Thursday, August 28, 2008

On a Roll with Content Partnerships

Sometimes good stuff slips into our days and goes unnoticed until we wake up, mid-week from editing a bunch of stories and realize, wow, a sweeeet thang happened while I was buried under that pile. As a former print editor turned editor of an Internet startup, my translation of sweeeet thang would be:

1. Two days of having the same story on the home page.

2. And two days of two different stories on Woman's Day.

I guess it goes to show that some rules don't change, regardless of medium. Simply put, good content works.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Twitter, D360 and networking the news

I admit it. I'm a Twitter fan. It didn't happen overnight. It's been a long, slow courtship.

I know social networking has journalistic applications, but I wasn’t quite certain how this particular site would help. It's taken months and a breaking news story to help me really understand.

Twitter, if you don’t already know, is a social networking site that allows only brief posts – about the size of your average newspaper headline. So having a good editor -- or being one – is helpful to get the best use of the space.

Our marketing vice president at d360, Paula Sirois, twisted my arm into jumping on the Twitter bandwagon after a year of tweet-ing away about our Internet startup. I've been tweeting routinely since she helped me hook up.

A few weeks ago, late on a Friday afternoon, ABC announced that former presidential candidate John Edwards had admitted he had a brief affair with a film producer. Given that our site has an archive of stories about the topic of infidelity, I was able to put together a story quickly and post it online within minutes of the annoucement.

Then I posted a quote from the story on Twitter, which is what I normally do for newly published stories. I wondered if I could drum up any interest in our d360 experts and related stories by posting them on Twitter as well. So I tried it.

Shortly after doing so I received a post from a journalist who wanted to congratulate me for being on top of the news and for providing related topics of interest to the main story. The e-mail that followed came from an editor at an online news wire service called All Headline News, who asked if I could provide experts for the Edwards story. Of course, I could – and did.

As a traditional print editor, I never thought about using a social networking site to expand our web site’s reach. But a year after taking this job, I have used Twitter – and other social networking sites – to increase my sourcelist, expand my web contacts and come up with related content to breaking news.

More importantly, I’ve used social networking to connect the content we’ve gathered with media outlets that need it. I guess it goes to show you – it is all about who you know.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

D360 Partners with Woman's Day

The Holy Grail of Internet startups -- partnerships with other web sites.

How does it work? You provide content, which they pick up and use on their site. And then they give you links and credit, which drives more traffic to your site.

So far, our content has been featured on msn, AOL, so many newspapers and their web sites that I've long since lost count. And a year after eight months after we launched, we added one more partner to our list: Woman's Day.

Today, Woman's Day relaunched its site with a new design -- and some content from us. Enjoy.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Things that Make You Laugh about Newspapers

On the way to work, I'm listening to an NPR story about CNN taking the mojo-approach to journalism. If you don't know, that's the one-man band, mo(bile) jo(urnalist) who does everything from video to reporting. It's a concept introduced to the media by the newspaper industry, which has been fighting cutbacks and is looking for ways to compete with the immediacy of Internet news. (Here's a note or confession, depending on your perspective: In the interest of full disclosure, I worked for the Gannett editor who created the concept.)

Anyway, a few hours later, I get an e-mail link to a story on about the same topic. After I read it, I couldn't help but laugh.

The funny of the day: The writer who wrote the story apparently didn't know that Fort Myers, Fla., the home of the original mojo, has only one "e." (IE: Myers, not Meyers.) My e-mail tip of the day for wired? A mojo still needs a good editor.

CNN, Mark Goulston and D360

What makes my day as editor of an Internet startup? When CNN quotes a D360 expert for a follow-up on the Edwards affair.

Men and women both have affairs, but not necessarily for the same reasons, says Mark Goulston, M.D., a marriage expert at and author of "The Six Secrets of a Lasting Relationship: How to Fall in Love Again -- and Stay There." While men often break their marriage vows for reasons that include ego, a need for adulation and sometimes narcissistic behavior, he says, women tend to be tempted for different reasons.

"Women more often fall in love [with someone else] to feel adored and with a promise of protection and to ease pain," Goulston explains.