#techrakingcir: The Future of the CMS

Today, I’m down at Google in Mountain View at Techraking, a gathering of technologists and investigative journalists. It’s been super inspiring because of the fresh to me perspectives — I’d love to help Portland media outlets with projects like those I’ve heard about. At lunch, I learnt I was to lead a small group breakout […]

Co-Authors Plus v2.6.2: Enhancements and bug fixes

Co-Authors Plus makes it easy to add multiple bylines to a given post, and has full support for custom post types. Out just a moment ago, v2.6.2 has the following improvements: AJAX user search matches against first name, last name, and nickname fields too, in addition to display name, user login, and email address. Comment moderation […]

The function of a newsroom in the future is to coordinate the voices of the world to produce a coherent news product. That job will be done in very much the model that Tumblr is doing it. You could have started with a blogging community or you could have started with a news organization, but they’re both heading to the same place.

The Times of course has the best newsroom. So why don’t they evolve a blogging platform like Tumblr’s? They should have. I’ve been begging them to do it since the mid-90s. There’s still time to gather some of the leftover energy in the web, and to be prepared to catch some of the deserters when Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter et al stumble at growing into the space formerly occupied exclusively by the Times, Wash Post, etc.

But less time remains all the time.

Dave Winer — NYT growing the wrong way.

Currently, works of journalism (articles, videos, galleries, graphics, etc.) no matter what subject (news, sports, entertainment, business, features, investigations, etc.) are quantitatively measured the same. An investigative piece that might be nowhere near as popular in pageviews across a mass audience (yes, sometimes, they can be) is quantitatively measured the same way a celebrity death story is. Either story could make a sensational splash, truly connect emotionally with readers, or both. Each has value, but there are different kinds of values across different subjects journalists cover.

If we value impactful accountability journalism, why are we quantitatively equating it one-to-one to entertainingly impactful news? For example, when an investigation is published that saves taxpayer money or even human lives, we should instead try to measure these in a more multi-dimensional way — instead of merely the simplistic ones — and measure them differently from journalism works that have different goals. We should do this not just because the quantification would be more accurate (again, still imperfect), but because it would be a better model of the complex real-world response.

Greg Linch — Quantifying impact: A better metric for measuring journalism.

Specifically, editors at separate organizations asked us the same question: Can you share some of that data with us? You know, the topic data and the data on authors?

Begrudgingly, we agreed, and started to send out reports on a monthly basis.

Editors: “Hmm, this is great! Can we get this quicker?”

Parse.ly: “Uh, sure. We can give it to you weekly.”

Editors: “Awesome! Actually, it’d be great if we could get this daily.”

Parse.ly: “OK, what’s up here? Why do you care more about the data than the recommendations?”

Well, as it turns out, nobody had really showed them this data before, and the data was simply eye-opening for the editorial team. They were using it to go beyond monitoring individual articles to understanding what was resonating with their audience.

Queue the second Aha! moment in early 2011. We took a step back and did some research on analytics tools for online publishers. What we found was astounding. Almost no innovation had happened on the analytics side for online publishers. Most tools were one-size-fits-all systems that treated an e-commerce site the same as a content site, and obviously, that’s not the way to do it.

Content-based sites are dramatically different than an e-commerce property from both a data and business perspective.

It’s no wonder these publishers were clamoring for data that provided fresh insights on their property. Publishers need to know how their content breaks out by topic, what causes a post to go viral, why one author does better with search traffic than another, and a bevy of other key insights that are specific to their needs. We knew this was a big opportunity, and decided to dive head-first into the analytics space.

Sachin Kamdar — Hello Publishers, Meet Dash

Today’s two WordPress.com VIP launches: PandoDaily and Grist

Today, MLK day even, two new sites launched on WordPress.com VIP that I’m personally pretty excited about. PandoDaily PandoDaily is a brand new tech site started by Sarah Lacy, former senior editor at TechCrunch. From her announcement post: We have one goal here at PandoDaily: To be the site-of-record for that startup root-system and everything that springs […]