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Who is reading your blog?

February 13, 2011 Leave a comment

Thanks for the communal nature of Internet and the diversity of blog themes, blog readers can range from children to old professors, from mothers to professionals. Nonetheless, the content of the blogs determines who is going to read the blogs. For instance, those follow the rules of search engine optimization are more likely to have guest readers stumbled upon their blogs. Those with high quality content attract the niche readers.

 

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Online Writing: as simple as ABC

February 8, 2011 Leave a comment

Follow these 5 simple rules, and you will become a kick-ass online journalist in no time!

Audience

Write with online readers’ needs and habits in mind.

  • –          Put the most important information at the beginning of headlines and paragraphs for readers’ convenience.
  • –          Use common words over difficult ones.
  • –          Emphasize important points with boldface types, highlights and other visual cues.
  • –          Use lively tone and interactivity to keep readers engaged.
  • –       Support your story with audios, videos, clickable graphics and links.

Break it

Break up bulky contents to make reading online easier.

Use the following tricks to make it easy to read.

  • –          subheads,
  • –          bullet list,
  • –          charts
  • –          tables
  • –          interactive graphics

Crisp

Keep sentences and paragraphs short and concise.

  • –          One idea per paragraph.
  • –          Use strong verbs and sharp nouns.

Direct

  • – Straight to the point.
  • – Make the lead apparent
  • – Eliminate fluff and simplify complex idea.

Engine-friendly

  • – Put the most important words—titles, headlines, subheading and links—up front.
  • – Write information-rich copy
  • – Use words that people use in researches for search engine optimization.
  • – Sites that are apply SEO are more likely to appear at the top of searches and more likely to get visitors.

Fearless

  • – The internet has no rules. Just go and challenge the norm
  • – while maintaining the fundamentals of journalism is still important
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Predicting the Future of Journalism

February 3, 2011 Leave a comment

#1 One day, all printed media will be digitalized

Nick Bogaty, executive director of the International Digital Publisher Forum, had said that in order for ebooks to thrive, they must meet the following four conditions: 1. a device that makes reading pleasurable, 2. Content at the right price, 3. Great selection of content, 4. User-friendly. Thanks to more and more great ebook readers, including Kindle, Sony Digital Book and Ipad, flooding into the market,  they are definitely getting closer to these goals.

In fact, Amazon.com has announced that its ebook sales surpass its hardcopy sales in 2010. The cofounder of Journalism Online, Steven Brill predicts that in 2011 printed media like magazines can become digitalized, and sell in a form of mini-ebook.  It is not hard to understand the foreseeable success of ebooks: one can access a huge library of information in a light and small product, and don’t have to risk marking the pages. Maybe in 20-30 years, I believe, all the printed media will be replaced by its more efficient, digitalized version.

#2 We are paying for quality contents, again

In the midst of media convergence, one-time media giants like UBS Universe and The New York Times must rethink their strategies in monetizing their web-based forms. Or else, they would end up filing bankruptcies like Tribune Co., the owner of LA. Times. In fact, The New York Times is ready to launch its paywall, where they can stop relying on selling page views and ad revenue, and simply charge people for online access to its articles.

Interesting enough, that’s the way the media deliver information before Internet, where people pay for their hard copies of news. Nowadays, we are so spoiled by the Internet that paying for news seem to be a innovation. A survey from BusinessInsider shows that up to 78% people are unwilling to pay for the $9.99 for 1 month of unlimited internet access for NYTimes.

The trend of paying for internet content does not end with news.  Last year, Hulu.com had decided to charge people for a greater range of videos. However, a survey by lifehacker.com reveals that most people would rather go back to BitTorrent to download TV series than to pay for it.  And Steven Brill ever predicts that in 2011, people will commission and sell magazine articles from top writers.

But we might as well get use to paying for quality materials, again. I believe when organizations become more skilled in monetizing the webs again, everything will back to the way it used to be.

#3 Future of Journalism relies on Social Media

We have all experienced first-hand how how social and mobile have  redefined our news reading/watching experience. Twitter and Facebook become platforms for newsgathering where there are unfiltered eyewitness accounts in real-time. For example, when Haiti was devastated by the magnitude 7.0 earthquake, many locals used twitters to show their situation to the world. Many news organizations have also been using these social platforms for distribution and engagement. The CNN Breaking News twitter, for instance, give us a glimpse of the latest news, and encourage viewers to comment, facilitate the interaction between the news crews and viewers.

The social media has become so influential that we cannot underestimate the power of social referral, where people click into a link their friends have posted. I absolutely agree with the prediction of Ken Doctor, an analyst of Newsonomics, that social media–dominated by Facebook and Twitter–will become the fastest growing source of news traffic. And it is highly possible that news publishers can “count 5-15 percent of their traffic” from them, making search/Google referrals less important.” Facebook obviously understand this power, and created a new feature “Sponsored Stories” that will turn your profile into a commercial ad.

There is no doubt that the social platforms will play a big part in the future of journalism.

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The Media Evolution

February 1, 2011 Leave a comment

Today the news is transforming in warp speed, with information so available and accessible, the research of The States of the News Media shows us that readers no longer goes to news organization for news, we hunt the news through multiple outlets.

As Maxwell McCombs has pointed out in The Future of News: An Agenda of Perspectives, medium is merely a distribution system, it does not matter whether it is through TV, newspaper or internet, it is the content, usefulness and convenience people value most. Therefore, the birth of new technologies (e.g. Iphone), which allow readers to access the latest news or upload first-handed materials ubiquitously, quickly replace the printed medias as our main sources of news and entertainment. It also signifies the era of user-generated  materials, where bloggers, youtubers and citizen journalists thrives in creating new contents.

To survive in of these explosions of contents, Steve Rosenbaum suggested that media must adopt a new model of communication; instead of aiming at a mass audience, they shall aim at niche audiences by creating quality contents that has depth and breadth.

Like the evolution in nature, only the medias that can adapt to changes and improve themselves will survive.  But worry not, the future of media will simply be better. It will provide more diverse, detailed and objective information.

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Blog Post #1

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment

National Film Board of Canada’s “Out My Window,” a 360 degree documentary directed by Katerina Cizek, is no doubt an outstanding example of Multimedia Journalism. With the brilliant uses of photographies, videos, audios and graphics, “Out My Window” explores the human experiences behind the concrete buildings.  The interactive website paints the portraits of 13 ordinary people from all over the world, with each revealing a  360 degree perspective to the person’s life inside and outside the buildings. Each story brings out a theme, such as family and religion, that resonates with the viewers. The groundbreaking method takes storytelling to a different level, for it transfers the viewers to the same place and time with the subjects, hearing and seeing what they see. After browsing through the whole site, I felt like I had just looked out the window on the world.

 

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Class Topic Presentation – Peony Lee

January 25, 2011 Leave a comment
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