Archive for the ‘interactive databases’ Category

Melody Kramer asked a smart question this week about value in legacy media:

Update: Melody also did a longer post about the value of archives.

I have long felt that newspaper archives were a wasted asset that exposed our legacy mentality, always focused on the expensive task of producing new content while failing to think of new approaches to our business and failing to extract full value from content we’ve already paid to produce.

With the increasing value of video, TV station and network archives are similarly valuable. In both cases, older archives that haven’t been digitized present a cost-benefit consideration: You need to develop an effective way to generate revenue from your archives to justify the cost of converting old content from its original formats to digital. But I think archives have serious revenue potential that would cover the costs of converting and preserving archives. And much of your archives are already in the digital formats we’ve been using for years now.

I think press associations or media groups could hire developers to make do-it-yourself tools that allow users to make customized products such as front pages, newspapers and videos using content about themselves, their teams and their organizations. The ideal tool would provide search access to archives, with templates that offer basic products or some drag-and-drop options, giving the user flexibility choose or rearrange content, make simple edits and add original content.

Here are some ideas I hope legacy media operations will try to add value to their archives (if you’re already trying these or other ideas, please send me information, including links, and I’ll highlight them here): (more…)

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Most news stories are basically data in paragraph form.

Each of the 5 W’s could just as easily be a field in a database. Structured as data, not simply as stories, “who” becomes more than a fact for a story; it relates this story to the other stories with the same “who.”Databases give news content more lasting value, by providing context and relationships. (more…)

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Thanks to my former colleagues at the American Press Institute for allowing me to republish the 2008 Newspaper Next report I wrote for API: Be the Answer: Using interactive databases to provide answers and generate revenue.

Databases are a tool news organizations can use effectively (and don’t use often enough) to tell stories and provide answers for their communities, as well as to develop new revenue streams.

Some of the links in this report, which was published in December 2008, may no longer be active. But I still think the advice published here is some of the best I have ever given. I believe a news organization that follows the strategy outlined here will develop new revenue streams and profoundly deepen its relationship with its community.

I have also presented workshops on using interactive databases as described in this report. Contact me if you would like to arrange a workshop.

API also publishes other reports on issues in the news business.

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