Saturday, December 21, 2013

Police blotter brings in $100k for Montana newspaper

Versión en español aquí.

Who would have thought that a small-town newspaper could discover a new revenue source worth $100,000 by repackaging some of its content?

As the Wall Street Journal reports, a local best-selling book in a Montana town is "We Don't Make This Stuff Up: The Very Best of the Bozeman Daily Chronicle Police Reports."

Editors have always known of the public's interest in police news and the human dramas and comedies that law enforcement officers witness on a daily basis. But the Daily Chronicle decided to go a step beyond publishing the daily news and compile the most interesting items into a book.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Analytics is undercounting engagement of your users

Versión en español aquí.

The two most important traffic measurements for news entrepreneurs are NOT unique visitors and page views. Those numbers can mislead you. They count people who arrive at your website by accident or search, glance at a page and leave.

As Ken Doctor has so eloquently put it:
"Unique visitors are a great dumb count. As I’ve noted, it’s as if in the print world we counted the everyday subscriber — consuming 5 hours a month of a news publication — the same as someone who, standing on a Midtown corner on a windy day, happened to catch a sheet of flying newsprint as she held up her hand to hail a cab."
By contrast, the two measures that should really matter to you are:

  • engagement -- how long a visitor is on your site per visit and how many pages they view
  • loyalty -- how many times they return per day, week or month

Saturday, December 7, 2013

People problems in a small media organization, Part 2

Versión en español aquí.

In People Problems Part 1, we talked about two common kinds of complaints that you as a manager might hear.

  • "I don't think Karl is showing enough commitment to his work"
  • "The technical staff is being rude to our salespeople"

Then we walked you through the basic steps you as a manager could use to help your colleague solve the problems. The goal in this process is to develop your colleague's problem-solving skills.

If you focus on developing your people, your organization will develop far more rapidly than if you focus on just the numbers.

People problems in a small media organization, Part 1

Versión en español.

If you are leading a team in a small media organization, you need to get the best out of your people. Everyone has to be a contributor. 

This is not just a selfish thing. You get the best out of people by helping them develop their own talents, overcome obstacles and reach their own professional goals. 

Ask questions, don't give solutions

If a member of your team comes to you with a problem -- for example, "I don't think Karl is showing enough commitment to his work" or "the technical staff is being rude to our salespeople" -- you will not help the person by providing a solution. 

  • First, the solution you propose might work for you but not for your colleague. You have different talents and experience. 
  • Second, providing a solution denies the person the chance to grow, to develop confidence in problem solving.