Sunday, January 17, 2010...10:45 am

News:rewired session – making money online

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#newsrw Some good lessons from the news:rewired panel on How can journalism support itself online?

SoGlos deputy editor James Fryer offered the five dos and don’ts of starting up online.

His prediction: quality, professional journalism is key to success and will see a resurgence in the next decade. User-generated content is not enough to attract advertisers and readers.

Plans for 2010 include: a site redesign, a move into iPhone Apps and the development of a franchise model for others to launch similar regional sites. SoGlos has a target of more than 100,000 readers

Sift Media CEO Ben Heald noted that success online required changes to traditional journalism.

  • Write to engage rather than write to inform – the aim should be to start a conversation rather than have the last word.
  • Journalists create very raw content – aim is speed.
    Web production team polishes to web publishable quality.
  • Advertising model – Sift’s sites deliver “high quality business leads” for advertisers.
    – a specialist audience for conferences
    – customer leads for new products
    Sift site content has to help meet these needs.
  • News is actually very valuable – as long as it’s on Google.
    Sift needs to maintain a high number of visitors for lead generation. It lost too much traffic when delisted by Google News. Many sites benefit from churning out low-level news – topping and tailing press releases for example. Sift Media had to learn to play this Google News game.
  • Paywalls don’t work – they cut traffic too much (see above).

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