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Everything Upworthy Can Teach Journalists

upworthyThis week, New York magazine has a profile of the website we all love to hate: Upworthy.

Upworthy is the bane of many a journalist’s existence. It peddles in clicks, and has people sharing, painlessly and by the millions, pieces of content that concern topics we actually want to report on. A 10-page feature or package with video on the effects of poverty takes months to prepare and weeks to garner attention on Twitter. They find one video on the topic and it has thousands of views. It’s  more BuzzFeed-y than BuzzFeed; they at least have a news team. You should read the whole piece, though, because there are lessons to be gleaned from their success.

1) Ah, the infamous Upworthy style headline. In one part of the feature, they talk about ‘click testing,’ where they run through possible headlines and then see how clickable they are out in the wild. If it’s not clickable, they tweak. Every media outlet can do this, and if you want to garner more traffic, you should. If you feel icky about changing the headline after it’s originally published, just add a note. I see good digital outlets doing this all the time. Slate stories, for example, often have one headline when I see it in the morning and another by the afternoon when I actually get around to reading it. If it requires emails or write offs to tweak a headline or re-run and write a new social media tease to make it more interesting — you’re doing it wrong. Read more

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Ukrainian Startup Newzmate Launches Traqli News Curation Tool

Some news stories, such as the current mystery of what happened to a Malaysian Airliner that seemingly disappeared from sight, are difficult to keep up with due to their dynamic and ever-changing nature of almost daily updates that add new and previously unpublished information.

newzmate post picBut, Newzmate, a joint U.S. – Ukrainian-based tech startup may have an answer to this vexing, news curation problem. Read more

Rumble and Digital First Media Partner Up, Update Their Ideas of Mobile

rumbledfm

Last week, Digital First Media announced a partnership with Rumble, the mobile publishing platform. I’ve written about Digital First Media before, when they announced their plan to “unbolt” digital newsrooms from their print culture. This partnership is a move in that direction.

They aren’t just a new Rumble client. The two companies instead have partnered up for mutual benefits. According to Rumble cofounder and CRO Uyen Tieu, they had a team of developers in DFM’s newsrooms for a week, going through their systems, poking around their servers and taking stock of what they are currently working with. This way, says Tieu, Rumble can work with them to give them exactly what they want and need. Tieu says that they are a good fit for publishers like Digital First Media because they are a centralized platform “but we are agnostic in that we are open to working with everyone…we play well in the sandbox with others.”

Read more

The Guardian Already Has An In-House Tool for “Attention Analytics.” Do You?

orphanWhile Upworthy was busy writing their “down with the pageview” manifesto yesterday, it turns out that the Guardian’s been using attention analytics it since an in-house hack day, when web architect Graham Tackley and digital audience manager Chris Moran decided that they wanted to see real time data to help manage the SEO for The Guardian’s ”400 pieces of content” a day, according to this piece by Ciara Byrne on Fast Company.

Here’s how it evolved from a took on one man’s desktop, to a newsroom-wide tool called Orphan, according to Byrne’s piece:

[Tackley] tailed the logs on to a couple of servers, pushed it to a messaging queue, and created a Scala Play Framework app to consume and display the data on a dashboard…Word got around and more and more Guardian employees started to use Tackley’s dashboard, now named Ophan. Tackley decided to upgrade it to capture the Guardian’s entire click stream, which generates between 15 million and 25 million events a day and store the data for seven days. This meant moving from his desktop to Amazon Web Services…A JavaScript hidden pixel on the website now records every event instead of retrieving it from the logs and places it in a message queue. Since there were now too many events to hold in-memory, an app called Serf takes the message queue, extracts what was needed, and inserts it into an ElasticSearch cluster. The dashboard asks the same questions of ElasticSearch, a real-time search and analytics engine, that it had previously posed to the in-memory event list

There are a few lessons to be gleaned from this: Read more

Locable Network Targets Entrepreneurial Journalists

locable pic 2Locable, a growing network of 45-plus local community news-oriented websites, is hoping to succeed where other hyperlocal operations have faltered.

The company, started five years ago as an MBA research project out of the University of Washington, differentiates itself from similar hyperlocal operations, such as Patch, by providing a turnkey program for both established and new, owner-operated media entrepreneurs. Read more

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