| NAA mediaXchange is the largest annual gathering of industry executives in North America, offering unprecedented networking opportunities that combine an exchange of information and ideas with programming designed to generate results. The conference is designed to provide valuable ideas and insights to help newspaper professionals grow audience and revenue for their print and digital products. Sessions highlight leading-edge thinking about media strategies, successes in product and revenue development, new ideas and innovation inside and outside the industry, and tactics and techniques to employ in print and digital.
Engaging customers with new products and experiences
By Varun Saxena
learned Thursday that hackathons are not about hacking.
They are a
method of "creating an environment where, in a compressed set of time, people
can rapidly innovate without the day-to-day constraints," said Vijay Ravindran,
chief digital officer of The Washington Post.
They are also
responsible for many of the top innovations at ESPN and The Post, including the
NBA Trade Machine and @MentionMachine.
"How we build is
equally if not more important" than what is built, Ravindran said.
Another point of
emphasis was the importance of continuously monitoring and updating the new
vice president of product management at The New York Times, said it's important
to learn from previous experiences and make sure the engineering staff doesn't
immediately move to new a project when the previous one is completed.
Rob King, senior
vice president for ESPN, said the app business is dominated by a few hits. Of
more than 30 apps developed by ESPN, three are responsible for 92 percent of
King said "failing
fast" is important so the company doesn't sink too much money into unsuccessful
He stressed the
importance of functionality and simplicity, saying apps should be designed for
features pulled from shrinking newspapers. "I'd create the ultimate obituaries
app," he said.
important tool is use of metrics, King said.
For example, he
learned that 62 percent of mobile usage of espn.com and its apps occurs at
home. This surprising insight made him think about the "second screen
experience," or viewing two screens simultaneously.
new products is another issue.
ESPN uses the
"freemium" model. Initial usage is free, but customers must pay for additional
content, such as news available on ESPN Insider.
The New York
Times charges for electronic content, regardless of how it is accessed. To
charge only for content from certain devices "would defeat the model," Perpich
Varun Saxena is a
student at the University of Maryland. He is one of several local university journalism
reporting live from NAA mediaXchange 2012 in Washington, D.C.
Apr 05 2012, 02:50 PM
About Amanda Knowles
Amanda Knowles is Web & Social Media Manager at the Newspaper Association of America. Before coming to NAA, Amanda spent four years working in print journalism, both at the college and professional level. She has worked as a copy editor and news page designer for two daily newspapers in northwestern Pennsylvania, The Erie Times-News and The Meadville Tribune. Most recently, she collaborated on The American Observer, the online magazine edited and produced by graduate journalism students at American University in Washington, D.C. Amanda believes strongly in the secure future of the newspaper, and is excited to be a participant in the movement to integrate traditional print media into the burgeoning digital world.