If the front page ain’t what it used to be, then how does a journalist get a story on those new front pages? First, accept that the reader is the now the front page editor. Then, make sure your editor knows when you’ve created a new piece of content, and why it is worthy of front page consideration.
- Twitter: Add a tweet button to your story and create content that people want to share with their friends.
- Facebook: Add a “like” button to your post and create content that people want to share with their friends.
- Search: Make sure your stories include words that people might use when searching for the information that you’ve provided, and create content to which people want to link.
- Text (messaging): Create content that people want to share with their friends.
- Tablet: Create content that people want to share with their friends.
- RSS: Make sure readers can easily subscribe to your RSS feed and create a stream of content to which people want to subscribe.
- Time shifters: Add a “read later” button and create content that people will want to read later.
Oh, and make sure you know in which publications you want to appear, and don’t write to appear in other publications. In old school terms, don’t write for Playboy if you want to appear in the Washington Post.
There was a time when reporters worked hard to write stories that editors chose to appear on the front page of a newspaper. But the front page isn’t what it once was.
- For microbloggers getting most of their news from Twitter, the front page is wrapped in 140 characters (with links bringing them to the full story).
- For old friends who count on former classmates and colleagues for newsworthy links, the front page is a Facebook stream (with links bringing them to the full story).
- For the student using search engines to find information, the front page is the first page of search results is the front page (with links bringing them to the full story).
- For digital nomads who rely on alerts to deliver timely news, the front page is a short text message on a phone (with links bringing them to the full story).
- For people relaxing with their new tablet, the front page might be an app like Flipboard (with links bringing them to the full story).
- For news junkies living on the cloud, the front page might be a group of RSS feeds displayed by Google Reader (with links bringing them to the full story).
- For time shifters like me, the front page might be a list of headlines gathered througout the day and saved on Instapaper (with links bringing them to the full story).
With all of these ways that people get their news and information – not to mention my6sense, paper.li and umpteen other services – journalists have more opportunity than ever to appear on front pages. The best part is that these are front pages for very customized publications where people get only the news that they’ve either chosen to follow or actively sought.
Image by “whurley” via Flickr
Search engines must be paying newsrooms to send them traffic. Okay, I’m sure that’s not true, but it feels like it is true when I read articles published by media companies online. Every day, I run into stories that might as well include these promotional bullet points:
- Please go to Google to find the web site of the company I mentioned in this article.
- Please go to Google to that report cited in this article.
- Please go to Google to find more about the people in this article.
- Please go to Google to learn more about the product mentioned in this article.
- Please go to Google to find other news organizations’ reports about this incident.
- Please go to Google to see exactly where this incident occurred.
- Please go to Google if you want to follow links that don’t just point to our own past articles.
- My gosh, this list can go on forever!
As a news consumer, I actually hate that I have to go to Google for that information all the time. I want articles to lead me to all that information, much like many blog posts do.
If a news organization makes money by displaying advertisements on its site, how can it continue to deliver those ad messages — and continue to generate the associated revenue — in a world where people find their news in bundles created by their friends and automated services?
This Mashable profile of Diner Connection is part of a series sponsored by Microsoft. Since the ad message and its links have been inserted in the post as the first paragraph, that message also is delivered in RSS feeds. This is how it appeared in my Google Reader.
If someone clicked on a link from their friend’s tweet to this ReadWriteWeb data visualization post, they would be met with a ReadWriteHack “channel” heavily branded by sponsor Intel. Like the example above, first paragraph includes a note about the series, along with links to the sponsor’s site.
TechCrunch advertisers don’t only appear in designated ad spots on their site or within RSS feeds, they actually create blog posts like this one thanking their sponsors. The post includes two links to each advertiser, along with a short description of each company’s products or services.
This one isn’t actually outside of the bundle, but shows how a publisher can integrate advertising directly into a site’s content bundle. The Mashable homepage simply displays excerpts of its posts in reverse chronological order. But injected into that stream are these posts from, and links to, their jobs site.