Ask the right questions, get the right metrics.

«Viele Journalisten und Medienmanager versuchen dem Publikum klarzumachen, dass mit seinen Bedürfnissen etwas nicht stimmt. Es geht aber nicht darum, dem Publikum zu erklären, warum das, was wir bisher gemacht haben, unverzichtbar ist. Es geht darum, für das Publikum unverzichtbar zu werden.»
— Michael Fleischhacker, editor in chief of NZZ.at, in the welcome post of the new digital venture.

A memo, not a sea of headlines

Quartz, which had pioneered the no-homepage stream view now seen at various news sites, has moved on to an actual home page. Again, they are trying novel ways to welcome users.

Yes, the homepage is still dead, which is why our new front door is quite different from most. Now, when you come to qz.com, we are offering an efficient briefing on global business news, called the Brief. It’s intended to be read straight through, like a well written memo from a trusted advisor. What it’s not is a sea of headlines, like you find on the homepages of many news sites.

Read the full announcement.

«One of the other things we’ve found from those new innovations is it has made hiring good people easier.»
— Malcolm Coles, general manager of online at Trinity Mirror, reflecting on experiments like UsVsTh3m and Ampp3d.
«Part of understanding that ecosystem means acknowledging that many readers don’t care what outlet their news comes from — they care about getting it quickly. When it comes to breaking news, Smith says, the team working on the app won’t wait for BuzzFeed to publish a story if someone else has a scoop. ‹I don’t think you can do news well if you think that your news organization produces the only content of value. That’s crazy,› Smith says. ‹There’s a humility required in doing news well now. It requires being open to the Internet, and realizing you’re a part of a collaborative project with other news outlets.›»
«We are unwavering in our desire to reach a mass audience, but the best way to do that may be through multiple experiments with existing digital communities rather than trying to draw a large audience to yet another omnibus site…»
— First Look Media founder Pierre Omidyar in an update on how the company is evolving.

The author of this article has seen your comment at 4:55

Just a little idea: What if reader comments on news sites had these “Seen by the author at 4:55” labels that you know from chats?

Entrepreneur and venture capitalist Marc Andreessen on what makes or breaks startups (in an article from 2007). Usually, three key factors are considered: team, product, market. One of which, Andreessen, outweighs the other two.

…assuming the team is baseline competent and the product is fundamentally acceptable, a great market will tend to equal success and a poor market will tend to equal failure. Market matters most. And neither a stellar team nor a fantastic product will redeem a bad market.

5 things Flappy Bird can teach news organisations about mobile from @davidho.

«Editors do need to keep in mind that for nonprint readers (now, by far, a majority), context must occur, as much as possible, in each individual article, photograph or graphic. The delivery system for providing context has changed radically, even as the need for that context is more important than ever.»
— The NYT’s public editor, Margareth Sullivan, in an article discussing the Times’ coverage of the Gaza conflict.
«No great speeches to empty rooms. No finding a great piece of content but not doing the work to draw people’s attention to it. There’s a strange disconnect where you’re not supposed to care if anyone reads your thing, that it’s all about the intrinsic quality of the piece of work.»
— Upworthy founder Eli Pariser’s most important rule, as quoted in On The Nice Internet, Sharing Is Caring.