Tag Archives: web 2.0

More resources from 2010 AAJA Convention

The Online News Association has a link to all the presentations from its daylong Parachute Training session held during the convention.

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Mobile apps: A source of real revenue for news orgs?

Posted on by sbhatt

On Thursday night, I attended a panel discussion on mobile advertising put on by TiE-Seattle, a not-for-profit group dedicated to fostering and supporting entrepreneurship. TiE-Seattle is part of a global network born in the early 1990s when Silicon Valley entrepreneurs of South Asian heritage decided to hold regular meetups.

The panel discussion certainly had some noteworthy speakers, but more on that later.

First, the WHY.

As in, why might mobile advertising be an important subject for journalists, especially those in print media, to think about?

Even if more people than ever are consuming what journalists create, the revenue that pays for the people, the equipment and the overhead is shrinking. (It’s no surprise publishers like the New York Times are planning to erect paywalls for their content starting next year.)

I thought newspapers might be stabilizing in 2010 after two terrible years, but the former media executive and bearish pundit Alan Mutter recently raised alarms again that the newspaper industry is still in trouble, having missed out on the recovery in advertising spending in the first quarter of 2010. His chart says it all: “Newspaper and magazine [ad] sales in the first quarter dropped respectively 9.7% and 3.9% at the same time television expenditures advanced 10.5%, Internet rose 7.5% and radio gained 6.0%.”

Auto and retail advertising historically have been important sources of newspaper ad revenue, so it’s disturbing to hear that even as auto and retail sales rose in the first quarter, spending on newspaper advertising for these verticals plunged. Clearly, some big car advertisers (i.e. Ford, Mercedes) are testing other ways to deliver ad impressions to potential customers.

Motor Trend magazine earlier this year launched an iPhone app with Mercedes-Benz sponsorship. According to an article in eMarketer, the iPhone app was part of an integrated marketing campaign in which Mercedes wanted to convey the message that the E-Class represents the next generation of Mercedes-Benz design and technology.

Advertisers like Mercedes-Benz are eager to deliver their messages to the booming number of mobile customers. Get the stats here.

Publishers are branding themselves too with apps. The alternate weeklies in Seattle, The Stranger and Seattle Weekly, have happy hour apps.

The question is can newspapers, most of which have weak engineering capacity and change-resistant cultures, come up with apps compelling enough to make the upfront development costs payoff? The Miami Herald’s iPhone app for baseball fans has been a hit. My own employer, The Seattle Times, has an iPhone app.

The challenge for media organizations is not simply migrating their content to mobile devices (just as they migrated it to the web), but leveraging the unique strengths of mobile for content AND advertising.

Mobile devices offer multiple “sensors” — such as location (GPS), touch, balance (accelerometer), visual (camera) and aural (mic). Unlike PCs, mobile offers advertisers a unique end-user; most of us don’t lend out our cell phones. All of these factors create interest for advertisers, who want to deliver a message to a specific audience that is going to stand out and be memorable in today’s information glut.

That brings us back to the TiE-Seattle event on Thursday night.

TiE-Seattle’s panel was composed of marketing and business types:

(Interestingly, the panel moderator, Kevin Keating, was a former journalist for the Spokane Spokesman-Review and is now founding partner of Lucid Communications, a strategic marketing firm based in Seattle. Keating opened the discussion by noting that research firm Garnter forecasts mobile advertising will reach $1.6 billion this year.)

Google and Apple are staking claims to mobile advertising by controlling the platforms that serve up mobile ads.

“It’ll lend a lot of credibility to the space,” Jordan said.

Similarly, Ribera views 2010 as the first year that mobile is seriously considered part of the marketing mix. Two-thirds of the campaigns his group is doing now, he said, are “integrated media buys,” with ads deployed on three marketing channels — mobile, web and keyword search.

Publishers, take note: The CPMs for mobile ads are higher than banner ads on websites, Ribera tells me.

But Bryan is skeptical of claims that mobile will eat the lunch of television, the dominant media for brand awareness advertising. (Think Super Bowl.) “Advertising is not an infinitely large bucket of money,” he said.

There’s consensus that mobile is gaining advertiser interest by delivering targeted messages through text messages (SMS), keyword search, and interactive apps.

But marketers are learning that user behavior is not the same on the mobile screen as it is on a PC. Mobile users have more urgent demands for information when it comes to search.

For example, Ribera noted, most mobile users of the Bing search engine complete their task within an hour or a day, whereas most PC users take up to a week. Mobile search keywords tend to be more conversational and abbreviated than PC search keywords.

(I love the fact that audience members added their knowledge to the discussion: C.N. Chiu, a consultant for MobileWebGo in Portland, Ore., said Spanish-speaking users are six times more likely than native English speakers to use mobile search.)

What does all this mean for news organizations and journalists? Based on what I learned from these speakers, here’s a few thoughts.

1. News organizations should charge for their apps, but they should be sure the apps do more than simply copy what is delivered on the PC screen. Get creative and offer something that’s entertaining, educational or utilitarian. Give the user a satisfying experience. This is not unrealistic as mobile payment use is growing. (If it’s a sponsored app, then obviously the news organization wants to make it a free download to maximize its distribution.)

2. Text messaging still has the greatest reach on mobile devices, but location-based services are the hot new thing. (Uh, Foursquare, anyone?) Could news organizations license to location-based services their news stories about a location, so urban explorers can not only find deals on shoes but also learn more about that neighborhood?

3. There’s great demand for quality video on mobile devices but a whole host of technical issues need to be worked out. But once those issues are worked out (and it won’t be long), inventory will sell out quickly. The new iPhone takes 720p high-def video and the $5 iMovie app turns the device into a video editor. Start to build mobile video into your multimedia workflow so you’ll be in a position to sell ads with them. Think Webiscenes, not Webisodes.

4. Because mobile users’ information needs are typically more urgent, certain kinds of content will be a better fit for the mobile device: Movie and restaurant reviews, breaking news alerts and sports stats. But news apps, because they must be downloaded by the user, involve intention and thus can also be designed to appeal to a niche editorial interest — and carry higher advertising rates.

Please add your comments! And contact us at aajaseattle@gmail.com if you have ideas for speakers for our next Innovation Salon, which will focus on monetizing digital news content.

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Eating While Tweeting: Social Media Lessons from Seattle’s Fooderati

Posted on by sbhatt

You can have your food, Twitter and iPhone all at the same time

AAJA Seattle’s 2010 INNOVATION SALONS:
Join us for a lively evening of food, drinks, networking and twitterific conversation at TASTE Restaurant at the Seattle Art Museum.


“EATING WHILE TWEETING: SOCIAL MEDIA LESSONS FROM SEATTLE’S FOODERATI”

For AAJA Seattle’s inaugural Innovation Salon series, we bring together a group of the city’s hungriest tweeters: PR-pro Hsiao-Ching Chou, food writer Matthew Amster-Burton and chef Becky Selengut.

Journalists, businesses owners and just about anyone else with a message is scrambling to carve a presence in emerging social media markets. This panel represents a micro-community that adopted social media and pushed its boundaries since before it was cool.

Moderated by Karen Johnson, Seattle magazine online managing editor, this intimate salon will focus less on the Twitter basics and more on the broad lessons, stories and musings from a foodie community that has embraced, and in turn, been transformed through social media

DETAILS
Event: “Eating while tweeting: Social media lessons from Seattle’s fooderati”
When: Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Where: TASTE Restaurant at Seattle Art Museum, 1300 FIrst Ave., Downtown
Time: 6 p.m.
Cost: $25/$20 for AAJA Seattle members (includes appetizers provided by TASTE)
Buy tickets: http://www.brownpapertickets.com/event/112278

ABOUT THE PANELISTS
• Matthew Amster-Burton Food writer and author of Hungry Monkey: A Food-Loving Father’s Quest to Raise an Adventurous Eater
• Hsiao-Ching Chou Partner and social media director at Suzuki+Chou Communimedia, writer and former food editor at the Seattle P-I
• Becky Selengut Chef and co-author of The Washington Local and Seasonal Cookbook

SPONSORS
AAJA Seattle
Taste Restaurant at Seattle Art Museum
Seattle magazine

The Asian American Journalists Association-Seattle chapter is a local, non-profit professional and organization. Since 1985, the chapter has provided scholarships for students, professional development for journalists and service to the community in the Pacific Northwest. For more info on AAJA Seattle visit: www.aajaseattle.org

(Images courtesy of CIO.com, Flickr Creative Commons: photos by The Mooncake Box, smcgee, highway.skylines. Graphic by Hot Chai Media)

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Hurry! May 1 application deadline for multimedia fellowships

Posted on by sbhatt

We know you’re hungry for training, but you may not have enough funds.

AAJA Seattle is here for you.

This year the chapter will offer three AAJA Seattle / 911 Media Arts fellowships for professional members and two fellowships for student members in good standing. Details below!

The professional fellowships, a new member benefit this year, offer up to $250 in reimbursement to professionals who are AAJA MEMBERS for covering half the cost of classes, equipment rental, or lab time at 911 Media Arts in Seattle’s U District.

The student fellowships cover the entire cost – up to $500 – of taking classes, renting equipment and using the editing suite at 911 Media’s office.

If you’ve let your membership lapse or aren’t a member, join AAJA today.

Professional members who want to apply should email a resume and a statement of up to 500 words to aajaseattle@gmail.com by 5 p.m., May 1, with “911 Media Arts fellowship” in the subject line. Applicants should state how the fellowship will help them move towards their career goals and a specific project they plan to undertake for their newsroom, a news publication/website, or the AAJA Seattle website, using the skills they learn in 911 Media classes.

Students have the same deadline but should use the one-stop student scholarships application form. Download it here.

Because this is the first year of the fellowships, the chapter board will determine how many fellowships to award in this application round. The board may elect to hold another fellowship application cycle after June.

Questions? Email Sanjay at sbhatt@seattletimes.com

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Apply today for multimedia training fellowships for journalists

Posted on by sbhatt

We know you’re hungry for training, but you may not have enough funds.

AAJA Seattle is here for you.

This year the chapter will fund three AAJA Seattle / 911 Media Arts fellowships for professional members in good standing. Details below!

The fellowships, a new member benefit this year, offer up to $250 in reimbursement to professionals who are AAJA MEMBERS for covering half the cost of classes, equipment rental, or lab time at 911 Media Arts in Seattle’s U District.

If you’ve let your membership lapse or aren’t a member, join AAJA today.

To apply, email a resume and a statement of up to 1,000 words to aajaseattle@gmail.com by 5 p.m., March 24, with “911 Media Arts fellowship” in the subject line. Applicants should state how the fellowship will help them move towards their career goals and a specific project they plan to undertake for their newsroom, a news publication/website, or the AAJA Seattle website, using the skills they learn in 911 Media classes.

Because this is the first year of the fellowships, the chapter board will determine how many fellowships to award in the first six months of this year. The board may elect to hold another fellowship application cycle after June.

Questions? Email Sanjay at sbhatt@seattletimes.com

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