I took part in the Press Gazette’s third News on the Move conference yesterday, chairing one of the three debates on the impact of mobile and tablet on publishing and journalism. As before, it was a really stimulating event with lots of smart ideas, thoughts and people — in the audience as well as on the panels.
You can watch the whole thing here.
The debate I chaired – Successful Mobile and Tablet Editorial Strategies for Print News Publishers – starts at around 25′ 12”. The panel featured:
– Alan Hunter, Head of Digital, The Times & Sunday Times
– Subhajit Banerjee, Mobile Editor, Guardian News & Media
– Martin Ashplant, Digital and Social Media Director, City A.M (and former head of digital at Metro.co.uk)
I was part of the judging panel put together by Press Gazette editor Dominic Ponsford to vote for the best UK reporters on Twitter and other social media. It was a really interesting exercise — the long list came from reader suggestions — and made me aware of a number of journalists I hadn’t followed before.
Among the was @AlexandraRucki, formerly with the Wandsworth Guardian and now an online journalist with the Evening Standard. She was beaten to the top spot by Peter Jukes, @peterjukes, who has done an excellent job covering the hacking trial.
Here’s the top 10:
1 Peter Jukes – @peterjukes – Author and journalist who has been live-tweeting from the hacking trial
2 Alexandra Rucki – @AlexandraRucki (formerly @WandsworthHack – Online journalist for the Evening Standard, formerly with the Wandsworth Guardian
3 Alex Thomson – @Alextomo – Chief correspondent and presenter Channel 4 News
4 Steve Hawkes – @Steve_Hawkes – Deputy political editor The Sun
5 Faisal Islam – @faisalislam – Economics editor Channel 4 News (joining Sky as politics editor)
6 Paul Waugh – @paulwaugh – Editor of Politics Home, editor in chief of Dods
The Atlantic had to act counter intuitively to properly make the transition, according to the original New York Times piece. And here’s an extract from my response:
It does take a “dose of counterintuition” to properly understand digital. Why? Because a lot of what we take for granted in print simply doesn’t translate online. Equally, the assumptions we are making about digital need to be challenged. Constantly.
For example, some of us still struggle with the notion that we should, on occasion, link out to our direct competitors. And if we do we will probably end up with more readers, not fewer.
Nine out of every ten visits to the Guardian website from tablet devices still come via an Apple iPad. This compares to 98 per cent two years ago and is despite the proliferation of Android-based alternatives since then (Google’s Nexus 7 and Amazon’s Kindle Fire are distant runners-up).
He also demonstrated how tablet usage was altering web consumption patterns across the weekday. Note the large green peak in the graph below which shows heavy tablet usage during the evening.
By cross-referencing the means of access (mobile network, WiFi, fixed network etc) the Guardian is able to make an educated guess that most of that tablet consumption is happening at home rather than on the move.
How? Well, according to Sullivan, 93 per cent is coming via WiFi which strongly suggests sofa/kitchen table/bed rather than train/bus/office.
Anthony intended to show this and four associated graphs during the session I ran at the conference but issues with the audio visual — familiar to any regular conference goer — meant he was restricted to describing what we couldn’t see.
Finally, it is worth revisiting the FT graph I posted last week which shows some really interesting weekend consumption patterns brought about by increased mobile device usage. Both trends are reflected on other news and current affairs websites.
There was a really smart piece of analysis by Jasper Jackson over on The Media Briefing yesterday where he looked at the impact of mobile device usage and how it affects “when consumers access your content”.
His findings, based on data from the FT and the Guardian, mirror the experience of the New Statesman and the Press Gazette – specifically how heavy usage of smartphones and tablets at weekends is filling the deep Saturday and Sunday troughs previously typical of news-based websites.
The FT graph also shows clearly the pre- and post-work ‘check-in’ via mobile devices during weekdays.
A key point here is that the bulk of this traffic is additive – the FT is seeing high levels of traffic to its website during times when there was previously very little, simply because people now have a way of accessing it.
Again that mirrors my own experience.
So what lessons can digital publishers draw from this data? For one answer Jackson quotes Tom Betts, FT’s head of data:
We are starting to see a number of changes to the way editorial teams publish. Obviously having someone working nine-to-five on mobile publishing doesn’t work.
And if you don’t have a weekend operation, perhaps now is the time to start. More over at The Media Briefing.