…this type of tracking, called canvas fingerprinting, works by instructing the visitor’s Web browser to draw a hidden image. Because each computer draws the image slightly differently, the images can be used to assign each user’s device a number that uniquely identifies it.
Like other tracking tools, canvas fingerprints are used to build profiles of users based on the websites they visit — profiles that shape which ads, news articles, or other types of content are displayed to them.
But fingerprints are unusually hard to block: They can’t be prevented by using standard Web browser privacy settings or using anti-tracking tools such as AdBlock Plus.
“Meet the Online Tracking Device That is Virtually Impossible to Block,” Julia Angwin, ProPublica.com
For Social Media Tuesdays, the staff must act as if there is no other way to get their articles except through sites likes Facebook and Reddit. That means USA Today’s journalists diligently place each of their famously punchy, graphic-rich stories onto various social media platforms. The purpose is to get them thinking like their readers, who increasingly get news through their Twitter feeds instead of the paper’s front page or home page.
For now, he and USA Today’s editor in chief, David Callaway, are coming up with all sorts of strategies to drive Internet traffic. All of the paper’s journalists have tools allowing them to track the online viewership of their stories. An electronic board displayed prominently in the newsroom tracks overall top performers. Reporters are not penalized if their articles do not make the list, but their skills at promoting their articles online are considered as important as front page bylines.
A premium is placed on reporters’ speed and digital output. Because search engines give higher rankings to USA Today’s original content rather than wire service stories, Mr. Kramer has insisted that 95 percent of its digital content is produced in-house — and goes up quickly. Only 15 percent of the USA Today online stories run in the print edition. “Reporters have to write 5- and 30-minute stories,” Mr. Kramer said.
“USA Today Goes Viral,” Leslie Kaufman, NYT
Publishers’ ongoing transition from print-focused to digital-centric businesses continues to challenge leadership teams in a critical area: workforce culture.
One challenge has been convincing editorial staffers of the importance of using the web and social media to “amplify” their stories. “You can’t discount the ability to publicize what we do,” she said. “We are very diligent about that. If you write this great story and don’t promote it, what’s the point? It’s like one hand clapping.”
[Vineet Nayar, vice chairman of HCL Technologies] offered a three-step process for organizational transformation.
Step 1: Create dissatisfaction.
“It’s very important to say, everything is not OK,” Nayar said. “A lot of companies sell a dream that they’re the greatest company in the world. If that’s the way you feel, then how will you change?
Step 2: Create a compelling vision.
An organization’s vision has to be “so compelling that it will make people jump out of their bed and go work for you,” he explained.
Step 3. Experiment with new ideas.
Testing and learning has become a mantra for digital businesses, but too many organizations continue to make assumptions and decisions based on past performance.
“If you ask employees to help shape and change the ideas you are testing, they will work hard to make them successful.”
“For media companies, blending print & digital cultures remains a work in progress,” Rob O’Regan, LinkedIn
“They Have Seen the Future of the Internet, and It Is Dark,” Quentin Hardy, NYT on the PewResearch Internet Project report, “Net Threats.”
From the report:
The Net Threats These Experts Fear
Ads in tablet editions work pretty much as well as those in print magazines, at least when it comes to recall, according to a study released today by GfK.
As ON?’s lead creative director, Tavet Gillson, told me, “You shouldn’t have to turn something off and then back on again to know that it’s on. I want to know that my phone is on, reliably and safely, without all the fuss.”
“Introducing the ON? App, the Yo of the Future,” Frank Lesser, NYT