The Science of Journalism

If I Had My Way
One Man's Opinion -- for what it's worth.


To: Liz Spayd - public@nytimes.com

Cc: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@turbousa.com

From: Doug Skoglund - skoglund@pdmsb.com

Date: 12 Jul 2016 10:00 CDT

Subject: Welcome Liz...

Nice post, your "Want to Attract More Readers? Try Listening to Them." and I quote:

Clearly, there is more to understanding readers than to literally have editors interact with them each day. Nonetheless, the small number of consumer-facing staffers is indicative of the bigger problem: a newsroom too distant from the people it serves.

What The Times and most other newsrooms mostly do now is not so much listen to readers as watch and analyze them, like fish in a bowl. They view them in bulk, through statistics measuring how many millions of "unique" users clicked on content last month, or watched a video, or came to the site multiple times, or arrived through Facebook.

What would prove more fruitful is for newsrooms to treat their audience like people with crucial information to convey - preferences, habits and shifting ways of consuming information. What do they like about what we do and how we do it? What do they want done differently? What do they turn to other sites for?

You, my dear lady, are just beginning to scratch the surface; however, you are on the right track. But let me warn you -- solving the problem will take considerable work -- like reprogramming the Personal Computer and the Internet.

I have been trying to get some attention from the Times since May of 2014 by posting 20 pages to my web site and mailing copies to Margaret Sullivan. All to no avail -- completely ignored. And I am not going to try to explain the entire process in this post. You must indicate an interest because I wasted far too much time on Margaret.

Remember, you are talking about two-way communication with your readers -- unfortunately the system is not designed for two-way communication because the news business didn't want two-way communication. What you need is far more complicated than a simple Comment System.

BTW - here is a link to my Sullivan Archive

To be continued (of course)

Doug Skoglund skoglund@pdmsb.com

I don't provide for comments since that is a system designed to control the communication process -- I do provide an e-mail address!! (Please put a [MYWAY] in your title to get my attention).

BTW, I am working on a replacement system for individuals -- and I sure could use some help. Please see http://pdmsb.com, a work-in-process.

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