Social media drives traffic, but the prize is direct users

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  • by Jack Lail.
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Facebook is an important source of website referrals for many news outlets, but the users who arrive via Facebook spend far less time and consume far fewer pages than those who arrive directly. The same is true of users arriving by search. Our analysis of comScore data found visitors who go to a news media website directly spend roughly three times as long as those who wind up there through search or Facebook, and they view roughly five times as many pages per month. This higher level of engagement from direct visitors is evident whether a site's traffic is driven by search or social sharing and it has big implications for news organizations who are experimenting with digital subscriptions while endeavoring to build a loyal audience.

Great piece by the Pew Research Center on "How social media is reshaping news."

(Image from Pew Research Center)

 

Evolving is a painful process

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  • by Jack Lail.
  • in Adversity is a mean teacher

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For many, working at a newspaper doesn't seem all that fun anymore.

Chas Sisk had had enough.

The Tennessean had just fired Sisk and the entire staff of the paper the day before and asked them to reapply for their jobs. The reorganization was announced in the paper by executive editor Stefanie Murray as a "bold step forward in our evolution."

The Nashville Scene

The old and the new

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  • by Jack Lail.
  • in Online Media
  • Tagged cms, web design

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The old knoxnews (a design in use for just over seven years) and the new design, launched July 22, 2014. The old site was on the "Ellington" platform; the new one uses "Endplay." What's up with the German ads? We use a screenshot service whose ip addresses are in Germany.

(Click on the image for a larger view.)

Good reads on the large life of John Seigenthaler

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  • by Jack Lail.
  • in Newspapers
  • Tagged First Amendment, First Amendment Center, John Seigenthaler

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(Journalists John Quinn and John Seigenthaler chatting at the First Amendment Center in Nashville, Tennessee, in 2010.)

Some good pieces on the large life of John Seigenthaler:

  • New York Times: John Seigenthaler, Editor and Aide to Politicians, Dies at 86
  • Ken Paulson (in USA Today): Seigenthaler a champion of First Amendment
  • The Tennessean: John Seigenthaler, longtime Tennessean editor, dies at 86
  • NPR: Newspaper Editor, Activist John Seigenthaler Dies At 86
  • Poynter: John Seigenthaler was a leader of free speech, civil rights and journalism
  • Nashville Scene: Remembering the late John Seigenthaler, the man who embodied the power of the press

I only ask however you can, whenever you can, please stand up for what Ben Franklin called a precious gift, worth preserving and protecting.

-- John Seigenthaler

Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change small events, and those acts can write the history of our generation.

-- Robert F. Kennedy

Reaction to the death of John Seigenthaler

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  • in Newspapers

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Another year, another year older

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  • in Newspapers
  • Tagged newspapers

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Researcher Greg Harmon of Borrell Associates says the average age of a print newspaper reader is 57 and the average newspaper web visitor is 51.  Saying the industry's aging demographics ought to have "everyone's hair on fire," Harmon notes that newspaper readers have been getting a year older every year for more than a decade. 


-- Alan D. Mutter

The weight of establishment and tradition

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  • in Adversity is a mean teacher

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A great piece from Om Malik on media. There's lot of food for thought in this piece.

Among his highlights:

  • No one could've predicted FB and Twitter as the boosters for media and this is why we've seen so much change and new models.
  • The problem with media is that it's trying to find a answer within itself and not looking at what readers want.
  • The internet as we know it is at an end. The Chinese and Brazilian internets are developing in their own way and pace.
  • Putting a paywall on a thing people were getting for free is a backward move. You must create a new, compelling, useful experience.
  • My open source tools are a paper and a pen.
  • Journalism schools need to teach journalism for the social media age.
  • Big publishers are in the habit of always 'taking' from users, not giving back.
  • We are limited by the industrial definition/model of journalism.
  • It is time for big publications to think of themselves as technology platforms.

The cheerleader, The Dirty and the court case that could change the Internet forever

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  • in Online Media
  • Tagged comments, lawsuit

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The fate of a law that was passed in the infancy of the commercial Internet and which created the legal underpinnings for everything from anonymous comments by trolls on news stories to your pet photo on Facebook was argued today in the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati.

The case involves a defamation lawsuit by a former Cincinnati Benglas cheerleader against a gossip website.  The cheerleader, Sarah Jones, sued gossip site The Dirty in 2012 claiming allegations on its site about her sex life were untrue. A Federal jury awarded Jones $338,000.

In the appeal heard today, The Dirty's attorneys argued the case should have never been heard because the Communications Decency Act of 1996 grants immunity to websites from content posted by users.

"If Judge Bertelsman's ruling stands, the Internet will have a nuclear meltdown," Arizona attorney David Gingras said. "It'll change the rules across the board for everyone. ... Mark Zuckerberg could be dragged into court for what users post on Facebook."

While that quote is more than a bit of hyperbole, the case is being closely watched by web content firms who say upholding the lower court ruling would  "significantly chill online speech" . Read more.

Photo caption: This Monday, July 30, 2012 file photo shows Sarah Jones, a former Dixie Heights High School teacher and Cincinnati Ben-Gal cheerleader, arriving at the Kenton County Justice Center, in Covington, Kentucky. An appeals court is considering whether an Arizona-based gossip website should have been allowed to be sued for defamation by Jones, convicted of having sex with a teenager. Attorneys for both sides argued their case Thursday, May 1, 2014 before the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Cincinnati. (AP Photo/The Enquirer, Patrick Reddy, File)

Newscast bunnies get into some sexy business

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  • in Ramblings
  • Tagged awkward

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Local TV station WBIR has been in the news as an Easter segment last week went viral. 

What made everything from Gawker to the Today Show were some bunnies that in an on-air segment in front of the anchors did what ... ah ... rabbits often do.



The Gawker headline: "Bunnies Have Sex Like Bunnies on Local News Channel's Easter Broadcast"

And CNN:

Things got a little awkward when these fuzzy guests decided to get frisky during @wbir's live newscast. Video: t.co/0QKj6FxwSH

-- CNN Video (@CNNVideo) April 21, 2014

Even another Gannett TV stations have had fun with it.

Today's award for most awkward TV moment goes to our sister station @WBIR; Watch --> t.co/efo9MCKR4z pic.twitter.com/PBYv1LBoVl

-- KHOU 11 News Houston (@KHOU) April 18, 2014

For its part, WBIR and staff have had a good sense of humor about it and are just rolling with it.

#BunnyLove made the @TODAYshow !!! SEE IT: t.co/F5w436OCYv pic.twitter.com/gzpSkBzw4n

-- WBIR Channel 10 (@wbir) April 22, 2014

Here's Christy Moreno, WBIR News Director:

Playboy Bunnies. Best title yet! pic.twitter.com/8aXknw7VPi

-- Christy Moreno (@christyWBIR) April 22, 2014

About that comment

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  • in Online Media
  • Tagged comments

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What's new in comments about comments. The debate on anonymous comments on websites continues while publisher retool or junk their comment systems. Meanwhile, a few interesting new experiments are happening.

  • Yelp Reviews Brew Fight Over Free Speech, Fairness - WSJ.com
  • Times-Picayune gives judge data on two online commenters | Home | The New Orleans Advocate
  • Sun-Times kills comments until it can fix 'morass of negativity, racism, and hate speech' | Poynter.
  • Livefyre Takes A New Approach To Commenting With Web Annotation Product Sidenotes | TechCrunch
  • Anonymous Pa. Web speech may not be so anonymous - Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
  • Man Threatened With Defamation Lawsuit Over Negative Yelp Review « CBS New York
  • Articles about "User commenting" | Poynter.
  • Lawsuit may 'chill online speech' | Poynter.
  • Turning the Page on Anonymity: The Future of HuffPost Comments | Tim McDonald
  • Why Medium Notes Are Different and How to Use Them Well â€" About Medium â€" Medium
  • David Karp: Tumblr Reblogs Created To Fix Comment 'Awfulness'
  • Why some publishers are killing their comment sections | Digiday
  • Internet troll personality study: Machiavellianism, narcissism, psychopathy, sadism.
  • Web comments 'more civil' when journalists interact, study shows | Media news | Journalism.co.uk

See the bigger list of links on comments.