Saturday, February 22, 2014

MOOC experts surprised by how they're evolving

Versión en español aquí

Mark Glaser of PBS Mediashift recently pulled together a panel of experts for an online chat about how massive open online courses (MOOCs) are affecting universities and professional education. Some exceprts from the fascinating 40-minute exchange are below.

Rosental Alves, director of the Knight Center for Journalism in the Americas at the University of Texas, has been running MOOCs on journalism topics since 2012.

One of the surprising things about these courses is how many non-journalists are taking them, Alves said.  There is a hunger for learning the journalistic skills of gathering, verifying and presenting information, he said.

(Many of my 2,000 fellow students were non-journalists when I took the center's course on data visualization offered by Alberto Cairo.)

Thursday, February 20, 2014

7 mobile stats that should scare digital publishers

After years of predictions that this year would be the year of mobile, finally it has arrived. So here are some numbers that should prompt strategizing and action by digital media publishers.

1. Web traffic from mobile devices was up 78 percent year over year in mid-2013, and 109 percent over 2011, according to Ayaz Nanji, writing in Marketing Profs.

To cite one prominent media example of the trend, ESPN has been registering more than half of its traffic from mobile. For publishers the message is clear: you need a mobile app or mobile-friendly version of your content or your audience will leave you behind.

2. In 2013, for the first time, Americans spent more time on their mobile devices every day than on the desktop, according to eMarketer.  Mobile's share of daily time spent, 19.4 percent, is the only category that grew in the past year: television, desktop computers, print and radio all declined, as they have each year since 2010.

3. As of the fourth quarter of 2013, almost half of Facebook's $2.6 billion in total revenue came from advertising sold on mobile devices. This is the world's largest social network, with half a billion daily active users. Facebook has made it clear that it is betting heavily on mobile. Why? Because about three-fourths of its users are there. (As a point of comparison, three-fourths of Twitter's audience and 65 percent of its ad revenues come from mobile. )