You are currently browsing the daily Archive for March 8th, 2011.

How do journalists compete in a large media market?

“Your title tag and description are your first impression to attract potential audience” said Monica Wright. “You capture new online readership by setting yourself apart with useful and engaging tags.”

Building an audience online also includes:

  • tracking your content
  • web analytics
  • search engine optimization (SEO)
  • effective headline writing for the Web
  • distribution through social media

What should you be tracking? Anything that is able to be tracked! Start by using the baker’s dozen list below:

  • total news stories per day
  • news stories by topic or section
  • total blog posts per day
  • blog posts by specific blog
  • slide shows per week
  • video stories per week
  • podcasts or other audio stories
  • news updates
  • breaking news e-mail alerts
  • SMS or other mobile network alerts
  • e-mail news letters that are not sent automatically
  • Twitter, Facebook or other social network posts
  • user-generated content

By using web analytics, you will be able to track your audiences in order to learn what your audience is consuming. Web analytics softwares allow you to identify key data points, such as:

  • pageviews
  • visits and unique visitors compared
  • engagement and referrers

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) assist in driving more audience to ideas that people are excited about. SEO’s perform three main functions:

  • spiders and robots: small computer programs that are sent out by search engines line Google and Bing to “crawl” the Internet and track and record the information found on Web pages
  • indexing: take the information sent from the spiders and robots and build large database files with references to all the content connected to the right links
  • queries: takes the keywords you’ve searched to look in the index for the most relevant results — it then returns and presents those results on Web pages for you to explore

When creating a headline, be sure to write for readers and robots. In order to make headlines better:

  • use keywords
  • user conversational language
  • don’t be afraid to inject a little attitude

Social media is great at distributing information to many channels. Mark Briggs suggests:

The future of journalism means managing online communities and participating in various social networks,” said Mark Briggs. One of the greatest challenges facing journalists now is how to manage and leverage news conversation in social media networks.

The problem with news as a conversation is that participants are rarely as constructive or respectful as journalists and other readers would like. There are either too many conversations for news organizations to manage, or there are too few comments that generate actual conversation around the news.

While some journalists shy away from the interactiveness of reader comments, Doug Feaver, creator of the dot.comments blog, suggests that “comments provide a forum for readers to complain about what they see as unfairness or inaccuracy in an article, to talk to each other and to bloviate.”

Feaver makes a great argument – news conversation does have wonderful benefits, such as:

  • they provide transparency on the reporting process
  • they enable an immediate feedback loop
  • they spread awareness of news coverage through word-of-mouth marketing

News conversation allows more tips to be discovered and more links to be shared, according to BeatBlogging‘s Patrick Thornton. Knowledgable users can provide journalists with tips, links additional insight or even clarify a post.

Journalists should make news participatory so that audiences can contribute to news and information by suppling additional:

  • photos
  • videos
  • event lists (on calendar sites)
  • edits (on wiki sites)
  • message board posts
  • blog posts
  • votes and recommendations
  • promotin on other social media sites (ex: Digg and SumbleUpon)

There is the 1-10-100 rule for participatory online community sites that states:

  • 1% of the user community actual create content
  • 10% of the user community will synthesize the content by posting comments, e-mailing links to friends, authoring blog posts on separate sites and linking back to it, etc.
  • 100% of the user community will benefit from the actions of the first two groups

Journalists should be responsible for keeping all news conversations accurate and ethical. They can do this by:

  • setting guidelines for participants
  • monitoring offensive postings
  • knowing their legal responsibilities
  • correcting errors

Former Senator George Allen (R-Va.), who announced that he will be running for his old seat in the 2012 Senate race, met with C-SPAN’s Steve Scully to discuss federal and state spending.

Allen, who strongly believes that more decisions should be made by the people, said that the federal government should not be starting new programs while there is so much debt. In fact, he blames the federal government’s laws and regulations for our country’s “ballooning national debt.”

“The federal government needs to get it’s own house in order and begin to operate the way families and businesses do,” Allen said. “If there is no money coming in, then they need to stop spending.”

One way to increase revenue in the United States is by utilizing the abundant, plentiful coal resources within our own country. Approximately 41 percent of our trade deficit is due to the importation of oil, according to Allen. He recommends the federal government to allow states to explore off the coast so that we can keep the money and jobs at home.

“If the French can do it, so can Americans,” Allen said.

Students are now facing a different world from Reagan’s days, according to Allen.

“Our competition now is all of Europe,” Allen said. “They’re all over the world.

The method in competing with the rest of the world is through knowledge, according to Allen. Once we beat out the competition, we can “celebrate after victory!,” exclaimed Allen.

To view the conference, please visit: