January 21, 2013 Insights, News & Events

During my trip to visit the Annenberg School for Communication and Journalism at USC, I was impressed by the incisive nature of questions from the students and faculty alike. They really wanted to know how and why things work on the social graph, and how that impacts the real world. We spent a lot of time discussing the nature of news and how social media tools allow you to alter the events being reported on through the participation of the reader.  It left me pretty hopeful that we’re going to get this right, and that truth can trump propaganda as these networks mature. Speaking to the students and faculty was a live experiment in how people may come to think of the news in the next ten years. It was a great learning experience – especially for me.

Special thanks to Jonathan Taplin and Gabriel Kahn of Annenberg for their invitation.

Frank Speiser

Here’s part of the article published after the presentation.

Trust and New Media: Socialflow CEO Frank Speiser Tells Us What It Is and Why It Matters

As News Organizations strive to compete in the digital age, more emphasis is being put on new media and consumer engagement. Socialflow, a New York startup, has created a tool that uses real-time data and their SocialFlow AttentionScore™ algorithm, to identify which messages will gain the most traction on Twitter. CEO and co-founder Frank Speiser sat down with us to explain how this redefines trust, and what that will mean for the news industry’s future.

By M{2e} | October 25, 2012 |

Increasingly, news is being sold, distributed and consumed as a commodity. How do you think the publishing business model should work?

News online is monetized almost the same way it has always been. Where they have ads, they took the classified model and they put it next to their content, and made it impressions based. In the beginning, that probably seemed like a good idea. But there is a cap on the available number of impressions. However, there is no limit on the amount of value you can generate from people trusting you as a source of valuable information.
Publishers are not being paid according to the value they create. They create the opportunity, the attention and then somebody clicks an ad and goes offsite and the money goes to the ad-net that auctions it off, when the value should be owned by the news organization. When somebody places an ad with you, you should be paid more like an affiliate. You brought the person there, they trust you, you serve the opportunity next to your trusted content and then somebody goes off and buys something. That opportunity was created by what you put there so you should be paid by that. You should be part of the value chain and not adjacent to it. You need to run the monetization side like a lead-gen type of business and not an ad-net.

So we have traditionally had very fixed notions of trust when it comes to news. You are looking at that in a way you can measure on a graph. Just describe in the context of news, how you would go about putting a metric behind trust?

You measure trust by looking at the rate at which you would accrue clicks, retweets, likes, mentions, shares, and growth of audience over time. So, per second or minute am I accruing those faster or slower than I normally do? You can’t predict where the cap is, because you don’t know if a bigger news event is going to come and steal away people’s attention. But you look at what is happening presently and you make sure you guide your content into the right clusters and then pay attention to what accelerates your growth and feeds your audience. So you are committing to serve your audience, and in return they are committing to pay attention to you. And that’s the thing—they are buying with attention and you are selling the opportunity to engage. People can pay attention to you and you are contextual and there is some utility to what you say. So I can share something with you and in return you are going to come back to my site and I am going to sell ads on it or I am going to sell subscriptions or you are going to be more inclined to pay attention to my next article. All those things are benefits that you get from sharing the right thing at the right time with the people that matter.

So publishers derive value by tapping into the right network?

The interesting thing about trusted networks is they become more densely connected. So, you and I might be connected and the person next to me might be connected, but then when you two connect I might miss it the first time around but then someone shares it and I get to see it. The peaks live longer and you stretch out the time that you get value because your audience is working for you. If you spread out your chances of being seen by the audience, it’s not just that one shot on the broadcast medium that makes sense. You actually have the opportunity to have lived successive lives on multiple other devices. If you look at the rate people re-tweet and share on Facebook that’s telling you if you are successful and getting people to give their personal endorsement and get things out there on your behalf through their network. That is going to tell you if you are increasing your appeal to your audience. So the more people willing to share you out, the better you are doing, and the longer term you are able to predict that you are going to have success.

Read the full article here….




Written by SocialFlow Marketing