Friday, 26 October 2012

Shifted focus - audience, content, platforms

The Daily Post is three weeks into a new  live breaking news blog - viewable in real time and fullscreen, here -



(This is how it appears on the homepage,on the right hand side of the above screengrab)

It runs seven days a week, ticking away between 6.30am and 10pm Monday-Friday and with a little later start at the weekends (or earlier, depending on what's been happening).
We keep the tone conversational but informative (and also, when appropriate, a bit informal - why not? Today's shift handover update made me smile).



Anyway,TM's digital publishing director David Higgerson has been involved from the get-go, and he's been explaining the raison d'etre of ours and the MEN's breaking news blog on Journalism.co.uk and Hold the Front Page - you can find the articles here and here.
In them he explains the hows and whys of how print and digital platforms can and should support each other. 

It's shiny, but the liveblog is actually higher-profile piece of a much bigger jigsaw in our newsroom, with the aim of moving from 
Platform->Content->Audience 
to 
Audience->Content->Platforms
A couple of years ago I blogged that producing a newspaper by using a flatplan as a guide to the contents was not the best way to do things. 
Now the editorial team has had to put its money where my mouth is, as we experiment with print and digital production ideas based around that. We still have to use a flatplan but it's far less in evidence than was previously the case.
Live news is reported live; I've always believed our best chance to sell newspapers is to use our sites and networks to actually tell potential readers what's going on rather than produce it, magician-like, and hope that they'll a) see the newspaper and b) care enough about the headline/free pasty offer to buy it

Visibility matters. Take this blog post - it will get auto-tweeted by my Dlvr.it service at some point, I'm not sure when, and lost as the Twitter river flows on. A tiny slice of people will see the link, an even tinier slice click on it (and thank you, reader, for doing that. You are lovely.)
If I were to keep retweeting that tweet, I'd have a bigger audience but no guarantee of a more interested audience - I probably just annoy those seeing the same content being pimped for the third time.

But by telling people the progress of something , you make it more compelling. Flowing information onto our digital platforms, and repositioning ourselves to be a part of people's day earlier, gives us a better chance of reflecting their interests in our print pages. 
So the liveblog is important - it tells people what's happening, it gives the team staffing it their own identities, and it allows conversations. But it's also an enabler to us changing the way we think, and way the work.


Enhanced by Zemanta
Post a Comment