This post is some brief notes and thoughts from yesterday’s Digital Editor’s Networkget together at UCLAN, Preston.
At this new blog, I’m doing things a little differently from my norm and putting into practice some of the lessons I’ve learned and promoted over the years. Publishing some notes and thoughts in this way may lead to a more formal article at some point – may not. There may be themes I return to – may not. What happens to it next could be down to the responses but the process of what happens (if anything) will all be trackable.
OK first up on yesterday’s meeting. Where were the girls?
Just myself and my colleague Alison White from the Reading Evening Post (and I invited and drove her there!). Hardly representative of the industry but not that unusual at this meeting. The DEN Facebook group shows that almost a third (22) of the 70 members are women. Yes some are abroad and some are not digital editors, but a third would seem to be a more representative number in my experience of the industry so what’s going on here? The issues not of interest? No time? Unable to get away from work? Love to hear.
The theme of yesterday’s meeting was money making. The session was “off the record” so I’m restricting these notes to what’s already in the public domain although I’d just add that nothing commercially sensitive actually arose.
First up my colleague Peter Boler who talked through the MEN Mediacommercial startegy by running through all the online formats we offer online – affiliates, display, MPU, video pre-roll and classified.
Secondly Rick Waghorn who left a newspaper job and set up MyFootballWiter.com. The speech was mostly the one given at the Jeecamp event in Birminghamlast month. I had the same response to it this month as last. While Rick is probably a good example of a journalist who has become a brand that people trust and follow (re-occurring theme at the moment), the revenue model is based on a series of local relationships and hand-holding of advertisers. While this may work for those small traders who remain nervous about digital, what will happen when they wise up and find ebay?
Andy Dickinson gave us a talk about video, while being filmed for a video. He mentioned a great case study which I’m eager to find the source of. A media company which publishes all its activity online as an internal resource, in the place of wire feeds etc. Products within the organisation take what they will of it and then publish their re-packaged versions of the content online. Then any journalist that adds value further with links, new interviews, videos etc. gets a byline for that further activity and it is published online again. Goes into an area I’m researching creation V curation and seems the type of workflow you might come up with if you started out as a media group without print production background. He also mentioned this report on video; http://www.city.ac.uk/journalism/download_files/thurman_lupton_final.pdf
Finally, a Hitwise presentation. Fairly standard stuff showing the type of statistical information and marketing assistance the company offers. Interestingly showed that users often put the question “How do I place an advert in (insert your newspaper tittle)” into Google. Well they would wouldn’t they? Trouble is that many newspapers don’t have an information page to answer that most basic of customer queries. Any journalists reading this, try it with your newspaper title – I’ve done a few and the results aren’t pleasing.
I also did this with the MEN. Using the well-accepted abbreviation “MEN” I got this as the top search result; http://www.antarctic-circle.org/advert.htm using the “Manchester Evening News” I got this slightly better (but still out-of-date) result; http://classifieds.manchesteronline.co.uk/siteinfo.php?page=t_c2
What an obvious starting point for money-making - think like a customer.
I know the first thing I’ll be doing when I get into work this morning. And so do you.