One of the first challenges the Knight Lab undertook after really getting started this summer was to try to understand some of the challenges and opportunities facing Chicago-area publishers.
We wanted to know what publishers were capable of, what their priorities were, and what they'd like to accomplish next as their sites grow.
With these objectives in mind, we sent out an online survey in late September. By mid October 44 percent of the publishers who received the survey had responded, providing us with unique insight in to the Chicago publishing environment. Eventually we hope these insights (in addition to many, many more conversations and meetings with publishers) will help us create tools that will help publishers report, present and distribute the news more efficiently and effectively.
A few initial insights from the survey:
- The vast majority of publishers use social media to reach audiences and distribute content, but almost none are satisfied with their usage.
- Improving use of metrics was cited as a relatively important priority, but publishers didn't indicate confidence in their abilities.
- While primarily focused on building their own site traffic and their own content, most sites want to increase the interchange of both traffic and content between sites.
- We'll use the survey results as a jumping off point as we continue talking with publishers individually. We'll also use trends within the community to help guide initial technology development. If you're interested, please take a look at the complete survey results here.
As we become a greater part of the Chicago publishing community we'll continue our outreach with publishers big and small - form neighborhood bloggers to the big legacy media companies in town. At the moment we're working to meet with every publisher we know of in Chicago. If you haven't heard from us yet, you will. And if you're particularly eager to talk to us, share ideas, or learn more about the Lab and our goals, please email me.
We look forward to talking to more with all of you and sharing the discoveries we make along the way.
-- Ryan Graff