Posts Tagged ‘News’

Digital Journal data shows strong growth in user-generated media

February 24th, 2011

Digital JournalMy company Digital Journal, issued a press release today that is important for anyone following user-generated content and how it plays a role in media.

The press release is pasted below:

TORONTO, Feb. 24 – Digital Journal, a global digital media news network, released data today showing strong growth in its online and mobile divisions.

Regarded as a pioneer and leader in crowd-sourcing and user-generated content, Digital Journal has 30,000 professional and citizen journalists, bloggers, photographers and freelancers in 200 countries around the world.

Today, the company released the following information related to growth:

Mobile growth

  • Mobile website and smartphone apps attracting more than half-a-million pageviews per month and growing.
  • Smartphone apps launched in mid December 2010 for Android, Apple, BlackBerry and Windows Phone devices in partnership with Polar Mobile.
  • Smartphone apps downloaded 35,000 times since launch, currently growing by more than 5,000 downloads per day.
  • Interactive mobile website allows anyone to post news, blogs, images and more from their smartphone.

Online growth

  • Attracting millions of readers, doubling year-over-year entirely by word of mouth.
  • Crowd-sourcing content from 30,000 members in 200 countries around the world.
  • Paid out more than $100,000 to outside contributors so far.
  • Digital Journal has published more than 100,000 news articles and 65,000 images from contributors in every major metropolis around the globe.
  • Editors make more than 200 appearances on national TV, radio and in print each year.

Future of Media events

  • Digital Journal is now running a semi-annual conference called Future of Media, a speaker series dedicated to discussing the future of media.
  • Past speakers include executives from Facebook, Global News, CBC, CTV and more.
  • Sponsors have included Dell, Rogers, Canada Newswire, Queensway Audi and more.
  • Every event has sold-out, hitting capacity before doors open.
  • Future of Media events widely regarded as must-see media events for executives in media, advertising and PR.

“Digital Journal is excited about its strong growth and global reach,” said Chris Hogg, CEO of Digital Journal, Inc. “With a content platform that is proprietary and automated, we’re currently looking at a number of potential strategic partnership opportunities.”

Digital Journal Platform & Technology

Digital Journal’s proprietary content platform enables qualified contributors to publish content such as news, blogs, images and video, as well as engage in discussions on important topics from their communities. The company’s platform enables content creation at scale, and ad revenue is shared with contributors based on how many pageviews and how much engagement their content attracts.

Digital Journal’s platform enables the company to scale from a hyperlocal focus to an international audience, with the ability to contact readers and contributors within 1 km (1/2 mile) of any geographic location in order to crowd-source content. That technology has been showcased in events such as the recent uprisings in the Middle East and Africa; when a massive earthquake hit Christchurch, New Zealand; and in order to mobilize citizens to cover their communities in metropolises such as Toronto, New York, Paris, London, Sydney and more.

Digital Journal publishes a variety of content ranging from on-the-ground news reports to more general interest stories on topics such as celebrities, business and food. Contributors and readers interact in a one-of-a-kind social news experience that blends news reportage with social communities and groups.

Digital Journal also consults news organizations on how to empower their audience to acquire content, drive revenue and increase engagement from digital media properties. For more information, visit

Everything you need to know about ‘The Daily’

February 2nd, 2011

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch at a press conference in Manhattan.

By Chris Hogg

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch unveiled his company’s vision for the future news publication today and it’s called “The Daily.” The publication is available only on the Apple iPad and represents News Corp.’s vision for the future of digital media.

Speaking at a press conference at the Guggenheim Museum in Manhattan, Rupert Murdoch unveiled The Daily along with Eddy Cue, vice president of Internet Services for Apple.

“New times demand new journalism,” said Murdoch. “The devices that modern engineering have put in our hands demand a new service edited and designed for them. Our challenge was to take the best of journalism and combine it with the best of contemporary technology.”

During the press conference, News Corp. showed off some of the app’s unique features: 360-degree photos let readers see everything from a specific location; high-definition video; graphics that respond to touch; full customization with the ability to pull-in custom content that matters to a reader; and the ability to share content via email, Twitter or Facebook.

News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch at a press conference in Manhattan.

“There’s a growing segment of the population that is educated and sophisticated that does not read national newspapers or watch television news,” said Murdoch. “But they do consume media, and they expect content to be available to them any time and anywhere.”

From a business standpoint, Murdoch said The Daily has cost $30 million to get to where it is and operating costs will be less than $500,000 per week. Murdoch said profitability is easier to achieve because costs are much lower than those associated with traditional news publications.

“We can and we must make the business of news-gathering and editing viable again,” said Murdoch. “Our aim is for The Daily to be the indispensable source for news, information and entertainment. [There is] no paper, no multimillion-dollar process, no trucks,” said Murdoch. “We’re passing on these savings to the reader.”

A shot of the stage at News Corp.'s launch of its iPad-only news publication called "The Daily." From left to right: News Corp. Chief Digital Officer, Jon Miller; Eddy Cue, vice president of Internet Services for Apple; News Corp. CEO Rupert Murdoch; and The Daily's Editor, Jesse Angelo.

The Daily will cost 14 cents per day, or 99 cents per week. Yearly subscriptions are available for $39.99.

Murdoch said The Daily is not a legacy brand moving from the print to the digital world so the company will have license to experiment, a commitment to innovation and “a responsibility to evolve and respond to customer’s need.”

App details, features and content

News Corp. Chief Digital Officer, Jon Miller, said The Daily will produce up to 100 pages of content per day using all types of media. When viewing content, readers can zoom out and view stories in a carousel view or shuffle through content they haven’t read yet. Voice overs offer readers the chance to hear content and a video anchor will host some stories similar to how a TV news anchor reads news.

The Daily, an iPad-only news publication, showcases 360-degree photos, high-def video, breaking news and more. The publication is available for $0.99 per week.

Readers can clip articles, save text, record audio comments or email content. Content within the app will hyperlink to the outside Web and Twitter feeds will be imported to stories. For example, an article about a particular athlete or celebrity will offer a direct, embedded Twitter feed so readers can hear the latest news from that individual within the app.

Customization is also a big part of The Daily: In the sports section, for example, readers can select schedules, scores, stories, photos, etc. and individual teams. The section then shows them up-to-date news and Twitter feeds for their favourite teams and individuals rather than one big generic sports feed. The Daily publishes each morning and content is updated throughout the day, including breaking news.

News Corp. says a mirror-image of The Daily content will be available online but many features will be iPad-only. Content can be shared via social networks so friends can consume individual stories or photos for free, but readers who go directly to the website will hit a paywall and be prompted to pay for content.

According to reports, The Daily boasts a dedicated staff of 100 people. The app is designed to be aesthetically unique, offering news, content, visuals and video in new ways.

Murdoch was originally planning to announce The Daily in mid January with Apple CEO Steve Jobs, but the launch was delayed and Jobs has since taken a medical leave of absence.

Murdoch has reportedly been showing off The Daily to potential advertisers and friends in recent weeks, including guests at a cocktail party at his apartment last night.

Yesterday, News Corp. announced John McKinley has been appointed Chief Technology Officer (CTO) and President of Technology for the organization’s digital media group. McKinley previously served as the CTO of AOL.

Apple introduces new subscription model for App Store

The Daily has been talked about widely in media circles, as journalists, pundits, analysts and observers watch to see how a digital-only publication is received by the public. Some believe apps will hurt print subscriptions in the future, so News Corp. is pushing to establish a digital audience.

The launch of The Daily is being marked as a significant event in media circles because it brings with it a new subscription option from Apple to allow publishers to get the digital equivalent of recurring magazine or newspaper subscription revenue.

Prior to the launch of The Daily, an iOS user could pay for an app and download it to their iPod, iPhone or iPad but it was a one-time charge only. There have been “in-app” purchase options, but that feature was not designed with publishers in mind. With the exception of the Wall Street Journal, Apple has not allowed media organizations to sell more than one issue via the App Store.

Eddy Cue, vice president of Internet Services for Apple, at a press conference in Manhattan announcing the launch of the iPad-only news publication, "The Daily."

“We’ve included a whole new subscription billing that’s as easy as one click,” said Apple’s Eddy Cue. “We think iPad customers are really going to embrace this.”

Apple said The Daily is the first publication to take advantage of this new subscription option and that other publishers will be able to in the near future. Cue declined to say when that will happen.

Apple has sold more than 15 million iPads the company says iPad customers are huge consumers of news, downloading more than 200 million news apps to date.

When asked if News Corp. plans to make The Daily available on other tablets, Murdoch confirmed the company plans to, but he did not specify when. “As other tablets get established, we will develop [The Daily] to go on them,” he said. “We believe last year, this year and maybe next year belong to Apple.”

[Cross-posted to Future of Media & Digital Journal]

Study: Facebook changing the way people communicate

January 14th, 2011

Facebook in a computer lab. - Photo by Sarah Houghton-Jan

As media, marketers and PR professionals work to understand more about how content consumption habits are changing in digital media, Facebook has continued to emerge as a dominant player.

The social network says it boasts a membership of more than 500 million active members, 50 percent of whom log-in each day. The average user creates 90 pieces of content each month, and the average user is connected to 80 community pages, groups and events.

As Facebook grows, its footprint as a platform for content discovery grows with it and according to a study (PDF) published by Abacus Data, widespread Facebook usage in Canada is changing how citizens consume content and learn about news around them.

The Ottawa-based market research firm says nearly 75 percent of Canadians now maintain a Facebook account, and while more than 90 percent of millennials (those aged 18-29) have a Facebook account, well over half of adults 60 and up do as well.

According to the study, about 60 percent of people older than 60 identify themselves as Facebook users; nearly 70 percent of people between the ages of 45 and 59 say their on Facebook; almost 80 percent of those aged 33 to 44 are on the social network; and 91 percent of millennials have a Facebook account.

“It’s very common to hear of a generational gap in social media use, but these results show that that gap is more of a gradient – the real gap is in how the different generations use social media,” Alex Monk, a strategist at Abacus Data and author of the report, said in a news release. “Membership is one thing, but the critical data is how people use their Facebook accounts.”

The study says the younger the person, the more likely they are to use Facebook often. To investigate how different generations use Facebook, researchers conducted an online survey with 1,362 Canadians in December 2010 and asked them how they were most likely to hear about a newsworthy or important event within their circle of friends. Results showed Facebook is a primary source of news discovery.

“Nearly half of millennials first hear about noteworthy events within their social circles via Facebook, while only 13 percent hear by phone and 8 percent by email,” said Monk. “That’s what makes the millennial generation so different from the others.”

In contrast, more than 50 percent of people ages 45 to 59 and those over 60 were most likely to hear about a noteworthy event within their circle of friends by phone. That said, older generations are not cut off from technology as a means of communication, as nearly 30 percent of respondents older than 60 said they were most likely to hear of noteworthy events via email.

How people hear about a newsworthy event. - Image courtesy Abacus Data

Brand advocates and marketers are flocking to Facebook because of its active user base, especially among younger generations. Businesses are creating content just to be shared via the social network, communication between brands and customers is more transparent and studies show millennials prefer to interact with brands in a digital space.

Citing forecasts from eMarketer, RICG says, “Businesses are expected to spend $1.7 billion on Facebook marketing in 2011, an increase of $500 million over 2010.”

To understand more about who uses Facebook, Abacus researchers also looked into background information such as level of education, geography and age. “One may hypothesize that Facebook is used nearly exclusively by young people and students, as its origins can be traced to university and college campuses,” the study notes. “However, the idea of student-exclusive use quickly evaporates when membership is broken down by level of education.”

The survey showed 70 percent of people with post-graduate or higher education use Facebook; 78 percent of those with a Bachelor’s degree are on the social network; and 76 percent of those with “some” university or college are on Facebook:

In Canada, Facebook use by geography breaks down fairly evenly across the country. Atlantic Canada sees the highest level of Facebook users at 80 percent of the population. Other provinces break down as follows: Quebec (75%), Ontario (72%), Central Canada (69%), Alberta (74%) and British Columbia (75%).

Abacus Data says the key difference between older generations and millennials with Facebook is usage patterns. ”It’s one thing to have a Facebook account, but another to use it,” the study notes.

Researchers say millennials are much more involved in Facebook, with 50 percent checking their account multiple times per day and more than 80 percent checking at least once daily. Among 30- to 44-year-olds, 67 percent check daily, while 58 percent of those aged 45-59 and 50 percent of people older than 60 checking daily.

How often people check Facebook. - Image courtesy Abacus Data

Looking further into usage patterns, researchers asked respondents four statements about sharing information online to see how their usage and behaviour differs. The statements were: “Sharing any kind of personal information online is too much of a risk for me”; “I share selected personal information with my family and friends via Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, or a personal website”; “I readily share information. I am not concerned with privacy risks, as only my friends want to see what I share online”; and “I don’t use the internet for personal networking or social reasons.”

The trend with milliennials continued, as they were most likely to share information and most likely to be using social media. Older generations said they were not as likely to use social media and more likely to believe sharing information online is too risky. Researchers say this could be indicative of a fundamental, generational attitude difference.

“Among other things, sharing information online can be a sign of comfort with the Internet as a social medium, or as an acceptance of social networking as a means of keeping in touch with friends on a regular basis,” the study says.

Out of those surveyed, 75 percent of millennials share some info online, as they’re more comfortable with technology and Facebook is widely seen as just another natural means of communication.

The study concludes by saying: “A gap does exist between millennials and other generations, but not in the simple use of the Internet or other modern technologies. The use of Facebook as a natural extension for social communication is where a generational gap becomes evident. The prevalence of email use and Facebook membership among older generations suggests that they are active on the Internet; they communicate and share information via email. Real penetration of Facebook as a means of relaying meaningful information within a social circle, however, still seems to rest with millennials.”

[Cross-posted to Future of Media]

Media error-reporting service ‘MediaBug’ expands across United States

October 29th, 2010


MediaBugs, a company that allows Internet users to report errors in stories they read in the media, has announced it’s expanding its service nationally to handle error reports about media coverage across the United States.

MediaBugs is a service for reporting specific, correctable errors and problems in media coverage, the company’s About Us page says. MediaBugs allows individuals to report errors in media and the company says it will provide a “neutral, civil, moderated discussion space” for mistakes or errors. MediaBugs will then take each error and attempt to alert the journalist or media outlet about the mistake, and involve them in the discussion.

MediaBugs was granted $335,000 in 2009 from the Knight News Challenge. The company initially created a public test site in San Francisco to allow  individuals to report errors. This week, the company said it is expanding nationally across the United States.

“Wherever you are in the U.S., and wherever in the country you find a media organization that you think has made a correctable error, MediaBugs is now available for you to use to try to get those errors corrected,” writes MediaBugs project director, Scott Rosenberg, on the company’s official blog. “You file an error report; we’ll make sure the media outlet knows about it, and try to get someone to respond.”

MediaBugs has implemented a few new features to go along with this announcement, including:

  • Users can browse bugs by region to see what is being reported, what media organizations are involved, and where they’re geographically located.
  • More data about bugs is being shared so users can browse bugs by media outlet to see a readout of how many bug reports have been filed for that particular outlet, along with info from MediaBugs about how the media outlet handles error-corrections.
  • A bookmarklet tool lets users install the reporting feature into their browser so they can submit bug reports right from the site they’re reading.

“We’re excited about this expansion,” writes Rosenberg. “We’ve found that a lot of the exchanges we’ve had introducing MediaBugs to people went something like this: The listener would say, ‘What a great idea! You know, just the other day I saw this really unfortunate error in the X News about Y’ — where both X and Y lie outside the Bay Area. And we’d have to say, ‘That’s really interesting, but unfortunately we are only covering the Bay Area right now.’ Everyone would look glum, and the conversation would move on. Now, instead, we can say: Go for it — file that bug.”

- Cross posted to Future of Media

Google investing $5 million to encourage innovation in digital journalism

October 27th, 2010


Google has announced it’s giving away $5 million in grants to non-profit organizations that are developing new approaches to journalism in the digital age.

“Journalism is fundamental to a functioning democracy,” writes Nikesh Arora, President, Global Sales Operations and Business Development. “As media organizations globally continue to broaden their presence online, we’re eager to play our part on the technology side—experimenting with new ways of presenting news online; providing tools like Google Maps and YouTube Direct to make websites more engaging for readers; and investing heavily in our digital platforms to enable publishers to generate more revenue.”

So far, $2 million was granted to the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation to support programs and innovation in journalism. The Knight Foundation will use $1 million to support US grant-making and the other $1 million will be put toward the Knight News Challenge, a program that accepts funding proposals from anyone, anywhere in the world, until December 1.

“We’re eager to do even more internationally, so we will be investing the remaining $3 million in journalism projects in other countries through a similar partnership,” said Arora. “Stay tuned for more details early next year.”

According to a press release, the Knight Foundation says it has invested more than $100 million in media innovation initiatives over the last five years. The money has gone toward innovation in national media policies, technology, public media transformation and the Internet.

The Knight Foundation has welcomed Google into the mix of organizations working toward innovation in digital journalism.

“This is an enormously important vote of confidence by the industry leader, said Alberto Ibargüen, President of Knight Foundation. “We welcome Google’s support. The free flow of information is essential to a democratic society.  Already, more Americans get their information from the Internet than from newspapers.  That trend will only intensify, making it imperative for our democracy that we find ways to effectively deliver the news and information people require on the new, digital platforms.”

Below is a video in which Knight Foundation President, Alberto Ibargüen, talks about Google’s donation of $2 million to support Knight Foundation’s media innovation efforts:

- Cross posted to Future of Media