Category Archives: Trusted Human Editors

First reactions to Publish2 News Exchange

This week at TechCrunch Disrupt, Publish2 CEO Scott Karp announced the launch of Publish2 News Exchange.

Here’s an overview of some of the first reactions to what we like to call P2X:

Publish2′s News Exchange Aims to Help News Outlets Cut Ties to AP
Poynter | June 1, 2010

“If his service does what he says it does,” said [Roger Plothow, editor and publisher of the Post-Register in Idaho Falls and one of the more vocal would-be AP dropouts], “I’ll be lining up for it and so will a lot of other people.”

While the AP may be the great white whale for new media enthusiasts, it will keep swimming around the ocean for some time to come. But credit Karp and company with a well-aimed harpoon.

Publish2′s Ryan Sholin: “We did not set out to kill the Associated Press”
Nieman Journalism Lab | May 28, 2010

What the News Exchange and its creators do want, Sholin said, is to broaden the ecosystem of access when it comes to the wire content available to newspapers.

Publish2 Wants To Disrupt The Associated Press With An Online News Exchange
TechCrunch | May 24, 2010

Publish2 is taking a swing at the newswire mammoth – they un-lovingly call it an inefficient monopoly – by launching a platform that allows newspaper publishers and other media organizations tap the vast amount of quality content already available for free on the Web (we don’t mean to brag, but TechCrunch was one of the examples cited by the startup on stage).

Publish2 takes a swing at the AP with News Exchange
Romenesko | May 25, 2010

Publish2 is launching a platform that allows newspaper publishers and media organizations tap the vast amount of quality content already available for free on the Web.

Publish2′s News Exchange offers great promise for journalists
LoganMolen.com | May 24, 2010

After using News Exchange for a few days — and quite a bit today — I can safely say it brings a whole new mindset to how media organizations can share, pursue and purchase content. I’ve worked with Associated Press content and tools since I was a college student in the 1980s and my first impressions of News Exchange last week were, “Wow, this is a game changer.”

Publish2 News Exchange launches: Competition for AP’s market?
Knight Digital Media Center | May 27, 2010

If this technical integration actually performs well, that’s pretty important. Many news organizations face increasingly constrained options because they rely on entrenched, large, hard-to-update, print-focused content management systems. These systems are typically very picky about content formats. It often takes time and effort to integrate content produced by more modern CMSs into these systems—at least, if you want to run that content in print, rather than online only.

Buried in a local paper: a glimpse of the future of journalism
The Independent | June 12, 2010

Is this kind of exchange the key to reshaping the newspaper industry and putting it on a sounder footing? I think so.

Finally, A Smart Alternative to the AP
Breaking Media | June 8, 2010

In 2010, it’s pretty clear that the real associated press is comprised of thousands of strong credible voices breaking news and doing sharp analysis on any topic you can name.

Publish2 wants to take content distribution away from the AP
VentureBeat | May 24, 2010

Rather than purchasing content from the AP, the Publish2 News Exchange connects web publishers with print publishers to distribute content to anyone at anytime. The web publishers benefit by having their brand syndicated in print.

Publish2: Another Online Threat To AP
MediaPost | May 25, 2010

The News Exchange expedites the process by handling the logistics of file transfers, graphics and tailored story formatting. It can also automatically import syndicated digital content to the print editions of newspapers.

Publish2: pivoting, thinking big, and identifying the enemy
Darryl Siry’s posterous | May 25, 2010

I like this move for a couple of reasons. Publish2 is thinking really big. Of course thinking big comes with skeptics who will ridicule the ambitions of the startup, but that is the nature of startups that ultimately disrupt the big incumbents. They are never viewed as a threat when they are starting out.

ClaraJeffery: Congrats to our friends @publish2. They make good things happen.

jayrosen_nyu: You know what Publish2′s News Exchange is, really? An extension into print of “do what you do best and link to the rest.”http://jr.ly/3tvz

erikgable: Intrigued by @Publish2 News Exchange and its potential for making our content-sharing agreements more effective.

Publish2 Aims to Oust the Associated Press
Mashable | May 27, 2010

The News Exchange enables newspapers to replace AP content subscriptions with web content, and in exchange web producers are able to showcase their brands in print. As Karp points out, print publishing and distribution still drive newspaper operations, even its web production, which sometimes is nothing more than a dumping ground for stories from the day’s paper.

emilybell: More inventive than a paywall? @scottkarp on a new model AP http://bit.ly/bueqaD

Publish2 Takes on the Associated Press with News Sharing Service
Folio Magazine | May 25, 2010

According to CEO Scott Karp, News Exchange gives publishers a legitimate content sharing alternative to the AP, a cooperative he calls an “obsolete inefficient monopoly, ripe for disruption.”

stephromanski: Passing on Publish2′s newswire announcement to my publisher.

Publish2 News Exchange Takes Aim at AP
MediaBistro | May 24, 2010

OK, perhaps the new Web-content aggregator’s stated goal of “disrupting the Associated Press monopoly over content distribution to newspapers” is a bit lofty, but hey, might as well aim high, right?

Publish2 aims to supplant the Associated Press, reinvent the news exchange with ‘P2X’
BrianManzullo.com | May 25, 2010

The more I think about it, the more intrigued I am about this development. Why? Not necessarily because of how much money it could save news companies (although that’d be a huge plus, if P2X can develop a thriving web of news organizations and blogs). Instead, I’m thinking about how much more efficient content sharing can be between news organizations, and how much more vibrant their products can be because of that.

jdcoffman@rbole the Publish2 release today looks to be absolutely perfect for #pubmedia public affairs needs — truly amazing.

Publish2 bids to disrupt content syndication with News Exchange service
eMedia Vitals | May 26, 2010

One feature of News Exchange that fell under the radar at TechCrunch is a story ideas database – basically an RFP for story assignments. Editors can post a request for coverage; other members can respond with an existing article or a commitment to write something.

catecorcoran: Add a payment system, and Publish2 could be a price discovery mechanism for original reporting #sm #media #tcdisrupt

mrosas: I absolutely adore what @publish2 is doing for news … disruption indeed http://tcrn.ch/cQb3PY

This Week in Review: Facebook’s privacy tweak, old and new media’s links, and the AP’s new challenger
Nieman Journalism Lab | May 28, 2010

It’s rare that we see such a bold, explicit attempt to take down such an established news organization, so this will doubtless be a project to keep a close eye on.

***

Thanks to everyone who has asked us great questions and offered their feedback so far.

We want to know what you think! Find us here, on Twitter, or at contact@publish2.com for more information, to send your feedback, or to fire off a few good questions.

New to Publish2? Register here to get started.

Nine Steps to Verified Link Journalism

If you see a blog post titled “10 Iconic Journalists Every J-Student Should Study” and want to share it with your Twitter followers, Facebook friends, or old-fashioned e-mail contacts, please consider what you’re endorsing when you link to it.

More than 70 people have tweeted the link so far.

That’s fine. Some, most or maybe all of them think it’s worth sharing. No problem there.

But I’ve wondered since last night, when I first saw the link, if people realized what it was: linkbaiting as SEO, with the hopes of increasing traffic to an irrelevant site, boosting its rank in search results for the keywords in its URL.

Of course we all want links to our sites. There’s nothing wrong with that. But the folks who tweet and retweet the link become a party to this practice of gaming the Web and devaluing higher-quality content that generates traffic organically.

Context

I received an email notification that I had a new message sent through my personal blog’s contact form at 12:37 a.m. on Jan. 5, 2010. Here are the details:

NAME

Amber Johnson

E-MAIL

amber.johnson1983@gmail.com

MESSAGE

Hi,
We posted an article, " 10 Iconic Journalists Every JStudent Should Study” (http://www.onlinecolleges.net/2010/01/04/10-iconic-journalists-every-jstudent-should-study/), and I thought that you or your readers might find it appealing.
Wishing you Happy & Prosperous New Year

Amber Johnson

I’ve received a few messages like this in the past and planned to disregard this one too. Judging by the approach and complete lack of personalization (that’s right, don’t even use my name in the note, which is probably submitted by some kind of script), I guessed that other journalism bloggers had received also it.

Sure enough, I saw a few links to it on Twitter within minutes. Did they think it was linkbait?

Here’s how a journalist should verify content before linking to it

1. What is the URL?

The domain is the first possible indicator. For the “10 Iconic Journalists” post, this should set off the first set of warning bells:

onlinecolleges[dot]net/2010/01/04/10-iconic-journalists-every-jstudent-should-study

Come on, it looks fishy from onset. You probably wouldn’t open an email from Online Colleges, nor would you likely click such a textlink ad in your email program, so why would you want be a relay point for that promotion?

2. What’s on the site?

College-related content and search.

3. Does this content on this site seem out of place?

Does a site called OnlineColleges really care what journalism students study? No, they want you to use their service. Look at the other recent blog content. And the email sender was “savvy with their target group — journalists on Twitter — who will tweet and RT the hell out of the link,” as Daniel Petty said in a reply. It’s very smart of them to have authorititave people with strong reputations to generate buzz.

4. Who owns the site?

Whenever this isn’t immediately clear on the about page or in the footer, you should be suspicious. Why don’t they list it?

5. Who owns the URL?

OnlineColleges.net is registered to Stephanie Marchetti of Glen Ellyn, IL. Based on a search of her name and search of her email address, it looks as though she’s registered other similarly named domains, such as graduatedegree[dot]org, mbainfo[dot]com and eduers[dot]com. She owns a total of 51 domains, according to DomainTools.com.

Note: I couldn’t find anything connecting her to the email address that sent the message to my blog.

6. Who has previously linked to the site?

Search link:URL on Google (substitute the address for URL and make sure there’s no space between it and the link: search operator).

7. Who sent the link?

“Amber Johnson”

8. Is it a real person?

The name sounded like a fake when I first saw the message, so I searched Amber Johnson, Amber Johnson + advertising, Amber Johnson + pr, Amber Johnson + Online Colleges, etc, etc. with no luck.

I also searched that name with the registrants name — without success.

9. If it’s not a real person, who is it?

I searched the email address from my contact form and didn’t find anything helpful until I put quotes around it. After the search, sometime during the 1 a.m. hour, I got one result, which included this:

The IP address links to a page with more details, which indicates the email bounced off a telecom company server in India. Not very helpful, but an important step in this investigation.

As I did all this, I was chatting with Daniel Bachhuber on IM (Daniel aptly noted that someone might just be using that particular server to send the message; it might not be the actual computer from where it was sent) and posting a few key details to Twitter (read some of the discussion).

I also searched “amber.johnson1983,” which gave me four results last night, including the one from the above search. Two results showed the same message I received and the other showed a similarly spammy request.

What to do

It’s important to always open links before you retweet or share them online. It doesn’t hurt to check the short URL or text of a tweet or DM beforehand if it’s suspect.

It’s also good to read, watch, listen to or in some other way consume the content on that page before you share (I’ll admit that I too could do a better job of fully consuming the content).

You could also follow steps similar what I did with the “10 Iconic Journalists” post.

Take away the source and context and the big question is, “Does this provide value?” Or, “Does this meaninfully add to the conversation?” Regardless of everything else, I knew from seeing the content that I found this post to have no real value. (OK, maybe just a tad in stirring comments of who should be on the list).

Conclusion

Don’t take the linkbait. Whether it’s an unknown site that looks spammy or a big site trying to keep their traffic up throughout the day by posting new content with little value, you don’t want to be known as someone who falls for this and, by making the bait-layer successful, strengthening the practice.

What’s the best etiquette? I think it’s ok to send someone a message such as, “Hey, I thought you’d be interested in this” or “I’d love your thoughts on this” and let the person do what they want. They’ll link it on their own if they like it. I’m more likely to not share a link if you ask just because I don’t want to open the door to more solicitations.

For the newsy crowd, journalists shouldn’t include a source or a source’s information in a story without verifying who they are and what they’re motivation is, so why not do the same on Twitter?

Sure, you don’t have to. But with all the noise and what I’ll call chaff-disguised-as-wheat online, why not — as a journalist — do your due diligence when sharing a link? And, sure, you may say a link or RT is not an endorsement, but it might still be perceived as such.

It’s not simply about denying linkbaiters their pageviews and buzz, it’s about your credibility and reputation as a trusted source of information.

Moreover, verifying information or links you pass along is something everyone, not just journalists should do, no matter the medium. And, if you can’t verify it, provide context. (More good reading on that topic here.)

Link journalism makes context easy in stories online. But the link in itself is not necessarily journalism — it’s what you do to verify its source and accuracy that makes it journalism and, thus, more valuable.

“Because it’s on the Web” is no excuse for not verifying. That just leads to low-quality content, of which there’s plenty online. Instead, you should strive for the best quality because there is so much garbage out there.

Far too often people tweet or retweet something as a knee-jerk reaction, whether they read it or not. It seems that some people have become accustomed to over-sharing links. They might be well intentioned, but I would just like those frequent linkers to think:

  • Is this really providing value?
  • Is this unique? Specifically, has it been tweeted a million and two times already?

True, we all have different audiences and even having many overlapping followers doesn’t mean you should leave out the others who might not have seen it. We all need to be more discerning about what we share — and we need to know where it comes from.

There’s plenty of linking, but I’d like to see more thinking along with it.

Epilogue

Because we’re talking about links to lists, I’ll also say that all these of specific skills journalists need to have are all well and good, but the fundamentals are more important. Specifically, thinking critically and being skeptical.

Bonus link: Craig Kanalley on how to verify a Tweet.

A version of this post can also be found at The Linchpen.

Collaborative Curation in Action: Building a Copenhagen Collaborative Newswire

Publish2 empowers news organizations to band together in a Newsgroup to bring their readers the best of the Web through collaboration. A Publish2 Newsgroup enables any group of journalists to collect news and information on any given topic in one place, and then automatically publish the curated stream of links.

The Northwest Newsgroup was the first to prove that a large group of reporters, editors, and producers across a wide range of newsrooms — from a variety of media companies — could collaborate to curate regional breaking news. The Northwest Newsgroup became a collaborative newswire for the Web, one based on linking to the original reporting at the source.

This week, during the Copenhagen climate summit, a group of journalists from Mother Jones, The Nation, Grist, The UpTake, TreeHugger, and other news organizations have applied the collaborative newswire model to a major international news story, forming the Copenhagen News Collaborative to curate the best coverage from their own reporters, editors, and analysts covering the event.

Here’s the collaborative newswire published at Mother Jones:

cop15_motherjones

Grist published links from their own an newsgroup alongside the collaborative Copenhagen Newswire (Indy Media @ Copenhagen), which became an integral part of their Copenhagen coverage:

cop15_grist

The Copenhagen collaborative newswire appears as part of the new EnviroNation blog at The Nation:

cop15_thenation

Discover Magazine’s Intersection blog introduced their Copenhagen News Collaborative participation to their readers, pointing out the widget in their sidebar and finishing with this note:

“…there is a lot of Copenhagen news coming, and we stand at a nexus for producing it….”

cop15_discover

Updated 12/10/09: The Copenhagen collaborative newswire is now live on TreeHugger’s key page on the climate summit:

cop15_treehugger

Here’s a look at the long list of journalists in the Copenhagen News Collaborative Newsgroup at Publish2:

cop15_newsgroup

Collaboration is key: A lone news organization couldn’t provide the range of news and analysis covered by the stories being submitted by these sources.

Think about how you can make this work at a local level. Are you already exchanging links, stories, and photos with other local news organizations? Or are you still trying to cover every angle of every story on your own? What about national and international news? Would you rather publish links chosen by an algorithm trying its best to match a keyword search, or a high quality newswire full of stories hand-picked by journalists who know their beats?

Ready to build your own collaborative newswire?

Choose a topic or region, start a Publish2 Newsgroup, invite your peers and colleagues from other news organizations to join, and use Publish2 widgets and feeds to automatically publish a stream of curated news across platforms, send links to Twitter, and bring your readers the best of the Web, from any source in the world.


Networked link journalism: A revolution quietly begins in Washington state

The discussion about journalism’s future so often focuses on Big Changes — Kill the print edition! Flips for everyone! Reinvent business models NOW! — that it’s easy to forget how simple innovation can be.

Sometimes all you need is a few Tweets, a bunch of links, and some like-minded pioneers.

That’s how a quiet revolution began in Washington state Wednesday. Four journalists spontaneously launched one of the first experiments in collaborative (or networked) link journalism to cover a major local story.

But it gets better. Those four journalists weren’t in the same newsroom. In fact, they all work for different media companies. And here’s the best part: Some of them have never even met in person.

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Knoxnews.com: The best Tennessee election coverage that can be found on the Internet

Jack Lail, an editor and journalist with a deep understanding of the web, big vision, and a “let’s do it” innovator’s spirit, set out to publish “the best Tennessee election coverage that can be found on the Internet” — he rounded up a group of journalists and bloggers, set them up on Publish2, and off they went. Here’s the result on knoxnews.com:

knoxnews-publish2.jpg

Jack explains it best:

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The Editor As Curator Of ALL The News On The Web

Jeff Jarvis challenges news organizations to define the role of editor in the 21st century, i.e. Editor 2.0. Jeff connects a number of dots that involve a significant, even radical shift in the traditional editorial role, such as new search/tag editor positions. But one of the most radical shifts taking place is that editors are now being asked to curate OTHER news organization’s content in addition to their own.

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Advertisers Don’t Trust Or Value Completely Open Systems

Henry Copeland of BlogAds points out the great paradox of blog monetization — advertisers have embraced unedited bloggers as trusted media brands, but they still don’t trust the people who comment on those blogs (via paidContent):

The appeal of blogs to marketers is their singular brand identity, making it possible to accurately target their ads. Copeland: “Advertisers say, ‘I know I can trust Blog X, but I also know that Blog X has 100,000 readers – and God knows what those
100,000 readers are going to say.’

This is why completely open systems of “user-generated content,” e.g. social networks like MySpace and Facebook, and social news sites like Digg, still have so little commercial value relative to their scale. It’s not that advertisers don’t value how the web has opened the door to new voices or enabled new, dynamic, networked media models — it’s that they still need a reason to trust these new voices and to trust how these dynamic media operate.

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