The Pew Project for Excellence in Journalism released a report on "The Future of Mobile News" this week. Unsurprisingly, they found a lot of people using phones and tablets to access news:
Even with a broadening population owning mobile devices that offer a range of activities, owners are still drawn heavily to news. What's more, there is a sizable cohort using mobile devices to broaden and strengthen their news experience, particularly male mobile news consumers who employ both apps and browsers, have a wireless data plan, get news multiple times throughout the day, and across a wide variety of platforms.
Newspapers -- as trusted sources of news and recommendations for local audiences -- have begun to understand how to leverage their unique position at the nexus of digital content and commerce. Rather than simply relying on revenue from an ad unit to send a consumer to another Web site, newspapers have begun to realize that they themselves possess all the necessary resources to own the entire e-commerce transaction.
By operating full-scale e-commerce programs and developing digital relationships with retailers (who are increasingly looking to go direct-to-consumer), newspapers come one step closer to a digital equivalent to a freestanding insert, driving consumers to purchase a retailer's product directly on the newspaper's domain. Here, an old model is made new, with the newspaper digitally serving the classic function of a freestanding insert, but also supporting the click-to-purchase component as well. In short, this isn't just a patchwork model hoping to compensate for the loss of print revenues -- a la online advertising -- this is a superior, more profitable model.
How should one balance the personal and professional in your online presence? Ann Friedman's take:
My friend Samhita made a very compelling case to me a few years ago that there should be little to no distinction between all of these selves online. In real life, she argued, you're serious and funny, high and lowbrow, casual and formal. Don't try to split these things into different compartments, because you start diluting the power of your unique perspective. I took her advice--tentatively, at first--and found that she was right. People responded to my work more. They retweeted and shared it more. And, perhaps best of all, I had more fun. It's hard work compartmentalizing, and it was a relief to stop.