The Future of News

Or "Reality Bytes"

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The great web professionals that I have known are bridge builders.

Working together across silos is hard but it is undoubtedly the way of the future. We’re outside our comfort zones and we must also admit that our discipline is not the center of the universe. We need help. We are pieces of a jigsaw and through collaboration and bridge building we will fit together, unifying around the clear purpose of serving the customer.

Web professionals need to be bridge builders,” Gerry McGovern

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New Rule: Every Desktop Design Has To Go Finger-Friendly

Unfortunately, the top-of-screen navigation and menus of traditional desktop layouts are outright hostile to hybrid ergonomics. Tried-and-true desktop conventions have to change to make room for fingers and thumbs. For now at least, the solution is not just a matter of designing separate interfaces for touch and non-touch gadgets. That won’t fly, because as designers (and especially web designers) we often don’t have enough information about the device.

After poking at this problem for a few weeks, my conclusion is: every desktop UI should be designed for touch now. When any desktop machine could have a touch interface, we have to proceed as if they all do.

Designing for touch means designing for fingers, yes, but to be more specific, you’re really designing for thumbs. On every handheld touchscreen, from phones to tablets to hybrids, the thumbs call the shots. 

via UIE.com

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The most hated browser in the world is finally dead

image via IE6death.com

The most hated browser in the world is finally dead,” TheVerge.com

Filed under IE6 browsers microsoft

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'Desktop becoming the new print' for Financial Times

Across the world, there are many people who “won’t even know what a desktop [computer] looks like”, [Lisa MacLeod, head of operations,] said, as some countries lack the infrastructure to make desktop consumption viable. Instead, many users are going straight to mobile devices to get their news.

As such, mobile is becoming an increasingly important focus for the Financial Times in providing what the audience wants, by “listening to readers, speaking to readers and understanding what they are after”.

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21 Technologies That Will Decentralize the World

The top ten:

http://www.dailygood.org/story/673/21-technologies-that-will-decentralize-the-world-nina-misuraca-ignaczak/

Filed under technology disruption

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Ezra Klein’s Vox.com launched last night; promises “explanatory journalism”

http://www.vox.com/

Here’s their explanation of what they’re trying to do:
http://www.vox.com/2014/3/30/5555690/welcome-to-vox

In particular, the “Vox cards” are a big part of how they plan to do “explanatory journalism”:

At the core of this phase are the Vox Cards. They’re inspired by the highlighters and index cards that some of us used in school to remember important information. You’ll find them attached to articles, where they add crucial context; behind highlighted words, where they allow us to offer deeper explanations of key concepts; and in their stacks, where they combine into detailed — and continuously updated — guides to ongoing news stories. We’re incredibly excited about them.

Excerpts from yesterday’s NYT’s article:

“[At WaPo,] we were badly held back not just by the technology, but by the culture of journalism,” [Ezra Klein, Editor in Chief] said of daily newspapers, as he offered a preview of his new site, Vox.com, which was introduced Sunday night.

While The Post is an excellent publication, he said, he felt that the conventions of newspaper print journalism in general, with its commitment to incremental daily coverage, were reflected in publishing systems, which need first and foremost to meet the needs of printing a daily paper. And he wanted to create something entirely new, which is why he and two Post colleagues ended up at Vox Media, a rising digital empire that includes sites like SB Nation andThe Verge. Vox, he said, had the tools he was seeking.

In this high-tech universe, Vox Media’s content management system — which even has its own name, Chorus, and is used to publish all the company’s websites — has earned recognition. It is credited with having a toolset that allows journalists to edit and illustrate their copy in dramatic fashion, promote their work on social media, and interact with readers — all seamlessly and intuitively.

Here’s the NYT story from this weekend about the motivations:
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/04/07/business/media/voxcom-takes-melding-of-journalism-and-technology-to-next-level.html

I think it’s interesting that Klein’s motivation for leaving WaPo wasn’t enough to push the development team to avoid old school highlighting and index cards. I suspect, as fast as Ezra and Co. wanted to move to the future of digital journalism, they were forced to embrace a few skeuomophic bridges (even if only in name) or risk losing customers — often older customers with the incomes to pay for it — forever.

If you move too fast, some people get winded and stop following.

Filed under responsive design digital journalism

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How to avoid a billion dollar loss – with better customer experience | Creative Good

Despite the seemingly obvious benefits of observing customers, it’s common to see organizations missing that step – and suffering consequences that can reverberate for years. Take just three case studies from Customers Included – Ford, Walmart, and the border fence – in which a lack of customer-inclusive thinking led to enormous losses (estimated at around a billion dollars each for Walmart and the border fence).

via CreativeGood.com

Filed under ux

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The WSJ blog published an infographic on mobile vs. desktop on eight social media networks:

A little more than two-thirds of the time Facebook users spent on the service happened on a mobile device, according to comScore data that was analyzed by Statista. For Twitter, the number was north of 85%. Activity on image-heavy platforms like Pinterest and Yahoo’s Tumblr are happening on mobile, too. LinkedIn, on the other hand, saw only 26% of its activity on mobile — perhaps its user base is checking in from the old company desktop at the office?

The WSJ blog published an infographic on mobile vs. desktop on eight social media networks:

A little more than two-thirds of the time Facebook users spent on the service happened on a mobile device, according to comScore data that was analyzed by Statista. For Twitter, the number was north of 85%. Activity on image-heavy platforms like Pinterest and Yahoo’s Tumblr are happening on mobile, too. LinkedIn, on the other hand, saw only 26% of its activity on mobile — perhaps its user base is checking in from the old company desktop at the office?

Filed under social media wsj

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Six noteworthy findings from @shareaholic:
YouTube is the undisputed champion.
Although Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals, they bring in some of the best visitors.
A referral from Twitter is as good as a referral from Facebook — at least, in terms of bounce rate, pages per visit and time on site. 
Pinterest isn’t exactly the social media golden child we all play it up to be. 
Reddit users are the most fickle.
StumbleUpon drives the least engaged referrals.
“YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn Drive The Most Engaged Social Referrals,” Danny Wong, Shareholic.com

Six noteworthy findings from @shareaholic:

  1. YouTube is the undisputed champion.
  2. Although Google+ and LinkedIn drive the fewest social referrals, they bring in some of the best visitors.
  3. A referral from Twitter is as good as a referral from Facebook — at least, in terms of bounce rate, pages per visit and time on site. 
  4. Pinterest isn’t exactly the social media golden child we all play it up to be. 
  5. Reddit users are the most fickle.
  6. StumbleUpon drives the least engaged referrals.

YouTube, Google+ and LinkedIn Drive The Most Engaged Social Referrals,” Danny Wong, Shareholic.com

Filed under social media