Building a Digital Audience (Ch. 11)

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In Chapter 11, Briggs shares his insights on how to build an online audience for news. He first starts off by illustrating how important it is to analyze search engines and other social media tools. Also, your title tag and description in your online posts help to attract potential audiences. Throughout the chapter, Briggs breaks down the fundamentals into content tracking, web analytics, search engine optimization, effective headline writing for the Web, Distribution through social media.

“Developing a culture and processes to track and measure you work product is essential to competing in this date-driven world(Briggs 296). According to Briggs, the easiest way to track what you publish is through a Web-based spreadsheet. The purpose of tracking content is to create “benchmarks“. After you start it is wise to begin with with simple stories and videos in order to find out exactly is is you want to publish. Using web analytics software, you can use a Web-based dashboard panel. Key points to identify is page views, visits and unique visitors compared, and engagement. Also by using search engines, to understand how they work, you must optimize your Web content. Likewise, to optimize Web content properly, you want to make sure Web content is found through search engines. According to Briggs, during the past decade, Google is the dominant search engine because of the techniques it uses to establish relevance.

More importantly, it is an advantage to have your search engine show up in the first ten pages. Briggs explains that many sites receive as much as two-thirds of their Web traffic from search engines. The words used to type in the search engine are called “keywords.” Ultimately, if you publish stories online, the search engine will display links based on the subjects keywords.Using search engine optimization primarily helps others find your Web pages, based on the words typed into a search engine. Content and links work together to provide growth amongst your given audience. You then use these links to create Title tags and HTML meta tags. Lastly, it is important for news sites to place considerable thought and time into writing a headline. According to Briggs, “on average, eight out of 10 people will read a headline, but only two out of 10 will read the rest of the piece” (Briggs 308). It is important to understand that headlines can either hurt or attract your potential number of viewers.

Lastly, the top priorities of Web publishing online across the Web is distribution. Targeting specific channels like blogs, social media site, and sites that stream video content are a great way to distribute information. By adequately participating in multiple channels, a news station can earn social capital. Also, by further communicating with your audiences, you are helping generate a better customer-consumer relationship amongst readers.

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Understanding News as a Conversation

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In Chapter 10 of JorunalismNEXT, we began to touch on how the constant growth in technology has increased the speed of communication. With technology always evolving we find easier ways to relay news to the public, as well as find faster way to receive necessary feedback and options from viewers. In today’s time, it is important that we use technological and human resources to help cultivate constructive conversations. Briggs gives further insight on managing news as a conversation through social network and other media platforms.

According to Briggs, making conversation with your readers is great for building better relationships and gaining loyal viewers. When you give your audiences the chance to be apart of the news process, it makes it easier for them to identify with your news brand. For starters, you should answer all questions asked by your readers, address criticism, and always share good responses. In addition, it is important to converse through comments left by your readers. Ultimately, the amount of interaction that is given to an online news story by the writer will help create more intimate discussions online.

Moving further into chapter 10, we see that social media offers many benefits to news as a conversation it helps create awareness through word-of-mouth, it enables a much faster pace of feedback, and it helps create transparency in the reporting process. Conversation within news is important because your audience often discovers information and gives story tips, as well as share links to your post. Reporter Dan Gillmor even stated, “my audience knows more than I do (Briggs 271). With that being said, engaging in conversations can be used as a very important tool for instances such as your news gathering process.

When building and managing your online community, there should always be a priority to make your news participatory. The more that journalist gets involved, the more that your online community will want to participate. Acknowledging those who participate in your posts and conversations will help spread your content. Lastly, as journalists we should always remember to be aware of our many resources. Lastly, spend more time investing in an online community with loyal and anxious readers.