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This User-Generated Magazine Wants to Pay Contributors

storybyThis week, StoryBy officially launched as the first peer-generated, crowd-sourced, forum-based “magazine” that also aims to share its revenue with contributors.

The platform was spawned out of frustration with what CEO Olavi Toivainen calls “old style” forums: hard to search, difficult to follow and to contribute to. StoryBy is focused on making reading an immersive experience, which will benefit users and brands. Organized by topics, or what they call “zones,” users can write their own articles. Right now, lifestyle topics like home, travel, and entertainment populate the site.

In addition to creatine a reading experience using an algorithm that ranks entries by popularity, Toivainen is focused on making the site easy to use and personalizing the experience. “The ranking order is driving the experience,” Toivainen says.

For readers, there’s no obligatory log-in, so you can create your adventure within the site without the algorithm. Contributors do need to log in. But once you write an article on a topic, that’s it. Their platform categorizes and tags it for you. Like Quora, StoryBy is founded on the belief that everyone is an expert on something.  Read more

Will Reuters’ Digital TV Service Appeal to the Masses?

reuterstvComing early next year is a digital-only service fit for mobile consumers called Reuters.TV, reported AdAge. The news broadcasts, available initially on iPhones and iPads and due in early 2015, are to be personalized depending on who’s watching and what he/she prefers in terms of length and news interests. Edited segments served to the viewer may also vary according to the consumer’s location in the country, thanks to an algorithmic approach from Reuters.

This step for the news company indicates what we have seen play out consistently in the past few years — TV news doesn’t have the audience or appeal it did during the pre-digital era. While mobile devices have made a way for TV shows to spread in popularity, increase engagement and earn big ad dollars, the television news industry hasn’t been able to translate success from the small screen to the even smaller screen.

As Isaac Showman, who will be the managing director of Reuters.TV, told AdAge, the desired audience for the service is “educated professionals between the ages of 27 and 47, many of whom have stopped watching traditional TV.”

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Knight Survey: High School Students Support First Amendment More Than Adults

photo courtesy CHSTV, via Poynter.org

photo courtesy CHSTV, via Poynter.org

High School students, who rank among the heaviest users of digital media, support First Amendment freedoms more than adults, for the first time in more than a decade, according to a recent survey by the Knight Foundation.
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NPR’s ‘Snap Judgement’ Looks for Millennial Support on Kickstarter

Do you want the biggest, baddest season of Snap Judgement ever?  How anyone could resist Glynn Washington‘s request for donations is beyond me.

Washington, the host of the Snap Judgement podcast you can hear on NPR, and his team are trying to attract new audiences and raise funds for their next season. Snap Judgement is one way public radio has reached out to millennials; in their own words the show is about engagement, according to a release about the crowdfunding:

For the past few years, this multi-platform radio show, unlike any others on NPR, has been drawing from across the demographic spectrum.  Storytelling with a beat, the show uses music and video, incorporates live stage productions that sell out nationwide, encourages web downloads, Twitter and interactive dialogue. In short, Snap Judgement is everything public radio is not known for.

Even more interestingly, Washington says in the video that they’re hitting up the audience last in their fundraising. With backing from PRX and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting, he ditches the usual public radio drive schtick of: “you owe us, really, for all the good that we do,” and gets right to the point: donate for a t-shirt or concert tickets. Donate because you actually like us; which is what Kickstarter is all about to.

The campaign ends on October 10th and they’re almost at their goal of $150,000 to keep the lights on. If you donate, they’ll produce the “biggest and baddestseason yet. It’s not a bad deal. Especially if you can make public radio cool again (was it ever?).

Storytelling Conference May Have Tips for Digital Pubs

11Interested in how storytelling will continue to take shape online? An upcoming event in New York City called The Future of Storytelling (FoST) Summit is inviting media and technology professionals to gather and learn about innovative ways that stories are being told.

Guests include Ze Frank, president of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures, as well as BuzzFeed’s Jonah Peretti, and Webby Award founder Tiffany Shlain.

The series of workshops and master classes is geared toward filmmakers, communications officers and media members, though I can see how learning about what’s on the cutting edge of “storytelling” — in terms of methods, current trends, and future outlooks — could be extremely useful for product developers, digital editors, and analytics folks at news organizations. With consumption on mobile devices rising exponentially, presenting information and stories in a functional yet efficient way is any media person’s challenge. Apps, data visualizations, video, longform text, infographics, aggregated content — what’s the right way to go?

The FoST event may just have a few answers. FoST is invite-only, but you can follow the discussion on Twitter during the Oct. 1-2 conference here, using the hashtag #FoST.

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