Snippets #9 12/13-7/31 2012

No. 9.7

iPad Mag Ratings on the Eve of iPad 3

Some quotes from MinOnline's coverage of recent iPad magazine ratings and design trends released by McPheters & Company:

Magazine publishers are still getting their sea legs when it comes to tablet app design, even as the iPad approaches its two-year anniversary and the launching of its third hardware iteration.
Many of the tablet apps named in McPheters' list represent second generation designs. The first response to the new tablet interface introduced by the iPad was to leverage every bit of interactivity and interface novelty. In the last two years, many publishers have discovered that less is more. According to recent survey's users prefer standardized interfaces. And many magazine titles that were only marginally enhanced for smaller tablets like the Nook Color actually sold better than their supercharged iPad counterparts.

From McPheters & Company's release:

CEO Rebecca McPheters: 'As the number of magazine apps has exploded, the bar for outstanding performance has constantly evolved. These apps are each doing an outstanding job of fully-leveraging the iPad's capabilities to enhance the user experience and expand upon the services traditionally offered to readers by printed publications.'
Created: 3/6/12   
No. 9.6

Data Without Borders Coming to DC, March 2-4

The new group Data Without Borders (FD: I am proud to be an advisor), fresh off of successful "data dives" in New York and San Francisco, is headed to our nation's capital the weekend of March 2-4. DWB is matching non-profit organizations in need of data analysis with skilled data scientists capable of filling that need. Here at the Center for Digital Information, we are concerned with the effective communication of information in a digital society. In today's digital world, the disciplines of research, data analysis, communication and technology are increasingly overlapped. Data, data analysis and data visualization are integral parts of how organizations will communicate what they know in 2012 and beyond. This is what drew me to DWB and why you should pay attention to what they are doing. Read more about DWB, their dynamic team of Jake, Drew and Craig, and the upcoming DC DataDive.

Created: 2/2/12   Follows: @datanoborders
No. 9.5

Online Video Usage for December 2011

Nielsen is out with the latest monthly numbers on online video usage. There are some eye-popping totals, like over 22 billion streams to over 164 million unique U.S. viewers in December 2011. See all of the numbers, including the top online video destinations, at the NielsenWire blog.

Overall Online Video Usage (U.S., Monthly Totals for December 2011)

Unique Viewers 164,298,000
Total Streams 22,617,316,000
Streams per Viewer 137.7
Time per Viewer (hh:mm) 5:04

Source: Nielsen

Created: 1/26/12   Hat Tips: @nielsenwire    Follows: @nielsenwire
No. 9.4

Ken Doctor on the "newsonomics of the long goodbye"

There is a great piece by Ken Doctor over at Nieman that I just got around to. Here are some of my favorite quotes:

We'll have some kind of print for the rest of our lives, but it will be the sidecar to the revving engine of digital news and information, as more and more publishers call it quits on print.
What stands out most prominently is that U.S. newspapers' ad revenue decline is worse, percentage wise, than either Kodak's or Sears'. Yes, although Kodak and Sears are now poster children of legacy businesses gone wrong, newspapers -- as counted through their main revenue source -- are doing worse.
Innovation means at least fast-following; otherwise, you're left in the dust.
And, finally, perhaps the biggest parallel: The old companies are still stuck in a manufacturing mindset. Kodak creates film and products. Sears sells products. Newspapers print products and far too many "print" websites. The new world is about service.
Created: 1/25/12   Hat Tips: @michelemclellan    Follows: @kdoctor
No. 9.3

Data vs. Interface, Operation vs. Communication

A very quick, rough napkin sketch while in conversation with Lucy Bernholz and Victoria Vrana regarding Lucy's post "A Data Ecosystem." Spurred by Lucy's post, I was trying to distinguish between the "operational data" she was referring to and the sorts of material meant to convey information to further knowledge on a particular issue.

I'll probably junk or change this. It's a brainstorm. But here it is: Data vs. Interface, Operation vs. Communication

Created: 12/16/11   
No. 9.2

Associated Press: A "move away from text"

As published in the Huffington Post, an Associated Press strategic memo foretells a move to more "digital-native" storytelling methods by the wire service. Its "New Distinctiveness" approach is an acknowledgement that "professionally-generated text" (to borrow David Carr's words from a column last year) is no longer going to get the job done:

AP wins when news breaks, but after an hour or two we're often replaced by a piece of content from someone else who has executed something more thoughtful or more innovative. Often it's someone who has taken what we do (sometimes our reporting itself) and pushed it to the next level of content: journalism that's more analytical, maybe a fresh and immediate entry point, a move away from text, a multimedia mashup or a different story form that speaks more directly to users.
Multiple Story Forms. We're going to be finding unusual ways of telling stories and alternative story forms. We've already done this in many ways -- photoblogging, data visualization, video (even data visualization in video), text on major events -- but it needs to be mainstream and part of our fundamental foundations.
Created: 12/14/11   Hat Tips: @huffingtonpost @mcalderone    
No. 9.1

Nonprofits need a dose of "digital-first" medicine

You can find some good quotes from Digital First Media CEO John Paton in a presentation in which he announced the launch of Digital First Ventures, a new company created to "make investments in tech start-ups focused in the areas of content, advertising and audience development."

I like what Paton has to say about the unique capabilities of digital media and that "simple re-purposing of content from one platform to another" is no longer a viable strategy. This advice applies to all information providers, especially nonprofits like foundations, policy research organizations, NGOs, and academic institutions. As CDI's research has shown, "simple re-purposing of content from one platform to another" is pretty much all this sector does, with some worthy but exceedingly rare exceptions. The nonprofit sector's content creation and dissemination strategy needs a healthy dose of the "digital-first" medicine.

We should read this carefully, and then re-read it, and then share it: "if we don't understand this and take advantage of the Medium's potential we will cease to be the Messenger."

[Note: Later today, I'm listening in on a webinar on what makes some online content go viral. I'll go out on a limb and predict that "Click here to download the 200-page PDF report" is not among the attributes.]

Excerpts from Paton:

"new digital platforms demand journalists use each platform to its utmost advantage."
"The first steps in this transition has been our Digital First strategy but clearly it is also a case of Digital Right — the right uses for the right platforms on the right occasions. And not just the simple re-purposing of content from one platform to another in order of priority.

Online stories today that do not link are now considered inferior by consumers. News companies, as brands, cheapen and destroy themselves if they do not allow the social interaction that society now demands of the new digital tool set.

Marshall McLuhan knew this when he said the Medium Is The Message.

In the news business, particularly a legacy business like newspapers, if we don't understand this and take advantage of the Medium's potential we will cease to be the Messenger."
Created: 12/13/11   Hat Tips: @stevebuttry    Follows: @jxpaton

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