Editorial product development and management - lessons from the Guardian

The Guardian’s head of technology strategy Stephen Dun has been interviewed by the Association of Online Publishers about the product development process at Guardian News and Media:

Some of the most successful products are bespoke to a specific platform.

We’ll be discussing product development and management with speakers from the Financial Times, Microsoft and more at news:rewired - beyond the story.

Tickets, while still available, can be bought at this link for just £100 (+VAT).

'Engagement through play' - journalism and gaming

Fascinating stuff from Edelman Digital on ‘engagement through play’ and the power of gaming ahead of our news:rewired session on journalism and gaming:

Game play is extremely productive: it produces the positive emotions scientists say are crucial to our health and success. In ‘This Might Be a Game’, Jane McGonigal suggests that positive traits induced by gaming include the energetic willingness of players to attack problems that they are confident of solving; the strong sense of community and trust felt by game players; heightened productivity, and the empowerment and optimism experienced by gamers, who “believe they’re individually capable of changing the world”. Similarly, research from major universities such as Stanford and MIT shows that we like and trust others more after we’ve played a game together – even if they’ve beaten us – and are more likely to help someone in real life after we’ve helped them in a co-operative game. Games aren’t just making us happier – they are also helping us to engage with others.

Tickets, while still available, can be bought at this link for just £100 (+VAT).

Delegating responsibilities to community members

Interesting post from Community Spark on what responsibilities and roles can be delegated to members of an online community to assist the community manager.

To take part in our discussion about online communities for publishers and journalism, book your ticket to news:rewired on 16 December today:

A syllabus for online community building

A post made for our ‘building an online community from scratch’ session:

If you’re launching a website or app today, you need to build a community around your content. But how? Some sites explode while other nearly identical sites wither. It seems the best you can do sometimes is put out content and start sacrificing goats. What little we do know about how to build social apps and sites is folklore, anyway. The art and science of community building needs more attention. Kristen Taylor, an instructor at New York University’s unique tech graduate program, the Interactive Telecommunications Program (ITP), is trying to provide the theoretical and practical background for that task. Here, she presents her unusually literate and deep syllabus about learning to build online environments that people love.

Book your ticket for the next news:rewired on 16 December at this link -

#newsrw’s Simon Rogers on data production, usage and integration
Why the product manager shall inherit the earth

Interesting thoughts of Nic Newman, former world editor of the BBC News website, ahead of an AOP event on 9 December - useful for our business models session at

For me the future of many media companies depends on their ability to build digital media products that consumers love and want to come back to again and again.

In an ultra-competitive world, only those products and services that are easy to use and provide a compelling experience will be successful.

Increasingly these products are more complex to put together and require a mix of technical, editorial, design and marketing skills - and all of that needs to be orchestrated and co-ordinated with the needs of the audience in mind.

That’s why product managers are going to be increasingly important figures in the media industry.

Communities: define your target user

For our session at news:rewired on building communities from scratch -

The number one reason why online communities fail is because there is no clear definitive reason who the community was built for, or who will benefit from it. I have visited communities online where they have a tab for Mums, and a tab for Childrens’ Games, and a tab for Advice on Sex. Does that make sense to you? When somebody visits your community they should not be left wondering who this community is for, or whether or not they are the right fit for this community. I can tell you 100 per cent of the time the user who is unsure will leave.

Blurring lines between brands and publishers

Many publishers have responded to the lust for more content from brands by expanding their own product offerings. They’re also enhancing their own brands, using their unique position to offer more products (…) The mobile platform presents a particularly appealing opportunity to publishers looking to expand their product offerings. While brands have used apps to push their own content, publishers are using apps to enhance their brands. Many publishers are getting creative in the app space, extending beyond magazine and news content to develop branded apps with utilitarian functions.

Interesting reading for our session on branding and new business models at news:rewired -

New Scientist on newsgames and journalism

From New Scientist looking at “newsgames” and journalism:

Video games simulate rather than describe the world. They replace the tale of the crooked official or the sound bite about a local parade with interactive experiences of the political, social and economic circumstances that produce those events in the first place.

At the Georgia Institute of Technology’s Digital Media Program, we are researching newsgames, the application of games to journalism. Newsgames reinvent journalistic principles through their design, using current events, infographics, puzzles, community action and more.

Guardian Local on building a community news hub in Leeds

Guardian Local editor Sarah Hartley blogs about the launch of the Leeds Community News Hub yesterday - a joint project between the Guardian and Leeds Trinity University:

While creating online spaces for that activity, developing tools, apps and widgets to help people reveal their stories or unearth facts will undoubtedly continue to have an important role, I’m hopeful that enabling people to connect face-to-face and work on stories together will also lead to exciting, innovative collaborations going forward.