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July 25 2012

16:01

With its new pop-out markets widget, The Wall Street Journal is after super-niche readers

The Wall Street Journal quietly launched a new function last month, a pop-out Markets Data window that puts a real-time markets ticker in the corner of your screen. It’s part of the newspaper’s ongoing “WSJ Everywhere” mantra, and an attempt to keep readers connected with the Journal in an ever-fracturing and narrowing media world.

The soft rollout was also a way for Raju Narisetti, managing editor of The Wall Street Journal’s digital network, to test a hypothesis. “Our belief is there is a group of people whose prism to the world is through markets and market data,” Narisetti told me. “Let’s test that kind of theory and put this out there.”

He says the results have been promising. In the first three weeks, the widget got 200,000 pageviews from 25,000 people. Not only were people taking advantage of an opportunity to pop out niche content, but they were staying with it, and coming back to it. Users can toggle between U.S., European, Asian, and foreign exchange markets. There are also tabs for rates, futures, and a customized “My Markets” view.

“The interesting thing was that people on average were spending close to some 15 minutes on that,” Narisetti said. “If you look at that across the site, it’s probably close to more than double the average because so much sideways traffic comes in. I don’t want to falsely assume that somebody who has popped it out has spent all that time looking at it but the fact that people are popping it out on a consistent basis and coming back to it suggests that there is a class of people for whom this makes sense.”

The feature also makes sense from an advertising perspective. For a company like TD Ameritrade, which is currently sponsoring the widget, the pop-out ad space represents real estate in a stickier, more specialized hub of a media company with an already well-defined, desirable audience. (It’s worth noting that the dimensions of the pop-out are set: Try to make the window small enough to hide the ad and it snaps back into place.)

“For an advertiser, the opportunity to always be with their most engaged customers — it’s a unique feature,” Narisetti said. “Somebody has actively popped this out. They care about it enough that they want it on their desktop. As we increasingly think about the portability of our audiences, and that they want to engage with our content and our brand in multiple ways, this is how we’re visualizing our website.”

This perspective isn’t about occupying new corners of desktop space as much as it is about providing narrow sluices of content tailored to specific yet persistent interests. The Wall Street Journal has been experimenting heavily with topic-specific content streams in recent months. That includes ongoing coverage areas like the Markets Pulse stream it launched in April. But the paper is also streaming coverage of stories and events that aren’t as open-ended, like Facebook’s May 18 IPO offering. The Journal closed that stream on June 5.

Other streams that are still open include coverage of the Europe’s debt crisis, and the Olympic Games. (Last week, it opted to stream coverage of the theater shooting in Colorado. As of this writing, reporters are still updating that stream regularly.)

“The underlying principle is the same,” Narisetti said. “For a variety of audiences, some of whom might have a very definite prism through which they want to view the day’s events, don’t feel obliged to come back to the full product.”

We’ve written about the streamification of news before, and how it’s an aesthetic call back to the reverse-chronological blogs of the 1990s. But news streams are also structured like something more modern: Twitter. Narisetti is active on the site, and he’s told me before he sees its role in the future of journalism as “significant.”

Just this morning, he tweeted a link to an article that suggested the onset of news streams like The Wall Street Journal’s may portend the death of the article as we know it.

Is the “article” dead and on the onset of story “streams”MT @journalismnews journalism.co.uk/a549951 @wsj @bbc @ITVnews @CoverItLive

— Raju Narisetti (@rajunarisetti) July 25, 2012

Still, it seems unlikely we’ll see the Journal abandon the traditional article structure any time soon. Ultimately, the “WSJ Everywhere” credo comes down to giving readers a choice.

Read stories in the physical newspaper, online or via a smartphone app. (A responsive design site is still in the works, Narisetti said.) If you’d rather watch video news, they’ve got tons of it.

Want to watch something that has nothing to do with the news? That’s fine, too. Some of the Journal’s most popular YouTube content has had to do with Spiderman’s workout regimen and Emma Stone’s makeup.

It appears The Wall Street Journal doesn’t just want to be everywhere. It wants to be everything, too.

May 04 2012

20:00

Poll: What Do You Think About the Facebook IPO?

Now we have a date (May 18) and a price range ($28 to $35 per share) for what could be the biggest initial public offering in the history of tech stocks: Facebook. The company has grown by leaps and bounds since it was born in Mark Zuckerberg's dorm at Harvard in 2004, and now could make Zuckerberg richer than Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer. If the IPO prices at the high end of the range, $35 per share, Zuckerberg could be worth $17.6 billion. So what's your take? Would you invest your hard-earned dollars in Facebook stock? Would you short the stock? Do you even care? Vote in our weekly poll, and explain your vote in the comments below.


What do you think about the Facebook IPO?

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

February 03 2012

14:00

Mediatwits #36: Facebook IPO Fever; Dive into Media; $30 Million to Columbia/Stanford

Welcome to the 36th episode of "The Mediatwits," the weekly audio podcast from MediaShift. The co-hosts are MediaShift's Mark Glaser and Dorian Benkoil, who is filling in for Rafat Ali. It's been a crazy week in media + tech, with Google privacy concerns, Amazon falling short in earnings, and much more. But the dominant news was Facebook filing for an IPO, with demand to read its S-1 crashing the SEC's servers. The startup had $3.7 billion in revenues, with $1 billion in profits last year, and showed tremendous growth in users and advertising. Can anything slow down the juggernaut on the way to raising $5 billion in a public offering? We talked to special guest Nick O'Neill, founder of AllFacebook.com, who was impressed with the user engagement on the social networking site.

This week was also the "Dive into Media" conference put on by AllThingsD in Laguna Niguel, Calif. Special guest Peter Kafka programmed the show and interviewed many of the top execs on stage. He told us about the challenge of interviewing Twitter CEO Dick Costolo, a former improv comedian, as well as the mix of old and new media at the show. Finally, Columbia University's Journalism School and Stanford University's Engineering School received a $30 million gift from Helen Gurley Brown to create a new Institute for Media Innovation, marking the largest gift in the history of Columbia's J-School. Has digital media now arrived? Has the revolution been institutionalized?

Check it out!

mediatwits36.mp3

Subscribe to the podcast here

Subscribe to Mediatwits via iTunes

Follow @TheMediatwits on Twitter here

Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio's Music Alley.

Here are some highlighted topics from the show:

Intro and roundup

1:30: Questions about Google combining privacy policies

4:00: Google, Amazon fall short in earnings

5:50: Rundown of topics on the podcast

nick o'neill.jpg

Facebook IPO fever

7:00: Special guest Nick O'Neill of AllFacebook.com

10:00: Dorian: Each Facebook employee bringing in $1 million in revenues

11:35: O'Neill: Probably more than 60% of ad revenues from self-serving ad system

14:00: 12% of Facebook's revenues coming from Zynga

16:00: Special guest Peter Kafka

18:20: Advertisers still not sure about ROI on Facebook

D: Dive into Media

21:00: D conference tries out a niche conference for media + tech

22:45: Kafka: Twitter CEO Dick Costolo can zing you if you're not careful

peter kafka dive into media.jpg

23:45: Great insights from Hulu, YouTube execs

$30 million gift to Columbia/Stanford

28:10: Attempt to bring data and journalism worlds together

31:00: Bill Campbell, "The Coach," is an adviser on the project

32:45: Dorian: Era of digital media is here

More Reading

Microsoft Attacks Google Privacy Policy With Ads, Gmail Man at TPMIdeaLab

Facebook's IPO Filing is Here at Business Insider

Sean Parker, Chris Hughes And Eduardo Saverin Dumped Their Facebook Shares at AllFacebook

Well, Now We Know What Facebook's Worth--And It's Not $100 Billion at Business Insider

Facebook's Ad Business Is a $3 Billion Mystery at AllThingsD

Reminder: The $5 Billion Facebook IPO Won't Make You Rich at Gizmodo

Facebook's $5 Billion IPO, By The Numbers [CHARTS] at MarketingLand

The Facebook IPO: billion-user ambition at a $1bn price at Comment Is Free

Facebook and Don Graham Have Been Very Good to Each Other at Forbes

Dive into Media coverage at AllThingsD

Twitter CEO Dick Costolo: We're Not a Media Company. We're in the Media Business. at AllThingsD

Hulu Boss Jason Kilar: Who You Callin' Clown Co.? at AllThingsD

Columbia J-School and Stanford Eng Nab $30M Joint Gift for Media Innovation From Helen Gurley Brown at AllThingsD

Weekly Poll

Don't forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time prognosticating what you think Facebook will be worth:


What do you think Facebook's value will be in 5 years?

Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+

This is a summary. Visit our site for the full post ».

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