It started as an experiment. Twitter, who wanted to increase new user involvement and engagement, started to add tweets from people you aren't following into your stream. And now it's an official feature.
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Similarly, black hat viral content attempts to improve pageviews and clickthroughs in ways that involve deception or social engineering. One technique involves using deceptive headlines to lure people to click on a link. Another method uses optimized psychological triggers that trick people to act in a certain way, much like gambling sites.
The whole format of news is changing. And it's changing into three distinct areas of consumption. It is 'Active news' that is with you wherever you are, and targeted to each individual in relation to what is relevant to that person at just that moment. 'Reflective news' provides people with in-depth perspective and overall understanding of the larger issues. And 'news that you can look up' is about giving people a condensed and summarized place to go to get the bigger picture.
I see this all the time when journalists call me for an interview. They are not really interested in a real analysis, they want me to be outraged and have an 'expert opinion' that neatly fits the story. Same thing when some of my journalist friends are asking their network "do you know anyone who has this particular problem I could interview?"
The hot topic at the moment is 'attention minutes'. It's the idea that instead of looking at views or clicks, we start measuring how long people pay attention to something as a metric for value.
One question that I get often from my readers and clients is, what system I would suggest for people wanting to do subscriptions or other forms of premium publishing online. And it's a very good question to which there are no simple answers.
But the key to any good publication, which is especially true today, is to target what you do. If you just create a random publication with 73% entertainment, 57% sport, 51% crime, 46% health, 42% weather, 39% international news, and 31% business, you end up with exactly the same non-targeted mass-market newspaper focus that is currently struggling to survive.
Fifty people read/viewed the content until the very end (this is your real audience). 125 people started reading/viewing, but lost interest (this is your potential audience, which you failed to capture). And a staggering 825 people didn't even take any time to read anything (this is not your audience. It's just people who randomly clicked on a linked without knowing what to expect).
All the smartwatches so far, even the Moto 360 and the Samsung Gear S have received very lukewarm responses. The tech press kind of likes the idea, but even they are not giving these smartwatches any favorable review scores. All of them are citing problems with battery life (Tim Cook hinted that the Apple Watch has to be recharged every night as well). They are complaining about clunky UI because of the tiny screens (did you see Apple's demo of how you constantly have to use both the wheel and t
Last week we talked about the amazing new world of individual media, what it takes to be successful as a individual media company and the whole dynamics of this amazing new future of media.
So let me show you a really good example of native advertising. Subaru paid Hot Rod Magazine's very popular 'RoadKill' show to do a challenge between the new 2015 Subaru Legacy and whatever car the Hot Rod crew had in their garage, and the result was an absolutely excellent show that is fun and enjoyable to watch, which brought with it a ton of really powerful brand value for Subaru.
First, I think you will find that, over time, this focus would dramatically change our culture, which in itself would eliminate many of these conflicts. Sure, we will still have terrible organization like ISIL or Boko Haram, but the real problem today is much closer to home. It's the culture of intolerance and distrust against anything that isn't 'like you'. We could change this by giving people a more nuanced level of reporting, with a positive focus instead of negative one.
One of the most exciting, but also incredibly disruptive elements of the future of media, is the rise of the individual media companies. These are very small media companies, often based around just a single person or sometimes a very small group of people.
One of the things I keep telling people is that "The web is not your marketing channel. It's your product." And this is true for all types of businesses, whether you are a newspaper or magazine publisher, a brand selling consumer goods, or an agency focusing on business services.
It makes some sense for a company like Samsung to post a sponsored article on BuzzFeed if it is known to be a place where people just have fun. But now that BuzzFeed is moving into hard news with death and misery, they are suddenly less appealing. Of course, BuzzFeed hopes to squash that problem with massive scale, but that is also exactly what every traditional newspaper has tried to do for the past 10 years.