Mild tweak to the format this week. I'm still trying to figure out in my mind how One Man & His Blog and Engaged Reading Time work together. I'm going to play with one lead story and a few supplement ones here, for a while at least. Let me know what you think.

(Country) Walking into subscriptions growth

This is a great piece about how Country Walking magazine has harnessed the power of its community to boost subscriptions. At the heart of it has been the #walk1000miles campaign to encourage readers to set themselves a health goal of, well, walking 1000 miles over a year.

It's a lovely story at the intersection of social media, offline community management and a print publication. Getting the face-to-face element right is critical, because if you blow that, you can destroy a relationship built up over years (as I discovered myself last week — something I might eventually blog about).

This is real audience engagement at work.

Can community power save magazines?
It’s a precarious time to be in print media. Circulation seems to be in inexorable decline, editorial teams and budgets are shrinking and no matter how good your publication, readers simply aren’t…

Audio news gets algorithmic

Despite Nic Newman's best attempts to persuade me, I'm still skeptical of the value of news on smart speakers - and this feels like it'll just recreate all the problems of the social platforms.

Google is putting an algorithmic audio news feed on its Assistant
Google is rolling out a new service for Google Assistant called “Your News Update.” It takes the idea of an algorithmically determined news feed — the kind you get from Facebook or on Google’s news feed — and turns it into an audio stream. To play it, you simply ask a Google smart speaker or Assista…

The path to radicalization

Interesting research into how long-term exposure within a community changes people's perceptions. Much to learn from here.

How a normal redditor becomes a conspiracy theorist
The peer-reviewed study followed the histories of 15,370 users to discover how they became active members in Reddit’s highly-popular r/conspiracy forum.

Mastondon's mission for better social media

Not discussed: getting onto and using Mastodon is still a relative pain in the arse compared to other forms of social media. That barrier to entry decreases the value of the platform to trolls…

People Find Us Troll-Free Compared to Twitter: Mastodon Founder
The platform has come across as a troll-free alternative to Twitter and Indian users are flocking to it.

News ❤️ Mobile

Your regular reminder that mobile is the home of news now, and don't forget it just because you spend your working day staring at a laptop.

Americans favor mobile devices over desktops and laptops for getting news
Roughly six-in-ten U.S. adults often get news on a mobile device, compared with 30% who often do so on a desktop or laptop computer.