Engaged Reading Time - Issue #59
The holidays are nearly upon us, and like everyone else, I'm rushing to get it all done before they hit. Just over 24 hours until my daughters go on school holiday, and my working time plummets…
It's been a satisfying week, with a very successful content strategies course, dates and rates agreed for another major social media strategy piece of consultancy, and this year's City students' videos marked. There are some superb ones this year - and if you're looking for social producer talent, or video talent, drop me a line. There's some terrifically promising students on both the newspaper and interactive course this year.
The evolution of this newsletter
A quick reminder - by early next year, the paid element of this newsletter is going to change. I'll be leaving Revue (the newsletter platform this is run from) and making it part of a membership offering over on my site, One Man & His Blog.
I'm not going to make any attempt to transfer the paying members over (if you're reading this, you're either a paying member, a recent student or have attended one of my training courses recently, where I gave a free subscription as a bonus element). By January, I'll be cancelling the paid subscriptions here, and I'll send details of how to sign up for the new paid offering on OM&HB before then. I know that means I might lose people — but I'd much rather have an active, engaged community, than one that just hadn't got around to unsubscribing.
One crucial element dropped into place this week, as the Ghost team added the ability for subscribers to manage their own subscriptions - something that was missing in the first release of their membership product.
I'm really impressed with the direction they're taking this - it's creating something with the ease of use of Substack, but which allows a more comprehensive offering, across web and email.
The Big Read(s)
Chartbeat - 2019 Top Stories
Analytics platform Chartbeat delivers its annual rundown of the most engaging stories of the year. I'd read a few of them, but more of them are new to me. Lots to get my teeth into over the holidays.
The Atlantic again has the best read digital story of the year: Solving the mystery of Malaysia’s missing airplane
Here's your supplementary reading: some interesting analysis of the list above.
Political hashtags like #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter make some people doubt the stories they’re attached to
General rule of thumb: hashtags set a tone, rather than just getting you more traffic. Think if it's the right tone for your outlet.
How BBC News Built a More Engaged Audience on Instagram
I hate linking to Facebook propaganda, but there is some interesting stuff in here — with all the normal caveats about the BBC having a very different agenda on platforms than most publishers.
Lovely former student Francesco is doing the hard work of gathering up interesting news organisation TikTok accounts. Lend a hand, if you're so inclined… We could all do with a bit more information about this platform, especially because…
Why Google’s algorithm is slowly making SEO agencies obsolete
I'm inclined to agree with this take. The days of agencies selling services based on tactical awareness of minor algorithm updates are gone. It's all in the strategic content planning, now.
SEO Update #3: agency death, Yandex growth and MOAR carousels
Some more SEO updates from me.
Nine months in, Apple News+ isn't wowing publishers
The short version of this is, I suspect, "some publishers aren't seeing stellar results, but those who are are keeping rather quiet about it". I've spoken to a few publishers who are doing rather nicely thank you from Apple News+ and other aggregators, but most don't want to talk about it for obvious reasons.
Fake ne… uh… misinformation
Finland is winning the war on fake news. What it’s learned may be crucial to Western democracy
Russia's neighbor has developed a plan for countering misinformation. Can it be exported to the rest of the world?
Exclusive: Facebook funding Reuters deepfakes course for newsrooms
Facebook is spending six figures to fund a course on manipulated media and deepfakes for newsrooms.
And yet, it seems very reluctant to police them on its one platforms. The first stage of a blame shifting?
The problem with newsletters…
This is at least part of the reason for the plan I outlined above. Some of us are reaching peak newsletter…
Thanks for reading…
As ever, let me know what you think, or if you have any thoughts, by clicking the button below, or hitting"reply" and sending me an email. We self-employed people get lonely sometimes, you know…