Metrics, analytics, ephemera

FullSizeRender (2)“If the advertising is not worth anything to the advertiser unless it be disguised as reading matter it must be poor advertising and we should not sell it. In any event, we should not deceive and mislead the reader.” — Joseph Pulitzer II (quoted in Daniel W. Pfaff, “Joseph Pulitzer II and the Post-Dispatch, 1991, p 331)

“The move toward subscriptions will require measuring audiences differently, with analytics that measure deep engagement and not just page views. … Cutting back on newsrooms now … imperils any long-term subscription strategy. Publishers may have to accept a smaller, or in some cases no, margin of profit now to invest in the content quality that potential subscribers demand.”

“Metrics alone don’t create a newsroom culture. (Caitlin Petre, a doctoral student in sociology at New York University), for her part, recommends newsrooms take time “for reflective, deliberate thinking removed from daily production pressures about how best to use analytics.”

“The digital public sphere, says Schiller, ‘is bolted to the material world through spatially organized infrastructures.’ And like the newspapers of old, the work of producing and disseminating news and information in the digital age involves a sociologically complex labor process, involving ‘creative’ as well as various kinds of technical, mechanical and service work. … The internet does not float free of the material world and the relations of power in the broader political economy.” (Richard Wells, Connecting the Dots, Labor: Studies in Working-Class History, September 2018)

Engagement numbers for stories categorized as ‘longform’ surpassed engagement numbers for other stories — the difference was especially significant when it came to watchdog stories.” 

“The rhetoric of Silicon Valley has been that we’re going to be more democratized by connectedness, but the reality is that large social networks are not very democratic; they actually magnify the existing inequalities in our society. …  [T]here’s never really been such a concentration of power in content publishing as now exists.”

To get it right last November, all you really needed to know was that Trump dominated Clinton on both Facebook and Twitter. The fact she outspent him, overall, by about two to one was irrelevant. The Clinton campaign wasted millions of dollars on the old public sphere, and wholly failed to grasp what the populist right was doing in the new one.

Facebook Inc.’s platform was a crucial messaging tool for President Donald Trump’s 2016 campaign, according to the campaign’s digital director — who told CBS’s “60 Minutes” that he hand-picked pro-Trump “embeds” from the company to help him use the platform in targeted ways.

Knight Digital Media Center (from training in 2012-2013 at The CA, when it was still owned by Scripps,): “To transform an organization, you must change its master narrative.” Mission: “Create high-value perception” for branded content. Identify franchise areas: (In Memphis, it was entertainment, crime news, economy, government, medical-science news, schools — peanut gallery lobbied for sports). Four pillars: watchdog, grassroots, breaking, data.

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