This keynote presentation to the MoDevEast conference of mobile designers and developers highlights some major findings from our in-depth Strategy Study: The best strategies for creating specialized mobile apps. In a brief talk, I introduce a few ideas for how news organizations and others can identify opportunities for niche mobile apps, create quick and cheap initial […]
Jeff Sonderman (Page 6)
Jeff Sonderman is the deputy director of the American Press Institute, helping to lead its use of research, tools, events, and strategic insights to advance and sustain journalism.
He is a leader in helping modern journalism thrive through the right blend of technology, audience engagement, data-driven content strategy, integrated business models, and transformative leadership. He has worked as a writer, editor, manager, coach, trainer, speaker, and consultant with diverse types of news publishers across the country.
He is the architect and developer of API's Metrics for News analytics software that reinvents how publishers use data to inform content strategy. He also edits API's Need to Know newsletter, a uniquely designed resource for spreading fresh, useful insights across the industry, and designed API's Strategy Studies research format for in-depth strategic guidance. And he consults with publishers on a range of issues related to content strategy, organizational transformation, audience development, newsroom structure and workflows, product management, and much more.
He has taught digital journalism at Georgetown University. Before joining the American Press Institute in 2013, he was the digital media fellow of The Poynter Institute. His earlier journalism background includes digital news — helping to launch TBD.com, a local digital news startup in Washington, D.C. — and various roles in newspapers, as an award-winning reporter, online editor and metro editor of The Times-Tribune in Scranton, Pa.
He graduated from the Missouri School of Journalism and resides in Falls Church, Va., with his wife and daughter.
Thinking about any potential new product should start with identifying the audience and its needs. Consider the major annual events in your community, the popular hobbies/activities, sports teams, major civic problems, major industries — in what do people show an unusually high interest? Now identify the potential niche audiences that have information needs particularly suited […]
Once publishers have an idea of the potential audience segments for niche apps in their market, they need to look internally at the resources and expertise they have (or don’t have) to meet those needs. One way to start with small, cheap experiments to test these niche markets is to make use of the content […]
If you aren’t familiar with user-centered design, you can infer a lot just from the name. It is a process that puts the intended users of a product at the center of your decision making. The potential strength of a niche app strategy is that it targets a particular defined audience. But here’s a problem: […]
Now you have a pretty good idea of a mobile product you might build. You know what your audience wants, what your staff can sustain, and the features that users need it to include. But how do you actually create it? Make it a side project In the spirit of starting small and cheap, many […]
Steve Jobs famously told the team building the first Macintosh computer in the early 1980s, “Real artists ship.” That motto echoes as the delivery of news shifts to mobile and publishers must move there quickly and then refine. Despite all the energy spent planning, designing, building, testing and refining a new app or product, nothing […]
In the earlier chapters we have shown why targeting a niche audience with a specialized mobile product is a powerful model that fits the modern era of media and technology usage. But it’s not without challenges. Publishers that venture into this territory will face some obstacles and potential pitfalls. One is that these specialized mobile […]
We developed a worksheet with a series of planning questions to get you started with conceiving and creating niche mobile products that are right for your audience. Consider sitting down with a few creative collaborators from across your organization to tackle these questions together. Download the strategy worksheet here.
Think about the mobile apps or websites your organization uses to reach the public, and ask yourself two questions: what do they do, and who are they for? If the answers that come back are “everything” and “everyone,” we’re about to change that. A mobile app or website that serves all your traditional content to […]
American Press Institute Deputy Director Jeff Sonderman talks with the crew of It’s All Journalism about trends in digital journalism and the new realities of being a journalist today. The interview also covers API’s new model and the basics of our new mission: helping news organizations create better journalism that people want and will use, […]