The two tempos of leaning forward and leaning back are still the rule in terms of how and when we access news and information. But the “legacy” treatment of news for digital is not what’s recommended.
I have enjoyed very much this piece in the Digital Media section of The Guardian. Peter Preston, in an article headlined, You don’t have to act like a newspaper on the net, argues that we can’t simply treat the digital presentation of news the way we do print.
“Print is a meal prepared to a set deadline, emerging from ovens at a magic moment. Digital is a constantly changing 24-hour buffet. Make print assemble its menu from that buffet and, inevitably, there’s a weakening of focus. Not fatal perhaps, but not offering something “even better”.
In my workshops, I usually channel the analogy of raw meat and cooked steak to indicate precisely what Preston is discussing: present “snacking” items for users to sample and to lean forward to during the course of the day on mobile devices, then offer the option to get the cooked steak, the full meal, at a later time.
Preston refers to recent new products developed to do just that.
“Look around at the digital news initiatives that are making the weather in 2017. The Washington Post ….is launching the Lily – a quite separate site of Post news re-edited for female millennial consumption, intentionally young, not old. The founders of Politico have just launched Axios, a site that gives you the news at pace (and added depth as required). And, of course, there’s the massive Mail Online, which is nothing like the Mail on a newsstand. In short, you need an angle, a particular selling point: you don’t need the full legacy treatment.”
New product development is key, inspired by the reality of how younger generations of readers approach news and information and definitely not by the way we have always done in print.
The brainchild of The Post’s Emerging News Products team, The Lily will emphasize platform-specific storytelling, integrating smart content with striking visuals to inform and entertain. The Lily will appear on Medium, Facebook and Instagram to start.
Another new product coming out of a legacy newspaper company, Louder, the new New York Times newsletter, devoted to pop music, with “everything you need to keep up with the latest on pop, jazz, hip hop, country, R&B, rock, doom metal, polkam, ballroom and beyond.”