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Mona Zhang

Mona is the editor of SocialTimes and social media coordinator at Mediabistro. She graduated from New York University with a degree in journalism and East Asian Studies. Before moving to NYC, she lived in Beijing, London, Madrid and Chicago.

Consumers Prefer the Mobile Web Over News Apps

mobilenews2A visitor to a news site that arrived through Facebook or search is less engaged than a direct visitor, according to a new study from Pew Research Center. This pattern holds true for both legacy media outlets and digitally-native publications like BuzzFeed.

The report looked at 26 news sites: the top 15 in traffic according to comScore and the top 20 most-shared publications on Facebook according to platform’s internal data. While it did not delve deeply into mobile traffic due to the limitations of comScore’s mobile panel, there were still some interesting insights on mobile Web-browsing habits.

Readers continue to favor Web browsing over apps when it comes to news. Read more

The Biggest Challenges Facing Publications Today

Mediabistro talked to Mashable’s executive editor and chief content officer Jim Roberts and The Wall Street Journal‘s emerging media editor Liz Heron at Social Media Week in New York. WSJ hosted a panel at the event, which focused on the effects of social and mobile on journalism.

For Heron, the biggest challenge is the new competition that publications face from social networks. “Our friends in Silicon Valley are creating so many engaging experiences that are competing with us [for] people’s time and interest,” she said. “It’s also an opportunity… We can be a part of that revolution instead of being cut out by it.”

“One of [Mashable's] challenges/opportunities, is taking a lot of the traffic that we get from social channels and keeping them,” said Roberts. “I think all of us in the news/information world face that challenge in one way or another.”

For more, check out our sister site, SocialTimes.

Listicles vs. Journalism: Mashable’s Jim Roberts Talks Apocalypsticles

apocalypsticalAt Social Media Week NYC, our sister blog SocialTimes caught up with some notable digital journalists at a panel hosted by The Wall Street Journal. The panelists weighed in on a piece in Politico that criticized certain web-based publications for turning violence into clickbait:

The Kyiv protests were also starting to look like clickbait. By the end of the day on Wednesday, Business Insider, Talking Points Memo, Buzzfeed and Mashable had all published their own listicle versions of what Huffington Post called “Ukraine Crisis: 12 Apocalyptic Pictures After Nation’s Deadliest Day.” High in resolution, low on explanation, the articles painted Ukraine’s carnage by numbers.
 
A new genre had been born: the apocalypsticle.

“I was outraged by [the Politico piece]… It bothered me personally because I had invested a lot of real dollars in covering that story since December,” said Mashable’s executive editor and chief content officer Jim Roberts at the panel.

Here, he talks more about the publication’s coverage of the crisis: Read more

Time Inc. CCO’s Biggest Concerns for the Industry: Serious and Local Journalism

MediaMindsNorman Pearlstine has quite the resume. Having worked at The Wall Street Journal, Smart Money, Time Inc. and Bloomberg, the man who started out as a staff reporter was recently named chief content officer at Time Inc. In conversation with Alex S. Jones of Harvard’s Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics & Public Policy, Pearlstine explained his main concerns for the media industry in the digital age:

“I’m not that concerned about whether media companies will be able to develop a profitable model,” he said. “It’s a question of whether those same companies will want to pursue the kind of journalism that is important to our country.”

He praised the work of ProPublica, but said that the non-profit approach, which can work for some outlets, cannot be the only approach to sustaining quality journalism. Read more

Quora Launches Analytics Tool for Writers

Quora_Stats

Today, Quora announced the launch of their newest product: Stats, an analytics tool billed as a “dashboard for writers.” The feature is being rolled out over the next couple of weeks and will replace the current Views page. The new Stats page lets writers track views, upvotes and shares over various lengths of time, which is especially useful for those who churn out a lot of content on the platform.

“We’ve reached the point where some of our writers have content that’s attracting 1 million views per month and upwards of 10 million annualized views,” Marc Bodnick, who oversees product marketing, community and business operations at Quora, told 10,000 Words. He expects that some writers will cross 20-30 million annual views soon. “Writers want to know their overall reach and how their audience numbers are changing over time.” Read more

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