Try This at Home

This subsection of the Need to Know newsletter offers useful insights and ideas you can try yourself.

How the Financial Times is helping the newsroom better understand its metrics

The Financial Times is trying to make its metrics more accessible to the newsroom with a tool called Lantern. The goal of Lantern is to help the newsroom understand metrics beyond just pageviews, giving them information such as average time on page, what type of device readers are on, retention rate and average scroll depth. […]

The Washington Post is harnessing interruptions to keep readers’ attention on mobile

The Washington Post is refining the art of the interruption with some new features designed to keep users’ attention, Mario Garcia writes. One new feature allows users to bookmark their spot in a story and receive an email later with a reminder to return, and another shows users a pop-up when they’re been inactive for […]

How to design infographics to be effective on mobile and social

Atlantic Media Strategies’ Nguyet Vuong says when designing infographics for mobile and social, the goal needs to be to deliver the information quickly and efficiently, without overloading the reader with information. To achieve this, Vuong says: “To design for this behavior, a memorable graphic is short, specific, concrete, and has a good balance of text […]

How The Washington Post is making long stories easier for users to finish

The Washington Post released a set of tools last week designed to make its longer stories easier for readers to complete, including a bookmark tool that lets readers save their spot in a story. The reader enters their email address, and the Post will send them an email with a unique URL that will allow […]

How smaller screens on mobile present new interactive opportunities

Desktop lends itself to beautiful, expansive visual experiences that may not always translate well to mobile, Nieman Lab’s Shan Wang writes. But mobile presents interactive opportunities of its own, as long as you aren’t thinking of it as a smaller, simplified version of a desktop. The Wall Street Journal’s global head of visuals Jessica Yu […]

How Vox takes a product-focused approach to news: It has a broad definition of what ‘product’ is

The most common definition of “product” is the final thing that a user sees, whether that’s an article or an app. But Vox is extending that definition to include features that are core to its operations, even if a user may not see it. For example, Vox includes its server performance because it affects how […]

Washington Post: Our competitors aren’t NYT or CNN, they’re Netflix and Hulu

As The Washington Post tries to develop a new national audience, director of product Julia Beizer explains why the newspaper doesn’t think of its competitors as other news organizations when defining who its audience is: “Our biggest competitors these days aren’t The New York Times or CNN. They are Hulu, Netflix and any place a […]

How The Guardian is using analytics to make sense of ‘dark traffic’

“Dark traffic” — referrals to a website from undetermined sources — is a growing concern for many publishers, but The Guardian developed an in-house analytics tool called Ophan to help make sense of dark traffic. Ophan measures reader behavior in real-time, and can infer the source of some dark traffic based on the referral patterns […]

10 social media discovery and verification tools for newsrooms on a budget

Social media discovery and verification is becoming increasingly important in reporting, Storyful’s Derek Bowler writes, but not all news organizations can afford to buy pricy subscriptions for tools to help. Bowler provides a list of 10 tools for discovery and verification that are either free or available for under $5, including a search engine for […]

How The Boston Globe is covering the 2016 elections with live streaming

In Nieman Lab’s roundup of how news organizations are covering the 2016 elections, Boston Globe social media director Matt Karolian says the Globe is experimenting with live streaming as a way to cover the election. Instead of using a platform such as Periscope or Facebook live video, Karolian says a simple live stream on the […]