Responsive Web Design – What to be Aware of

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According to 99 Designs Creative Blog, there are certain things to keep in mind when adding responsive web design to a website. First of all, responsive web design is seen as one of the hottest trends in web designs right now and is an effective way to create a good user experience on all devices. It is a sure way that a reader will be able to see everything on your website and it will appeal to their initial interest when visiting a website.

Some of the tips 99 Designs shares is typography, images, quick navigation and less loading duration. After reading through why they are important to think about when adding responsive design, they all seem very logical. The most important to me, as a website user, is quick navigation.

Trying to find out where everything is on a website to navigate to other pages in the website is extremely important to make easy. No one wants to sit on their computer forever trying to find something they are looking for. With responsive design, it would be easy to navigate websites because there would be drop down menus and condensed menus at the top of screens. I found one website, http://news.google.com/ , that does a really good job with responsive design.

Headlines in the Media – the Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The topic of what makes a good or bad headline in the news today is a favorite of mine. I won’t say that I am a headline writing extraordinaire but I seriously think I could take at least half of news writers jobs just from the headlines I see being produced. Sometimes it is just so sad to see how awful headlines are that make their way into the public eye.

The reason this baffles me so much is the fact that these terrible headlines are negatively affecting the network or newspaper they are coming out of. Some of these media sources lose a lot of credibility if they have bad headlines to explain a story. The headline is the first thing a reader sees so of course there is going to be initial judgement on the entire company if the headlines are bad. The Huffington Post wrote an article about the worst and funniest headlines that have made their way into the media. Here’s one example that they used:

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Absolutely the worst headlines are the ones that can easily be taken in a sexual content, especially when the article is supposed to be about a serious issue, which I have seen. Another way that journalists butcher headlines is misspelling words. There are only, or should only, be a couple of words in a headline so it should not be difficult to spell those few words right. It shows laziness and the fact that these journalists don’t pay enough attention to detail. It makes you question the entire truth of the story itself. To find out a couple of tricks to avoid these silly mistakes, Red Rocket Media has an article that could be useful.

Paywalls in the Real World – Do They Really Work?

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http://intomobiles.com/blog/an-insight-in-the-digital-publishers-paywall/

Interestingly enough, we just discussed the use of paywalls in my online journalism class so when I stumbled upon a few blog posts from Poynter and Newspaper Death Watch, I thought it could tie in perfectly with my new knowledge for the digital newspaper content block. The first article I found talks about Digital First adding paywalls to 75 of their daily newspapers. The second article I found talks about how paywalls sometimes don’t work for certain online newspapers.

The first article gives insight to how Digital First plans on creating more revenue for their newspapers, at least for right now. CEO John Paton says that digital advertising has been helpful to them in bringing in money, however, there needs to be an increase in their income and he believes that creating a paywall for Digital First newspapers will help that. Paton makes a very interesting point by saying that paywalls are just a short-term tactic and not a long-term strategy.

I disagree with this statement because yes, the long-term strategy is to increase their revenue by having their readers pay for content but they won’t get to that point because they don’t see paywalls the long-term strategy that will get them that increase in revenue. So what I’m trying to say is that the way to bring in more money should be seen as a long-term strategy in order to fulfill their other long-term strategy, which is creating more revenue from their readers.

The second article I read is about paywalls not working for certain newspapers. In the article, they talk about the fact that the San Fransisco Chronicle and Dallas Morning News tried using paywalls but failed. I agree with the article that the paywalls may not have succeeded because of the geographic location the newspapers were out of. There is a lot of media sources in those cities that people are used to getting for free and probably would not want to pay for a subscription when they know they can find it out from some other media outlet. Despite this fact, however, I do think it could also be that paywalls just don’t work very well and these newspapers won’t be the last to see that. In any case, I am very interested to see where digital newspapers go in the future and what other ways they will come up with to create some sort of revenue.

 

Artistic Jobs in the Newsroom are Slowly Disappearing

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According to a blog entry from Poynter, there has been a drastic decrease for visual jobs in the newsrooms. These jobs have dropped 43% since 2000 according to the American Society of News Editors’ annual census.

I have experience with this from my summer job at Gannett Wisconsin Media. I was on the marketing team for the Post-Crescent Media and our graphic designer was let go halfway into the summer. He had worked for the company as a graphic designer for 11 years and was let go because of budget cuts. The visual employees for these companies always seem to be the first to go because many people within the company either have some experience to take over their job as well as work on their other job or the newsrooms turn to an advertising agency seeing as how it is less expensive than paying someone an annual salary.

This will most definitely continue to happen in the newsroom since it is becoming required for employers to be diverse in their skills in the newsroom. Many tasks are being put on one person or a couple people rather than people just focusing on one job, creating a lot of jobs in the newsroom. It is sad to realize, especially witnessing this first hand but it is a reality we all have to face.

Quality, Not Quantity

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Online news sources today seem to have very wordy articles and homepages with quit a bit of information for readers to sort through. While reading a blog post from BuzzMachine, I came across an interesting point. The author of this post brings up the point that news outlets should be not be looking for an engaged audience but an informed public.

I agree with his knowledge in that the informed public cares more about to-the-point information that they can really grasp. They are not looking to sit and read forever or be very engaged with the news being conveyed. Journalists need to look for different ways or have goals to keep readers coming back. In class this week, we are learning about analytics and analyzing them to figure out ways to keep the page views up. Promoting quality not quantity in the information they are giving would definitely be beneficial to keeping an informed audience coming back.

Online journalism opens up endless possibilities, especially now when it is still a newer development. It seems like journalists today don’t just need the writing expertise but also need to be able to develop creative ideas to keep their readers coming back by changing the design or format of their online presence.

Newspaper Editors Living in a Digital World

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While browsing through my feedly, I came across an article that explains how rare it is that newspaper editors have any digital experience. I do find this very strange considering that we live in a digital world and the annual revenue for many newspaper companies has been drastically decreasing. Surely these companies have realized there needs to be a change or the newspapers will continue to disappear.

I worked at The Post-Crescent in Appleton, WI this summer which is a Gannett Wisconsin Media newspaper. We had monthly meetings as an entire staff and discussed where the revenue was. Each month, it got lower. The editor of this newspaper was not personally strong with digital knowledge, however, many of the digital employees were very good at running the online database. As long as the editor has an open mind about shifting gears towards the digital side and has skilled employees to do this, the company may have a chance to prosper. Gannett newspaper, however, are still somewhat old fashioned, which is why the revenue is continuing to drop.

There is no question that some editors are stubborn and stuck in the old ways of getting the news out through print. However, once these editors are replaced with younger, more digitally enhanced minds, there will be a change in the way journalism is produced. We will see much more online content and digital advertising. I am looking forward to this change.

Google: Foe in the Beginning, Friend in the End

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Journalists really got the short end of the stick when Google came in to the world. It changed the way that people behave, making them crave knowing information right when they want it. Initially, Google was an enemy to journalists everywhere. It created a greedy monster in the business world, with companies focusing more on quantity instead of quality. Because of this, cheap labor was what companies strived to get – coming from interns and offshore body shops.

Finally, Google has realized that professional journalists have been negatively affected by how easy it is for audiences to find the top ten quantity driven search results when they type in what they’re looking for in the search bar. According to the blog that I found this off of, located here, pay rates have dropped 75% in the last five years for journalists.

Since a majority of news content now-a-days can only be found on the web, it is important for the content to be informative and well written by professionals. Google has created a new search algorithm. According to the Newspaper Death Watch article, “Last month’s release of the Hummingbird algorithm continues a campaign to elevate the value of quality content in search results and penalize formulaic gamesmanship.”

Hopefully professional journalists will benefit from this new addition and the pay rate will increase. Also, hopefully this will help audiences receive quality content instead of information that was written in a sloppy manner. Because not only were the journalists affected by this change, everyone who used Google search was affected by it too when trying to find the most credible information.

Last month’s release of the Hummingbird algorithm continues a campaign to elevate the value of quality content in search results and penalize formulaic gamesmanship. – See more at: http://newspaperdeathwatch.com/why-google-may-be-journalists-new-bff/#sthash.mPjSNZKy.dpuf
Last month’s release of the Hummingbird algorithm continues a campaign to elevate the value of quality content in search results and penalize formulaic gamesmanship. – See more at: http://newspaperdeathwatch.com/why-google-may-be-journalists-new-bff/#sthash.mPjSNZKy.dpuf

Even Bigger Increase in Newspaper Decline

It is crazy to think how terrible newspapers have been doing in the last decade. I mean, it is not exactly crazy to think about because online news content has become the wave of the future. To think though that newspapers started it all and have been such a historic piece of our country and that they are slowly dying is just sad.

According to Reflections of a Newsosaur, “the revenues of the publicly traded newspaper companies slipped an average of 5.5% to enter an 8th year of unabated decline.” The reason online news content is doing so well is because of online advertising, in which sales have increased 18% in the first six months of 2013.

At this rate, newspaper will disappear before I turn 50 years old, which is sad thinking that newspapers will just be something my grandchildren read in their history books. It is also sad for journalists that work for newspaper companies or for those who plan to pursue a career writing for print journalism. Online content will always be around but it is much harder to navigate because of all of the apps and widgets that are being used. I guess it’s a good thing they are teaching Journalism for Web classes, right?