Why do digital trends give media pain and opportunities?
Thoughts and tech tools I discovered at Digital Disruption Forum
Digitalization is all over media. And media are all over digital tools. It's an inevitable romantic affair. More trends and tech tools emerge to spoil you (modern viewers/readers) and complicate our (media) lives to the impossible levels. Just kidding. As media, we love discovering new, we love creating new. So we absolutely adore to spoil you too and give ourselves credit for being hella innovational. And your little bitty "+1" Like/Follow/Share on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram - has become our rare expensive drug.
This week I have participated in Digital Disruption Forum where I listened to all speakers 2 days in a row instead of wandering around the corridors like I usually do at 90% of conferences I am unlucky to attend. HUGE KUDOS and THANKS TO THE ORGANIZERS! Now I’d like to list the most important things I found out at #digiforumkyiv. Those make less than 5% of all info I’ve heard. I'd have to write a novel here, if I had to list all of them :) Here we go.
If a video is an effective way to get info across, then that’s what you have to do. But when the video is bad, you are diluting your viewer’s/reader's trust in you.
Panel Discussion: Digital Disruption: Media is Changing. Viorel Pahomi, Aaron Sharockman, Kristen Hare, Viktor Denisenko, Sopiko Vasadze
100% truth credit goes to this quote since I know it too well from my personal experience managing BrainTV. See, «the video is bad» does not always mean that it is a low-quality video. There are millions of videos of bad quality that have gained billions of views. Sometimes, a bad video is the one that actually has a great context, but is way too long. (In BrainTV we face «this bump on the road» very often, but we’re coming closer to avoiding it.) The video may also be short, but doesn’t really give the viewer the full picture, all the info cannot get across to the viewer in a short video. That just irritates the viewer, not the best way of building content loyalty. So while videos are great to include and generate a huge user’s interest on social media, it is also important to think through the context, think what idea you want to get across with that video, how long it will be, what type of audience you want to watch it, do you need subtitles or not, do you need infographics or motion graphics instead of people talking, etc.
In the future we will have media without platform: we will live on Facebook, YouTube... Media works better in social media. Digital journalism should be fast and short to be easily consumed by social media.
I can confirm this one too by going back to my experience with BrainTV. Over 40% of our monthly views come from Facebook and YouTube. Facebook has become our foremost news-sharing platform. We communicate with our viewers through Facebook. A newsletter is a good thing, but not so fast and not so effective for us. I cannot completely reject the importance of the website existence. It’s good mostly for earning on ads, promoting commercial projects, communicating our mission, goals, etc. However, I really doubt whether media businesses that concentrate on video only will continue building complex websites in the nearest 10 years. You can already get all the important info on Facebook. People get news from their Facebook newsfeed. You can watch all the videos on YouTube. If you don’t have any short/long reads, you’re all set. As an e-commerce platform, a website is a cool thing, without any doubt. But for a TV channel (like BrainTV) if you have YouTube and you target young audience 18-35, chances are high you need to put more YouTube in-stream ads than paid search engine ads that would lead to a website which hosts the videos from YouTube (anyway!).
Create powerful content, speak easy language, explain in a funny way, treat your reader as a human, use existing tools, and innovate too.
Presentation. The New Media Between LOL, CUTE, and OMG by Julia Salizhenko, Special Projects Editor in Chief, Platfor.ma
I gotta give a huge credit to this speaker because what she was saying is basically what we discovered at BrainTV. We shoot videos about things that are tough to understand: programming, investments, cyber security, VR, and others, just to name a few. They are even harder to explain in a «human language». So we also noticed this weird algorithm - when we post something important but complex we have at least twice fewer views than when we post something funny/easy but not really meaningful. Easier things are easier to understand be it a programmer, or a doctor, or a shop assistant. I think you just have to try to put complex content into a modern frame. Explain hard stuff through common things we are used to? At BrainTV, we still have to learn how to do it and experiment more.
If you don’t have ratings - you don’t have platform, and you don’t have a job.
That was said about TV channels. And in TV business, indeed, you need to have ratings to earn money. BrainTV is a live example of a TV channel without ratings. This is tough. We haven’t figured that out for 100% still. That’s why we like to think of ourselves as sort of emerging type of TV channel, an experiment LOL. Anyway, since we don’t have earnings from ratings, our timid (so far) earning sources are commercial collaborations with tech companies on creating video content positioned as native advertising. Getting a license that would let our channel be streamed on satellite and cable would cost us around $5K and half a year of time. That’s why we have decided to settle on streaming our channel on OTT operators (who do not require license) and live stream on YouTube. Surprisingly, when I thought we should leave behind streaming on OTT providers, I noticed that 50% of our monthly views come from SmartTV platforms where our channel gets streamed. That much of audience is bad to lose. So we’re still on our way to getting to that ratio where the majority of our audience will come from YouTube rather than SmartTVs. Since YouTube is the future even for the video formats.
The viewer doesn’t owe you anything. Of course, if you’re a media on a low budget, you’re constantly trying to do something impactful, so you’re there like «Bitch, listen to me, I’m trying to help you!»
Haha. This quote made my day. I totally love it. I could be the one saying it. Lots of our content is quite complicated cause it is 50% about tech and 50% about even «harder tech». Not everyone in tech, though, is interested in every single niche of tech (and there are dozens!). Which is why some topics are well «consumed» and others not. And when you’re trying hard, when you see your whole team working hard to make a show, to invite awesome experts with long years of experience, to make it look good and catchy, but the VIEWER DOESN’T GIVE A DAMN ABOUT IT - you die a little bit inside. What can you do about it? Not much really. Just don’t give up and keep going. Keep writing, keep shooting. Keep improving your content. Loyal customers are the hardest and the slowest to gather, but they are the ones who are the most grateful and make you happy in a long run.
mapchecking.com - a tool that estimates the size of the crowd at some location (good to evaluate how many people are present at demonstrations, riots, etc. (Provided by Aaron Sharockman, Executive Director of PolitiFact).
Claim Buster - a live fact checking tool; the «bluer» the word, the more sense, facts it contains (Provided by Aaron Sharockman, Executive Director of PolitiFact).
timeline.knightlab.com - a way to tell a story based on a timeline; you can do a timeline based on Google Docs, generates an iframe code to insert into your website. (Provided by Aaron Sharockman, Executive Director of PolitiFact).
genius.com/web-annotator - a tool for annotating your stories, adding photos, links, videos or audios to stories; allows readers to comment on your annotations (Provided by Aaron Sharockman, Executive Director of PolitiFact).
Here are some more. Provided by Julia Salizhenko, Special Projects Editor in Chief at Platfor.ma
That's all for today. I got tired of writing this post already. After all, this is a personal blog and the editor-in-chief of myself says this post is too long anyway. I still hope it was useful and you got inspired and brightened up, at least a little bit.
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