Poll: Many News Site Readers Are Likely Early Adopters [Newsosaur]

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.”

Read more at Reflections Of A Newsosaur

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How To Increase Conversions On Any Website In 45 Minutes [Six Revisions]

“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.”

Read more at Six Revisions

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Any Social Media Coordinators Out There?

Are you passionate about engaging with audiences online? Are you a fanatic about trying the latest social media apps? Do you have the skills to create greate online content? Well, we’re looking for you! Courant.com and CTnow.com (home of FOX CT), is looking to hire a talented social media coordinator.

The social media coordinator would work in the newsroom to spearhead our sites’ social media efforts, plan local events, train staffers, coordinate with the marketing group and create locally focused content. In this role, you’d be reporting to the digital platform manager (i.e., me, the online editor).

The experience in what we call Connecticut’s Newsroom really is a unique one. We have a strong newspaper, TV station and digital operation all housed under one roof working cohesively to produce incredible content every day. It’s a fascinating petri dish of cross-platform journalism.

So, you interested yet? If so, check out the job posting and shoot me a note at dasanchezATcourant.com.

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Online News Readers Use 5 Sites or Fewer, Study Says [NYTimes]

From the NY Times: “Only 35 percent of the people who go online for news have a favorite site, and just 21 percent are more or less ‘monogamous,’ relying primarily on a single Internet news source, according to a survey by the Pew Research Center, in a report to be released Monday by Pew’s Project for Excellence in Journalism.

But 57 percent of that audience relies on just two to five sites. The findings parallel studies that say that people with hundreds of television channels tend to stick to a relative handful.”

Read more at NYTimes.com

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Facebook Users Prefer Broadcast Sites, Hitwise Analyst Says

Facebook users tend to prefer broadcast to newspaper media sites, according to Hitwise analyst Heather Hopkins.

Check out her post containing plenty of metrics trends charts.

[via Editor's Weblog]

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Survey: How Twitter Has Influenced Political Journalists’ Coverage

Australian professor Julie Posetti has a fascinating post on how Twitter has shaped the thinking and workflow of political journos.

From her post: “Twitter is becoming a vehicle for participatory democracy in Australia thanks to its ability to create unmediated interaction between political journalists, engaged citizens and politicians.”

“In the race to tweet, journalists are knocking down the walls that have in the past segregated media outlets within the Press Gallery. This is happening via content-sharing and cross-pollination between fiercely competitive commercial and public broadcast networks, newspapers and wire services.”

Read her whole post with info from her findings on PBS MediaShift

[via Steve Buttry]

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How To Sell Ads On Low-Traffic Sites [Smashing Magazine]

“But though it may feel like putting the cart before the horse, there are many good reasons and ways to sell ad space on low-traffic websites. What you need to always keep in mind is that, while advertisers are drawn to high traffic numbers, they desire something else even more: high conversion rates. There are plenty of success stories of websites that have limited traffic but sell a ton of advertising. These websites succeed because they do one thing well: they deliver the right type of customer to the right type of business.” Read the whole post at Smashing Magazine

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Pew Study Says Internet Overtakes Newspapers For News

“The internet is now the third most-popular news platform, behind local and national television news and ahead of national print newspapers, local print newspapers and radio. Getting news online fits into a broad pattern of news consumption by Americans; six in ten (59%) get news from a combination of online and offline sources on a typical day.”

See the study here

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The Future of User Interfaces [Six Revisions]

“In this article are than a dozen potential future user interfaces that we’ll be seeing over the next few years (and some further into the future).” Read more…

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Free Multimedia Tool Workshop Updated Handouts

online news association ona logoHey Journalistopians, it’s been a long while, but I wanted to post the handouts and examples I’ll be sharing at this weekend’s Online News Association Parachute Training in Boca Raton, Fla. Feel free to use these in presentations, in the classroom, to line your birdcage — whatever tickles your fancy!

Posted in blogging, conferences, data, maps, random stuff, social media, tutorials, web design, web development | 5 Comments

Time Hack: Monitor News Sites with iMacros Firefox Plugin

imacrosMy colleague Mario Starks recently pointed me to a rockin’ new Firefox plugin called iMacros, which lets you automatically run a whole host of repetitive tasks in your browser. My immediate thought was how this tool is perfect for monitoring competitors by loading multiple web sites in one shot.

By running a macro (similar to an Office macro or Photoshop action), you can designate a list of news sites, and run a macro to pop them all open. No more clicking your bookmarks one by one. Also, iMacros can also do all sorts of neat stuff, such as web scraping and automating file downloads.

And for more great ways to monitor your news competition, check out 5 Ways to Monitor Your News Competition Online.

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5 Must-Read Online Media Books

As I stared at my bookshelf this evening, I got to thinking about the books I most often recommend to online journalism colleagues and workshop participants. I figure my pals in the blogosphere might find such a list useful as well. Each of these five books either fundamentally changed my outlook or gave me incredibly useful knowledge in my daily work.

And please, tempt me into spending some book money by sharing your favorites in the comments! On to the list:

SEO for Dummies by Peter Kent

seofordummiesPeter Kent’s book can help any beginner make huge strides in optimizing content for search engines. When I teach workshops, I often hand out a list of links to practical online resources; ‘SEO for Dummies’ is the only dead-tree resource to make it on that list. Read this thing at least twice. This book is not only spectacularly useful, it’s also one of the most enjoyable technology books I’ve ever read. Knowing this book inside and out can result in many, many new readers coming to your news site.

One More Time: The Best of Mike Royko

mikeroykoIf you’re a journalist wanting to learn a thing or two about blogging, skip the e-book by this week’s online marketing flavor of the week. Instead, read this collection of columns by longtime Chicago columnist Mike Royko. Royko wrote his columns five days a week, a schedule many bloggers are hard-pressed to keep. He was a master at interacting with his audience, sometimes even poking fun at them (read his czernina columns). He knew how to pick topics that got people to react and care.

And, Royko unknowingly discovered a secret to building a successful community around a web site: getting people together in real life. Royko was famous for his rib cookoffs, ugly dog contest and other events.

Read Mike Royko through the lens of a blogger, and you’re bound to gain a new appreciation for the lessons that can be learned from journalism’s past.

Myths of Innovation by Scott Berkun

myths of innovationI still remember the day at the 2007 ONA conference when fellow journalism geek Lisa Williams told a group of online editors that the journalism industry was beginning to mirror the technology industry with its rapid development cycles and webby culture. Consequently, fostering a culture of innovation is key to growing a successful news site. Scott Berkun’s ‘Myths of Innovation’ will challenge your ideas on how new concepts succeed in the marketplace, as well as give you some insights on fostering innovation in your newsroom and personal life.

Don’t Make Me Think! A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability by Steve Krug

don'tmakemethinkSteve Krug’s ‘Don’t Make Me Think!’ is THE bible of web usability. Anyone involved in working on a web site should read this book. ‘Don’t Make Me Think!’ can help keep you from making costly mistakes when putting together your site on a daily basis. What kinds of links work best? How do people navigate your site? Why aren’t my promos working? This book holds many of your answers, my friend. Even the layout of this book is an example of great usability.

Spring into HTML & CSS by Molly E. Holzschlag

springintohtmlcssThis is the HTML/CSS book upon which I was weaned as a newbie HTML slinger –or rather, as a standards-compliant HTML slinger. You see, I first learned to design web sites by my lonesome using Adobe GoLive and its accompanying manual (go on, laugh and get it out of your system). It wasn’t until I used this book in Mindy McAdams’ multimedia class at the University of Florida that I really started to learn to design using modern best practices. This book is still my go-to recommendation whenever I’m asked about a good book for learning HTML and CSS.

Now go on, tell everyone in the comments what five books you most often recommend to colleagues.

Posted in blogging, communities, tutorials, web design, web development, writing and editing | 8 Comments