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What is your paper's approach to the web?

Discussion in 'Journalism topics only' started by flexmaster33, Jan 9, 2011.

  1. flexmaster33

    flexmaster33 Active Member

    Seems like a question we're all wrestling with now.

    Here's what we do...
    We run condensed gamers (usually 3-4 paragraphs) and put them up on the web ideally each night although with staff cuts that is getting more difficult. For features, I'll take the first five paragraphs and post it up, then direct browsers to the print product to read the full feature. Same idea with columns. Occasionally, a feature or column will run in full on the web, but I keep it pretty rare.

    The reaction, is often frustration on the web whiners' part because they get into a story only to have it cut off. Of course, the tag at the end of those stories tells them where they can go to read the expanded version. In other words buy a paper.
    Other people seem to get it, and I've had some positive comments thanking us for getting the info up quickly...especially in the case of tournaments and such when people want to know when a certain team is playing the next day.
  2. Mark2010

    Mark2010 Active Member

    Yep, websites are killing the newspapers faster than anything electronic media could do. Why buy the product when you can get it for free?

    Our approach was to not replace the online editor who resigned and just have the copy desk post stuff. Management would like us to post continuous updates of breaking news, including scores of games and stuff. My response is that I have a newspaper to paginate and don't have time for that nonsense and that they should hire an online editor.
  3. Colton

    Colton Active Member

    Being a CNHI shop, here is the plan... *crickets*
  4. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    How many people are going to buy a paper to read the full story? The same geniuses who came up with this idea also try selling online ads that read "Click here to see the ads in the paper". I know I'm excited to see the 1x1 insurance ad online.
  5. SixToe

    SixToe Active Member

    One thing I find aggravating is a long story or column is broken into multiple Web pages, sometimes up to eight or 10 for something really long like a takeout.

    But the regular 15-18 inch column put on two or three Web pages is nothing more than an attempt to get you to click again, and again, and again. I refuse. I would rather read it in print.

    I guess that's today's version of the "They won't read a jump" mentality. So be it.

    The paper's plan is short stories, multiple postings (quotas, actually) and a move to more video postings.
  6. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    Video doesn't work either. How many people really want to see shaky, poorly-edited highlight of some prep game?
  7. crimsonace

    crimsonace Active Member

    What I would do at my old shop (which has a deadline so ridiculous that it's impossible to get the next day's stuff in the paper).

    *-After a game, immediately post a running gamer -- 6-8", maybe one quote -- on the web. Lede is in front of the paywall, the rest behind.
    *-Point to the paper for a printed story, which will be a more in-depth, second-day, featurized angle.
    *-Use the web to promo upcoming stories, editions, coverage and for breaking stories. Give them something different, deeper.

    Also, I would stream audio/video of some local sporting events that we're covering, provide more value-added content (weekly sports podcast with excerpts of interviews, photo galleries) and create some avenues for reader interaction.

    OWN the media in your community. Use the web to become that go-to place multimedia-wise.
  8. UPChip

    UPChip Well-Known Member

    We give 'em practically everything. I used to think not to do so was an insult to the reader, but now I realize that it's pretty much cutting off your nose to spite your face.

    Our corporate overlords say they are working on a paywall system, but in their last visit, they did bring up a good point that may explain why we've been so slow to move in that direction. They claim websites with paywalls murder insert revenue - that is, if I'm already paying to read the paper online, why should I pay again for a print copy just because it has more stuff I have to throw away in it? And though I'm not versed in this method -- another paper in the region does this that isn't in our ownership group -- I would think that a website with a fraction of the content and the rest deliberately withheld would be much harder to sell.
  9. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    Stitch: If nobody else has video of that prep game? Lots. Traffic for prep video at our place is decent and steady.
  10. Stitch

    Stitch Active Member

    How much are those videos bringing in?

    As for making money, Web development teams should be actively developing apps for the iPhone, iPad, Android phones and the upcoming "Honeycomb" Android OS for tablets.

    Trying to hold on to print revenue for dear life without doing anything else is like investing in a new linotype machine in the '80s.
  11. lesboulez

    lesboulez Member

  12. Turtle Wexler

    Turtle Wexler Member

    We run a preroll ad on videos, so they sell against it. It provides another advertising position.

    Look, is a shaky Flip highlight video of the local NFL team's regular season game going to get hits? Only from the mother of the person who shot it. Not worth the time and effort. But if you're doing something nobody else is, there's a good chance you can monetize it.
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