It's been a busy few weeks, so my apologies for an absence of updates over the last couple of weeks. Expect a few catch-up posts while I catch up on my own reading.


Instagram strengthens community promotion tools

This is another clear sign that Instagram, as a product, is becoming as much about communication and community building as it is a publishing tool. Adjust your though processes accordingly.

New Instagram Stories tool lets you quickly feature Story mentions from other users - Marketing Land
The tool shows the total number of mentions, making it especially useful for brands managing a high volume of UGC.

Podcast fans are forming their own communities

A useful reminder that any successful media form becomes a social object that people will gather around. If you, as a podcast producer, don't create a place for your community to gather, they will create their own places.

SubStack has been doing interesting work here, allowing your newsletter to become the social object a community gathers around.

Podcast Groups Aren’t Just About Podcasts
Fans of popular shows are converging on Facebook to talk about what they hear, and pretty much everything else too.

Making your podcast stand out

I must admit, talk of "peak podcast" (or peak newsletter) annoys me. I don't recall anyone ever talking about "peak magazine"… There's plenty of ear time left out there, and people will switch for the right concept. The discussion on podcasts is turning inwards within traditional media, but there are still many lessons to be learnt from podcasts outside the journalism community.

Is podcasting the way forward?
It’s getting harder to stand out from the crowd. Matt Locke shares his top tips on how to make more of your digital content.

A complete(ish) guide to social media analytics

As with so many of these things, it's highly geared towards marketing types rather than journalists or publishers — but there's some useful material here. When day, when I get enough time (or subscribers here) I'll write one of these specifically for journalists and other content professionals.

Social Media Analytics: the Complete Guide
Read this complete guide to social media analytics to learn about measurement and social media analytics tools.

Subs and Newsletters

Two posts from WAN-IFRA, whose site's HTML doesn't play nicely with Ghost's bookmark cards, hence the old-fashioned links.

  • How Scandinavian publishers are wooing Gen Z — it's not just being on the platforms that the younger generation are on, it's adopting the language and visual style of them, and using that to tell stories that matter to them. Good insights here.
  • The rise of newsletter startups — Newsletters are the new blogs. It's easy, and low cost to start one, and the medium of delivery solves the attention  problem (as I've just illustrated if you're reading this in your in-box…). Well worth watching, and thinking how it could apply to your own work.

The Dark Spaces of Chat Apps

This is the downside of the switch to chat apps as the major focus of social media development - we can't easily see what's going on in there. And that makes them an even better vector for viral disinformation than traditional social platforms.

Op-ed: Shining light into the dark spaces of chat apps
<p>News has migrated from print to the web to social platforms to mobile. Now, at the dawn of a new decade, it is heading to a place that presents a whole new set of challenges: the private, hidden spaces of instant messaging apps. WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, Telegram, and their ilk are platform…

The streamer wars continue

Live streaming talent is now so valuable to the big tech companies, that they're poaching talent from each other. This is a whole media ecosystem developing, which overlaps somewhat with the traditional YouTube community, but which is clearly its own thing. Worth watching.

YouTube signs three video stars to combat Amazon’s Twitch and fast-growing Facebook in game streaming
YouTube announced exclusive livestreaming deals with three popular live gamers: Valkyrae, LazarBeam and Muselk

Two Good Reads

This is a great example of using available open source tools and mad verification skills to break a story. The next time journalist Twitter breaks into warfare over shorthand think how relevant that discussion is to this sort of journalism…

How digital sleuths unravelled the mystery of Iran’s plane crash
Open-source intelligence proved vital in the investigation into Ukraine Airlines flight PS752. Then Iranian officials had to admit the truth

This is a sobering — but impressive — use of data journalism and multimedia storytelling to dive deep on the true cost of the Australian wildfires.

Assessing Australia’s “ecological disaster”
A Reuters analysis of over 1,400 species highlights those affected most by bushfires

Thanks for reading — and if you've found it useful, please consider subscribing, so you can get it delivered straight to you inbox with that "freshly baked" smell…