“To the surprise of many, Facebook in not just the privilege of tech-savvy kids – the college and post-college folks (18- to 24-yearolds), which the site originally aimed to target, now only account for less than 25 percent of total users. The fastest-growing demographic group is women age of 55 and older, up 175 percent since September 2008.”
“This is a problem of no small significance, because as the career paths of journalists and developers converge, the labels we use affect how we are seen by those around us. I experienced this first-hand a few years ago when I went from being a journalist who used data in his reporting to a computer-assisted reporting specialist.”
“Then there’s the term that seems to be more and more in vogue — “programmer-journalist.” And while that definitely captures the dual nature of mission, it feels like a bit of a cop-out to me. Like we couldn’t find a good title, so we’ll just jam a couple half-baked ones together. It’s clunky to say, clunkier to write and it’s just a little too combination Pizza Hut/Taco Bell, you know?”
From Scott Rosenberg’s Wordyard: “The great mistake so many newspapers and media outlets made was to turn on the comments software and then walk out of the room. They seemed to believe that the discussions would magically take care of themselves.
If you opened a public cafe or a bar in the downtown of a city, failed to staff it, and left it untended for months on end, would you be surprised if it ended up as a rat-infested hellhole?”
Obituary revenue has weathered the massive industry changes relatively well for now, Gordon says, but that may quickly change as it did for other classified categories. He writes:
“For newspapers, the key lesson from history should be clear: Act now, before it’s too late. And don’t let the industry’s current, relatively strong position in death notices and obituaries stand in the way of innovation, collaboration and partnerships.”
“Historically, via death notices and obituaries, newspapers met the needs of all of these audience segments. But changes in technology, media usage and cultural norms are combining to threaten newspapers’ dominance of this category.”
So check out Gordon’s piece here and the recommendations his students made to Legacy (PDF download here).
From the NYTimes: “The popularity of Snopes – it attracts seven million to eight million unique visitors in an average month – puts the couple in a unique position to evaluate digital society’s attitudes toward accuracy.
After 14 years, they seem to have concluded that people are rather cavalier about the facts.
In a given week, Snopes tries to set the record straight on everything from political smears to old wives’ tales.”
From Wired.com: “For example: What if those written words were watching you reading them and making adjustments accordingly? Eye-tracking technology and processor-packed tablets promise to react, based on how you’re looking at text – where you pause, how you stare, where you stop reading altogether – in a friction-reducing implementation of the Observer Effect. The act of reading will change what you are reading.”
From ReadWriteWeb: “Make room on the bleachers, the robot reporter wants to sit down and watch the game. Sports statistics company StatSheet says it will have technology ready this Summer to turn statistics for hundreds of small college basketball games into richly reported blow-by-blow coverage of how the contests unfold.
People have been talking about robot reporters for years, but sports coverage is a logical, structured field for it to happen in and StatSheet says it will soon bring a product to market.”
From Old Media, New Tricks: “In a recent blog post, Dan Zarrella published results from an ongoing analysis of Facebook data points. One interesting statistic stood out: Facebook users share anywhere from 20 to 50 percent more stories on weekends than they do during the week.”
From Alan Mutter: “Far from being fuddy-duddy Luddites, newspaper website visitors actually appear to be early and passionate technology adopters.
The surprisingly high interest in high tech among online news consumers is revealed in a ground-breaking poll by Greg Harmon of ITZ Belden, who discovered that news-site visitors own 1.5 times more smart phones than the average American and are eager to get their hands on the new iPad.”
“Redesigning a website, or even a single page, can be a tedious and time-consuming process. Re-opening a project that you so happily completed can take major mental willpower. However, improving a website doesn’t need to take weeks, or even days. I’m a believer in baby steps: making incremental progress, small victories, minor adjustments with big results.
That’s where my 45-minute plan comes into play. In less time than you spend watching The Bachelor each week, you can have a dramatic (and measurable) effect on your website.”