Jeff Sonderman

Jeff Sonderman (jsonderman@poynter.org) is the Digital Media Fellow at The Poynter Institute. He focuses on innovations and strategies for mobile platforms and social media in online news. In addition to training journalists and writing for Poynter.org, he manages the development of Poynter-related mobile apps including Help! For Writers and Settle It! PolitiFact's Argument Ender. He is also currently an adjunct faculty teaching digital journalism at Georgetown University. Find ways to follow him at jeffsonderman.com/connect


How Flipboard just created 50 million magazine editors

Inside FlipboardAll Things D | Giga Om
If you wanted to draw up a plan for drastically remaking the landscape of mobile news discovery, it might look something like this: 1) Release a beautiful news aggregating app that attracts 50 million readers, then 2) Empower those readers as curators who can create thousands of hand-picked digital magazines.

Flipboard, one of the most popular news-reading mobile apps, has just done that. It is shifting its focus toward empowering users to create their own curated "magazines" for others to read.

"Now everyone can be a reader and an editor," a company blog post says. (more...)
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Andrew Sullivan tweaks paywall model after initial subscriber surge slows

The Dish
After raising a few hundred thousand dollars immediately and about $611,000 after a few weeks, subscriber growth is slowing for Andrew Sullivan's Daily Dish blog.

Sullivan wrote Monday that income is now at $653,000 out of the $900,000 he needs to break even. If you do the math, that's about $42,000 in new revenue over the past 30 days. "That’s 72 percent of our goal in almost three months," he said, "but almost all the likeliest subscribers have joined already. It gets tougher from here on out."

A Daily Dish chart of subscription sales shows the decline after a strong launch.
As a result, Sullivan has tightened the meter from seven free reads a month to five over two months, and on Monday announced a new monthly subscription option for $1.99. (Annual is $19.99.) (more...)
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The latest on new HQs for NPR, Miami Herald and Washington Post

NPR officially moves into a new headquarters in Washington, D.C. today, five years after it bought the property and began planning for the move.
NPR had been based in a narrow triangular building in the Mt. Vernon Square neighborhood since 1994. The new headquarters is a historically preserved, four-story warehouse from the 1920s, joined with a new seven-story office tower on North Capitol Street. It offers much more space, including "a two-story open newsroom with broadcast and production studios," as well as views of the Capitol.

 

The historic NPR sign was relocated to the new building Monday morning. (more...)
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Bird words

‘Let Me Tweet That For You’ site raises concerns for journalists

This tweet looks pretty real, doesn't it?



It's not, though. I faked that tweet using a Web service named "Let Me Tweet That For You." It's pretty simple -- you type in a Twitter username and a message, and it generates a realistic-looking image of a tweet from that person. It even adds fake retweet and favorite counts to lend some more credibility.

The site is a project of OKFocus, a New York-based marketing agency. It's actually about a year old, but has been somehow rediscovered this week and is really taking off on Twitter. (more...)
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Google prepares a mobile marketplace for news content

Android Police | The Next Web | Read Write
A newspaper section is coming to the Google Play store for Android-powered mobile devices, according to a report by Android Police. Google Play News would join the store's existing marketplaces for apps, magazines, books, movies and music.

The scoop is based on Android Police noticing some hints in the JavaScript code that runs the Play store, with various messages for users to purchase "issues" or "subscriptions" of news "editions."

It could become an important market for news publishers, as Android-powered tablets surpass iPads in market share. Publishers have been able to sell subscriptions within their Android apps for nearly a year now, but having a special storefront for news in the Play store could help drive readers that way.

But this news app market will face some significant hurdles. (more...)
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News organizations can now see how their content performs on Pinterest

The image-sharing network Pinterest released a new analytics tool this week that serves up lots of data about how its users engage with your website's content. Here are some of the questions you can now answer pretty easily. (more...)
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Sergey Brin

Google Glass is here: How to build news apps that get in users’ faces

Google Glass, a pair of wearable computer-enhanced eyeglasses, is possibly the next-big-thing in mobile computing.

Google co-founder Sergey Brin wears Google Glass glasses at an event in San Francisco in February. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
About 8,000 developers have prototypes, and the public is expected to be able to buy them soon. Early reviews are a mix of awesome and awkward -- life-changing technology held back only by concerns about privacy and aesthetics.

We've been expecting this evolution since at least 2011, when Poynter friends and former fellows Matt Thompson and Robin Sloan created a futuristic video called "The Storm Collection" depicting a future where "photo frames, windshields and eyeglasses become heads-up-displays for information. Call them NUDs: news-up-displays."

It's here. (more...)
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Thayer accused of plagiarizing parts of article The Atlantic wanted to publish for free

Jeremy Duns | New York | CJR
"Nate Thayer is a plagiarist," says Jeremy Duns.

If you've been following media news this week, you know that Thayer ignited a debate by publicly berating The Atlantic for asking him to condense and republish an article for free on its website.

But that burning fire also cast some light and attention on what, exactly, it was that Thayer had written. Duns says it's a good thing the Atlantic didn't get the piece:

"The Atlantic dodged a bullet: Thayer's article, '25 Years of Slam Dunk Diplomacy', is massively and unambiguously plagiarized from the article 'The Oddest Fan' by Mark Zeigler, published by the San Diego Union-Tribune in 2006." (more...)
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Facebook (still) wants to be your ‘personalized newspaper’

Mark Zuckerberg is getting a lot of attention for talking about today's News Feed redesign as making Facebook a "personalized newspaper." Which sounds OK, I guess, but that vague notion is also exactly what Facebook said about the News Feed back in 2011.
The new Facebook -- still not actually a newspaper.
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NBC’s Richard Engel describes being kidnapped in Syria:

A group of about 15 armed men were fanning out around us. Three or four of them stood in the middle of the road blocking our vehicles. The others went for the doors. They wore black jackets, black boots, and black ski masks. They were professionals and used hand signals to communicate. A balled fist meant stop. A pointed finger meant advance. Each man carried an AK-47. Several of the gunmen began hitting the windows of our car and minivan with the stocks of their weapons. When they got the doors open, they leveled their guns at our chests.

Time was slowing down as if I’d been hit in the head. Time was slowing down as if I were drowning.

This can’t be happening. I know what this is. This can’t be happening. These are the shabiha. They’re fucking kidnapping us. …
(more…)

NBC correspondent Richard Engel, writing for Vanity Fair

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