f there’s a news outlet you would expect to be ahead of the curve in digital media, it might be Wired. The San Francisco-based magazine of technology has been at it longer than just about anyone; it launched HotWired.com back in 1994, with completely different content from the print magazine. Its creators, whose efforts were chronicled by Kyle Vanhemert on the occasion of the site’s 20th anniversary, were among the first to try and shape what a successful digital news business might look like.
My book celebrates African innovation, and doing more with less. It’s in that spirit that I offer two related predictions for news in 2015: First: A push to target global audiences. Second: Product lessons from “mobile-first” markets.
The current impasse between news publishers and Google is in some ways inevitable. But what we need to remember is that news is a special product that deserves special consideration. Without it, the voting publics of our democracies could not stay informed, writes William F. Baker, Ph.D.
Trying to stick it to Google is an understandable impulse, a resentment fed by the company’s monolithic influence over the web. But all the Google News shutdown in Spain really shows is how powerless traditional publishers really are.
We aren’t ready for Vine.
Hell, we weren’t ready for Tumblr.
Editor’s note: There’s a lot of interesting academic research going on in digital media — but who has time to sift through all those journals and papers?
Our friends at Journalist’s Resource, that’s who. JR is a project of the Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics and Public Policy at the Harvard Kennedy School, and they spend their time examining the new academic literature in media, social science, and other fields, summarizing the high points and giving you a point of entry.
The bundle is dead; long live the bundle. But this isn’t the familiar 20th-century package of paper and ink. It’s a bundle that lives as code, often assembled by other bits of code, and almost invariably run by people who write code, not words.
I have a confession to make: What you are about to read is as much a plea as it is a prediction. But in the spirit of the holiday season, I trust you will not shy away from reading an analysis written from a place of hope.
Newspapers are not done experimenting with paywalls. This is unfortunate, because valuable energy is wasted on figuring out how to charge for content rather than producing content readers will want to pay for.
2015 will be the first year where native advertising programs will be in place at nearly every serious news organization.
It turns out computers have a built-in “uncanny valley” (that creepy feeling android robots generate when they kind of look human). Just like we don’t want robots too human-shaped — we want them to know their place — it turns out we aren’t too happy when our computers go from “smart” (as in automating things and connecting us to each other or information) to “smart” (as in “let me make that decision for you”).
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