My first two Frontline Club workshops of 2017 take place in the coming months. Here are the details:
How to Tweet – Mastering Social Media
Friday, 17 March 2017
1. Social Media: Understanding the basics
– What is social media and why it matters
– Exercise #1: Defining social media
– Two tales from the newsroom that demonstrate the power of social
– Six ways journalists use social networks
2. Getting to grips with Twitter
– The Twitter Audit
– The Twitter Glossary
– Exercise #2: How to Tweet
3. Social media in action
– When to post online: how consumption habits are changing
– Eleven examples of social media in action
– The Audit: Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+ and the rest
– Exercise #3: Creating a social media campaign
– How to manage your social media footprint all in one place
4. How to blog
– Blogging basics
– What kind of blogger are you? Introducing three archetypes
– Establishing a tone of voice
– How to get noticed
– Exercise #4: Writing a blog post
– Blogging dos and don’ts
… Final thoughts: Eleven social media tips
Writing for the Web with Jon Bernstein
Friday 21 April 2017
1. The principles of writing
– Why writing for the web is exactly the same as writing for print. And why it’s completely different
– What George Orwell can teach us about language and readability
– EXERCISE #1: Simplifying language
– EXERCISE #2: Decoding the press release
– Understanding online reading habits
– Six more tips for writing online
2. News writing and the fundamentals of storytelling
– The Inverted Pyramid of news. And why it still matters
– The Five Ws (and the H) of news
– How to define an audience
– Establishing length
– Defining tone of voice
– EXERCISE #3: Reworking the press release
3. Blogs, longer reads and structure
– How to create a structure
– How to plan
– How to blog: the ‘atomised’ Inverted Pyramid
– Three blogging archetypes that work
– EXERCISE #4: Writing a blog post
– Why headlines matter more on the web
– Tailoring headlines for the web
– Newspaper headlines that probably don’t work online
– Headlines that do work online
– EXERCISE #5: Writing a killer online headline
5. SEO: an introduction
– A practical guide to keyword research
. . . Final thoughts
If the London location is inconvenient or if you are looking for bespoke and/or in-house training, do please contact me directly.
A random selection of articles on the art (or more accurately, the craft) of writing for the web:
Why I blog by Andrew Sullivan | The Atlantic (November 2008)
My life in the blogosphere by Ben Smith | BuzzFeed
In Defense of the Listicle by David Leonhardt | New York Times
How to make journalism work online: five writing tips by me | Press Gazette
Beyond the churn by Sarah Smarsh | Aeon
New Associated Press guidelines: keep it brief by Paul Farhi | Washington Post
Quartz’s Kevin Delaney: Time to kill the 800-word article by Brian Morrissey | Digiday
The allure of the finishable news experience by Sarah Marshall | NiemanLab
64 Ways To Think About a News Homepage by Melody Joy Kramer | Medium
The homepage is dead, and the social web has won by Zachary M Seward | Quartz
Homepage as front page is an historical accident by me | Guardian Media Network
For observers of digital media two things stood out in Alan Rusbridger’s valedictory column in Saturday’s Guardian. The first was more obvious, the second more interesting.
1. On paywalls
The outgoing editor compares what he calls the “polar opposites” of the UK newspaper trade – the paywalled Times and the free-to-air Guardian. The Times, he notes, claims a daily audience of 281,000 while the Guardian registers 7 million unique browsers a day.
On an equal accounting basis, we’re losing (or investing) about the same amount of money. You’ll have to come back in 10 or even 20 years time to find out who judged the future best.
While he’s right to say it will take a while for the winning formula to be identified – and it may well be neither of the above – I wonder if The Times accept the phrase “equal accounting basis”.
2. On newspaper formats
Today’s discussions about publishing formats are most likely to involve 6in smartphones and 10in tablets but back in 2005 format meant broadsheet, tabloid or – in the case of the Guardian – the mid-sized Berliner. Why did the Guardian go for the third option when The Times and The Independent went tabloid? Rusbridger says there were “various reasons”. Intriguingly, one of those reasons was:
the amount of classified advertising we still took in print at that point
With the benefit of hindsight, print classifieds were already in terminal decline by 2005 with job boards, Craigslist, eBay and others making deep in-roads. Signs of digital disintermediation were evident everywhere. The chunky Monday Guardian, bulked out by media job ads that made it a default purchase for those us in the industry, was already thinning out.
Should the Guardian have read the signals better a decade ago? Perhaps. Will we continue to miss emerging trends likely to have a similar impact? Probably.
Last week I chaired this session at the Guardian’s Changing Media Summit. The contributions from all five panelists are worth revisiting but I was particularly struck by:
– Ashley Highfield, CEO Johnston Press, on engagement (“I don’t think we do engagement well enough”) [26:35 apprx]
– Natasha Christie-Miller, CEO Emap, on how they measure what she calls “customer joy” [12:45 apprx]; and
– Tim Hunt, marketing director, Guardian News and Media, on the lessons from the title’s Facebook app [34:40 apprx]
You can view the discussion here and in due course I’m going to put some thoughts together for the Guardian Media Network.
From today’s Guardian interview with Lewis DVorkin, chief product officer, Forbes Media on the cash-for-clicks journalism model for Forbes.com‘s 1,000 or so contributors/bloggers:
[N]ot only do contributors self-publish, but they are paid according to the size of the audience they attract … [E]ach contributor gets paid a certain number of cents for every visitor per month.
There is a clear incentive for them to get repeat custom, as they get paid 20 times that amount if the same person reads another of their posts during that month.
According to the piece, last year “two contributors made more than $100,000, several made $75,000 and 25 made $35,000”. And, one assumes, 900+ made not very much at all.
You can read the full piece here.