vox to open their CMS up to everyone?

Oh yes please! I’m a massive CMS geek, yet in well over a decade and a half of online publishing, I still haven’t found one I truly adore. Mid-period Wordpress came close, but now it’s too complex and chunky. Buzzfeed’s seems decent, from what I’ve seen. The one they have at ITV News looks great, from the screenshots. But I hear truly great things about the Vox Chorus CMS....

A golden age for journalism

Lots to agree with here: “by some measures, journalism has never been healthier. And there’s every reason to believe that it is actually getting stronger because of the web, not weaker — regardless of what’s happening to print” Are jobs being lost? Yep. Are publications shutting down? Yep. But are readers getting more of what they want? Yep. My only worry with this optimistic take on the current situation is that, despite years of worrying about it, and over a decade of confident assertions that hyperlocal “citizen journalism” will fill the void left as uneconomic newspapers shut down, there is still a major risk that many communities will be left without a reliable source of local news coverage. I’m based in London, so there are any number of hyperlocal Twitter accounts and small blogs covering the area, but none of these are comprehensive, even combined, and few have the skills or abilities to dig deeper into what’s going on in the local council. Local newspapers were never especially economically worthwhile, but they did (well, sometimes) provide a valuable public service in holding local government to account – something they were only really able to do because of the level of access they were afforded by their permanent, professional position. On a local level, as local papers shut, the most common publication to fill the void isn’t a blogger, it’s an official local government publication – we’re replacing public service for...