Five media stories of note for Thursday, March 14, 2013:
Anette Novak, a media consultant blogging for the International Newsmedia Marketing Association,
examines and argues for the involvement of legacy media in building community competence and awareness. She believes media can help their communities understand the three C's: critical thinking, consent and copyright. She says this would improve relationships and build credibility.
Casey Frechette, a journalism professor and digital strategist, has created a primer at Poynter.org
for journalists who want to understand effective web design. She identifies techniques to achieve simple, effective expression: design grids, repetition of elements, white space, hierarchy, texture and depth, the use of colour to express meaning, and contrast.
A new study from Pew Internet suggests
one-quarter of teens mainly gain access to the Internet through their smartphones. One in four teens are "cell-mostly" users. Among many lower-income and lower-educated households, teens focused on their smartphones in the absence of computers. One in four teens owns a tablet, similar to the level among adults. Smartphone ownership has grown to 47 per cent, up from 23 per cent in 2011.
A British study suggests women Tweet more often than men, and are more likely to talk about personal matters, television and work, while men talk about sports, gaming and news. The Telegraph reports
on the Brandwatch study of 1,000 Twitter accounts and concludes women (15 Tweets daily) and men (nine) not only discuss different things but use different language to do so.
John Pavlus, writing for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology Review,
looks at the very different tracks of two major media sites: The New York Times and the Daily Mail. The former is designed to encourage reading and the latter "doubles down" on anti-readability, he notes. But the Daily Mail just keeps on growing and striving for clicks, while the Times' strategy hasn't been proven effective just yet.
Some media stories of note for Wednesday, Feb. 13:
Cory Bergman, the general manager of Breaking News, has a five-point brief
at Poynter today to accompany a live chat in which he asserts mobile will disrupt journalism in the same way the Internet did. He argues a mobile-first, not a mobile-too approach is necessary. In short, his points: responsive design is not a strategy; mobile will surpass, even erode, the desktop; desktop declines will hurt news revenues; news needs to solve problems; technology companies are getting the mobile-first idea.
Matthew Ingram, writing in GigaOm,
reports on the social network and hyperlocal site Nextdoor and its efforts to build an exclusive, verified service for specific neighbourhoods. He identifies the differences between Nextdoor and some other, more open hyperlocal services, and cites the closed nature of Nextdoor as one of the keys to its possible success.
Time Warner appears to be ready to sell portions of Time Inc., according to Fortune.
A meeting today will pursue the matter. It is possible that such titles as People, Real Simple and InStyle would be rolled into a new firm and sold, leaving Time Warner with Time, Sports Illustrated and Fortune. The publishing division is substantial, with $3.4 billion in revenue.
Jonah Lehrer, the author and literary journalist who was caught up in a plagiarism scandal last year, resurfaced publicly Tuesday to speak to the Knight Foundation
(his speaking fee was $20,000). He apologized, but Andrew Beaujon of the Poynter Institute suggests
Lehrer mainly stirred up more negative than positive response in a craft not quite ready to forgive and forget.
It is a huge splash page, but MSNBC.com has redesigned
to put almost all of its content there.
It is a distinctive approach. Where most others encourage --- and require --- click-throughs to launch photo galleries and most of the text content (to garner page views to serve up ad impressions), MSNBC.com has determined its strategy will be to focus heavily on the front page and to attract advertising and sponsorship support to it.
In other words, the site has gone retro, with few layers and much available on the spot.
There are easier search functions, plenty of large-format ads and a more prominent video player. But there are also some click-through functions, particularly to move content to social networks but also to generate a dashboard.
In his latest Monday Note, writer Frederic Filloux observes: "To put it bluntly, most home pages suck."
Filloux discusses the central tension in most news website design: Reconciling the warmth of the print experience with the coldness of the online one.
He correctly observes identity and personality are unclear and serendipity is limited. He then articulates what he'd like: something that searches more effectively, ports across devices better, and identifies what you want readily.
Then it will be possible to unfurl a full console.
Jacet Utko, the Polish architect-turned-newspaper designer, believes there is no particular reason technologically for the print edition to endure. To make it relevant, it has to capitalize on its design advantages.
Utko has a basic message: Give the designer more power inside the paper and the audience will come. His track record is impressive. Utko has taken some of the dullest-looking eastern European papers and turned them into Society for News Design winners.
He spoke recently to a TED gathering. His eight-minute presentation is attached.
Scott Karp, the prolific and often profound writer for the Publishing 2.0 blog, spends a lot of space making a nevertheless sound point: Design has to work or nothing else will. In his words, if your users fail, your Web site fails. He is critical of sites that require registration without making the case that it is in the user's interests. Whether the user succeeds is everything, he notes.