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PauPress

August 2, 2013 in Resources, Technology

PauPress began back in 2006 when we started to code sites in WordPress for non-profits and start-ups. In 2010 it started to take shape as we built out a suite of functions for a number of large sites that had a demand for an integrated, professional platform to manage both their content and their audience. Since then it’s been a staple of our production environments for both large and small organizations alike. The concept was pretty simple — provide CRM functionality without all the baggage, headaches and costs so that social missions and creative endeavors could do more with less.

“We are Frank and Karoline Neville-Hamilton and we’ve been doing this sort of work online for non-profits and creative individuals since the late 90′s. We’ve worked with clients as large as the WorldBank and the United Nations and we’ve worked with endeavors as small as sites for our close friends who have taken the leap into self-employment. We’d like to think that that broad range of experience gives us a really good perspective on how solid business practices can be simplified and applied so that everyone can grow to do what they do best.” Source: PauPress

“With PauPress you can easily add and arrange as many custom fields to your user’s profiles as you need, set advanced permissions and then search those fields to find commonalities or differences. You can create as many contact forms as you like from your existing user fields and track detailed user activity with an intuitive note system. These are the basics of any CRM (contact relationship management) application and PauPress does it all with the ease and simplicity of WordPress.

“Need to do more? With the pro version, you get front-end user registration and account management, searching of user activity, bulk editing of users & actions, import user data, a full-featured e-commerce solution for purchases and donations, an email marketing engine that integrates with MailChimp, Google Maps, User-generated content and Membership restricted access — all integrated into the same application for a seamless user interface that just works.” Source: Plugpress.com

JA Interview: Are you H&M or couture? Business insight offered from beyond the publishing world

July 18, 2012 in Blog, Revenue

Newspaper Dress

What business tips from the fashion world might be useful to news publishers?
Image: Payam Emrani

Journalism Accelerator

As journalism and publishing continue to ride the wave of upheaval and innovation, what can we learn from people outside our own specialties, whether within the news industry or outside? We asked Robert Burns Nixon, Chief Financial Officer and a member of the board of the San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance, Inc., to read the JA forum on local news publishing and reflect on similar challenges in the fashion world. Nixon dives straight into buzz, build and brand. The interview has been edited for clarity and length.

The San Francisco Fashion and Merchants Alliance (SFFAMA) is a nonprofit providing business and technology education through forums, mentorships and networking for designers, including many small startups. SFFAMA’s trademark event is San Francisco Fashion Week, held each fall, but CFO and board member Robert Burns Nixon is busy year-round. He develops partnerships and promotions for SFFAMA, plus handles the budget, planning and business strategy, which is evolving right along with the organization.

Robert Burns Nixon: We’re free right now, but we have a bunch of different groups (involved) and thousands of members. We’re planning to do a freemium model where you offer incentives; for a yearly membership, an automatic discount for all of our events, or other discounts that apply to partners, or special access to certain things. We’re still waiting for that critical number, whatever it is…say you have 5,000 people total and then you figure that maybe 5% of those may be willing to pay something.

Journalism Accelerator: What’s the value proposition you offer people? When you’re saying “become a member,” what’s in it for them?

RBN: We cap our membership first of all. We offer ongoing technology and fashion workshops. We have panel discussions and we do events where startups pitch, and then we have a whole range of different work functions.

JA: One thing that came up in the JA forum on local news was that community media startups trying to partner with bigger organizations, such as traditional newspapers, can find it difficult to come up with a way that would be mutually beneficial. What do you see in the fashion industry? Read the rest of this entry →

Engaging Audiences: Measuring Interactions, Engagement and Conversions

June 15, 2012 in Community, Resources

The rise of social media tools has empowered online news startups to distribute content, market their sites and track users. However, most small news sites say they cannot lasso data to track whether they are turning users into supporters who will help their sites survive.

According to a national survey on audience engagement, nearly eight in 10 online survey respondents said they could not measure whether their engagement strategies were also converting readers into advertisers, donors, content contributors or volunteers…

“Such an effort is beyond our capacity,” said one respondent. “We need help,” said another.

These are among key findings of a new survey, funded by the Robert R. McCormick Foundation, focusing on how “digitalfirst” news sites are engaging their audiences and measuring that engagement.

“These small sites can measure interaction with their content, but they don’t have good tools to measure meaningful engagement,” said Jan Schaffer, director of J-Lab: The Institute for Interactive Journalism, which spearheaded the research. “This affects both the future of their operations and the impact they can have in their communities.”

…At least four types of engagement surfaced in the survey responses, but how well the respondents optimized these engagement strategies varied by organization. They include:

  • Engagement as outreach, driving users to consume content.
  • Engagement as reaction, inviting users to comment, share, like and chat.
  • Engagement as stakeholder participation, getting users to contribute stories, time, funding.
  • Engagement as civic participation, activating audience members to address community issues.”

Source: Engaging Audiences: Measuring Interactions, Engagement and Conversions (pdf)

JA How-to: A four-step guerrilla guide to social listening

June 4, 2012 in Blog, Craft, Technology

Social Media Signals

Investing time exploring social listening tools can help tune your business strategy, connecting the dots for greater profitability AND deeper audience connections. Image: Intersection Consulting

Journalism Accelerator

Have you been keeping up with all the hype around “social monitoring” software? There are scores of tools out there that promise to deliver a secret treasure map of insight and intel: how to decode the value of your products by “listening” to your audience “talk” about them across social channels.

Here at the JA, we have been evaluating social listening tools for our own work. This post offers a summary of what we’ve found, for you to consider as you size up methods for deeper knowledge of and engagement with your audience. We’ll tell you a little bit about how each tool works, and share a framework so you can consider how social listening may advance your success. Our goal with this list isn’t to cite everything that’s available, but to present a comprehensive range of options we think may be most useful in your work.

There are a number of ways publishers might apply social listening techniques. Some are simple, some more complex. To help guide the build of our service model, we subscribed to and tested the capabilities of one social listening industry leader, Radian6, over the past eight months. While it appears to satisfy major corporate brands like Pepsi, UPS, and Dell, it didn’t do as well helping the JA achieve its objectives, which are less about brand loyalty and more about tracking emerging trends.

So we began to explore other options. If you’re considering the offerings of the big kids on the block (such as Radian6, Crimson Hexagon, Lithium, Simplify360, or Alterian), know specifically what you want out of it before you go in. Also, don’t let budget stop you from experimenting. If you’re on a shoestring with little time to spare, you may find some tools you need in these free or low-cost alternatives.

Our best success in both choosing tools and getting a good outcome from social listening came from having a clear plan going in. Outlining your community and business requirements early on focuses your search for a social listening solution that provides the best fit for both budget and bandwidth. Know what you want to achieve before you start trying tools, and know how much time you have to invest in the effort. Going in with an idea of what you hope to learn sets up the experiment for a greater return on the effort.

There are four basic steps to successful social listening: discovery, analysis, management and integration. We list tools that can help with each element below. Read the rest of this entry →

Easy to use index: Find emerging practices, publisher techniques and revenue forum how-to tips

March 21, 2012 in Blog, Community, Distribution, Revenue

Journalism Accelerator

Publishers taking part in the recent JA forums on increasing revenue to news sites created a dynamic conversation. And since it was on JA’s forum platform designed with a shelf life, all that shared knowledge is still available for you. Both threads – on local and on niche news sites – generated around 300 comments, with nearly 50 participants over the couple day run. The threads are well worth a read. Here we have organized and indexed much of the conversation to surface the richness of these ideas, insights and hard earned experience so it’s easy for you to peruse by topic.

Read what you need now; come back when you are looking for something else. And remember, one of the greatest resources here is the people who were involved. Just click on anyone’s name to find out more about that person, including how to connect.

The aim of our double-header forum was to create a record of some of the knowledge that news publishers have built up, many working several years in a disrupted market. The focus: how to make money in the new world of news. We divided the two-day conversation into two streams, local news and niche news sites. If any consensus emerged, it is this: Know your audience first. Then figure out which of the many possible sources of revenue works to engage them. Read the rest of this entry →

Part 1: Emerging practices from revenue forum bundle local and niche publisher secrets for success

March 21, 2012 in Blog, Community, Distribution, Revenue

Emerging practices across revenue streams

Sustainable Journalism Forum -- Visit Page for Day 2

Check out some of the participants who joined in to share their take. The sum of the parts offered in this emerging practices module surfacing over two days of top notch conversation.

Click on a headline to see the comment in context of the full conversation. Want to see more comments from a particular participant, see a person’s website, or follow them on Twitter? Each name links you to that person’s JA profile, with background info, expertise and ways to connect.

Also check out How-tos of Business Basics, culled from the same two-day forum, Philosophical Discussions in the thread and Quoteable Moments for a chuckle or a moment of inspiration.

Revenue streams topic index

Advertising: Beyond the basics

Mix ads with other
We pursue (1) Advertising – it’s the gateway for small business (2) Sponsorships – medium companies and organizations can sponsor entire content channels such as Environment; (3) Ancillary business services, principally photography and websites (two things we’re already doing to publish the news site). Key insight: one revenue stream alone will not support your hyperlocal. – Hal Goodtree, Cary Citizen Read the rest of this entry →