Engaged Reading Digest: the "news you can use" edition

A small shift in format. This is a small number of "news you can use" links.

Adam Tinworth
Adam Tinworth

Trying something new this morning. Weekday digests are going to be a limited selection of "news you can use". I'll save the opinion pieces and longer reads for a weekend edition. Let me know if this works better for you.

Making Instagram Stories work for you

Good piece from Jacob over at my pals journalism.co.uk, detailing how Francesco (a former student - this is a slightly nepotistic digest, sorry. It's not my fault that half of the UK's audience engagement experts were once my students… 😇) goes about experimenting and refining their strategy for using Stories.

What you need to know: Experimentation is not enough alone: you need sensible measures to understand what is working and what isn't.

Data crunching, weekly formats and vertical accounts: behind The Telegraph’s Instagram strategy
The news organisation has doubled its followers on the platform in the space of a year through a savvy social media strategy

The end of "OK, Boomer" on Twitter?

What you need to know: Twitter has changed its rules to ban language that dehumanizes people on the basis of their age, disability or disease status. Be careful of your language around these topics, even if only joking.

Updating our rules against hateful conduct
An update on our hateful conduct policy

Two SEO quickies

Google has been migrating to a mobile-first index over the last few years. That process is pretty much over.

What you need to know: From September onwards, if your mobile performance isn't good in terms both usability and speed, you'll be hobbled in search traffic. Check now - and act.

Announcing mobile first indexing for the whole web
Official news on crawling and indexing sites for the Google index

This second one will only impact a few of you, but worth knowing, if you're on WordPress.

What you need to know: several SEO-centric WordPress plugins seem to have bugs. Keep your plugins as updated as you can. And if you're seeing a drop in search traffic, check if any of these bugs apply to you…

Several WordPress SEO plugins are on the fritz - Search Engine Land
Site owners using Google Analytics Dashboard for WP, Yoast SEO and Rank Math should check for the following issues.

Overwhelmed by newsletters?

One of the reasons I've slightly modified this format, is that I've had feedback that people are already feeling over-whelmed by information. A digest should be more, well, digested. However, here's another approach:

Reading Newsletters with Feedbin and Reeder
[aside title=”Editor’s Note” align=”center” width=”wide”]The following story was originally published in the January issue of our Club MacStories Monthly Log newsletter. We wanted to share it as an example of the type of longform stories exclusive to Club MacStories members. Every year, we publish a…

One does wonder when we end up back at blogs and RSS readers, though…

An engaged journalism event

I've always enjoyed the Digital Editors network events, even though it's nearly five years since I managed to get to one. (I remember chatting to an attendee about the forthcoming birth of my second child… and she's got her fifth birthday soon.)

I'll be at this one, as they've got some great people on board, including Beth Ashton, a former student who is now leading the digital engagement at The Telegraph, and Nick Petrie from The Times.

#engagementDEN Spring 2020 Meeting of the Digital Editors Network
The focus of the Spring 2020 Digital Editors Network meeting in London is Engagement - inside, outside and alongside paywalls

Have a great weekend - when you get there. And you can let me know what you think of the revised format by hitting "reply". I live for your emails.


I'm self-employed. I'm pretty much self-isolated already.

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Adam is a lecturer, trainer and writer. He's been a blogger for over 20 years, and a journalist for more than 30. He lectures on audience strategy and engagement at City, University of London.