Deseret Connect highlights a member or two each week in recognition of their exceptional efforts to enlighten and entertain readers and viewers.
It’s not that time of the year unless love is oozing from every facet of life. Thankfully for us, Sharon Haddock spotlighted two delightful, real-life love stories in her article “True love on stage and at home.” This timely feature tells of two different couples that “publicly acted like they were in love long before they really were” while onstage performing in various plays. Sharon interviewed the couples and used intimate quotes and stories.
You know you have something to write home about when Web powerhouses Drudge Report and The Blaze link to your work on their sites. Susan Roylance accomplished just that with one of her latest news story, “U.N. leaders consider world tax to fund social protection, services.” Susan covered a hot topic – a forum at the U.N concerning the proposal of a new world tax to fund basic services for the poor around the globe. Susan’s coverage informed thousands and conjured up a discussion.
Deseret Connect highlights a member or two each week in recognition of their exceptional efforts to enlighten and entertain readers and viewers.
Teri Harman wrote a powerful and touching story about a 32-year-old father who left his young family in 1969 to serve a year in Vietnam. Several readers said they became emotional when they read about Army Capt. Ray Bills’ commitment to stay connected, especially to his youngest sons, ages 1 and 3, from 8,000 miles away.
See her work on KSL.com. The story also ran in the newspaper Monday.
Timothy R. Clark, a scholar and world authority on leadership and organizational transformation, has crafted nearly 60 eloquent stories through Deseret Connect for the Deseret News in the past year. Tim’s exceptional writing is largely demonstrated in his knack for weaving in a perfect mix of modern and historical anecdotes to illustrate complex ideas. This week Timothy inspired business leaders to finally make those big contemplated changes necessary for their organizations to stay competitive in a modern landscape of disruptive competition.
Read Timothy’s call for leaders to “eat change for breakfast” on Deseretnews.com . The story also ran in the newspaper Tuesday .
School is back in session. Which means that school sports and activities are in back in full-force. Which means that minivans are getting plenty of exercise.
If you are currently living, you are likely connected to a high school near you. You might be a parent of a high school student, or you might have a nephew that’s involved. In any case, we’re willing to bet that you will attend at least one game, show, concert or competition this year. We commend you in your efforts to support students as they develop skills and talents.
As you know, many aren’t able to attend these events. That is why a video like this – East v. Orem – is so incredibly valuable! We encourage you to use your camera phone, Flipcam or video camera to capture some highlights so that the event lives beyond the final buzzer or curtain call.
The ideal sports video highlight of would incorporate, but is not limited to, the following:
title graphic with date
highlights of each team
I would recommend including footage of the venue, stands, students, cheer squad, band, players, performers and anything else that helps the viewer capture what it was like to attend the event. The standard length is about 60-90 seconds. I would also recommend incorporating music, but make sure the music isn’t copyrighted, or else we can’t publish it.
Here are a couple more examples of highlights submitted from football games:
Deseret Connect hosted its inaugural Student Media Summit called, “Be Seen. Be Heard.” on August 2, 2011. Students, advisers, parents and our staff had a terrific time. A big thank you to American Heritage School for providing the wonderful facilities. We are grateful to Stephen Jones a local comedian/actor, Amy Donaldson our Deseret News high school ace reporter, and Reed Farnsworth of the HOBY youth leadership foundation for their terrific presentations. You’ll have access to their presentations shortly.Thank you to our our staff from across Deseret Media Companies for making it such an extraordinary event.
Two students provided reports on the event, and their stories appeared on Deseretnews.com and KSL.com respectively. See reports by Meredith Summers and Max Higbee (complete with a KSL TV news at 5 report).
Another contributor has proposed a weekly video blog that rounds up and summarizes interesting news she follows. We’re working with her to get ready. Thanks to these contributors for being creative and pushing us to support your innovations. We welcome your ideas; we will try to keep up!
What a time to be in media. Tweets bounce around with the latest bold declaration or the next new way. About a decade ago I was an analyst at Forrester Research at the height of the dot com boom – a remarkable upwelling of innovation and platform development. The Internet’s disruption of old media has unleashed both discordant confusion, and a powerful surge in creativity and drive. In media you’ll find some of the most passionate, capable people anywhere, and they know how to hustle. Admittedly, some media mavens have hunkered down and tried to deny the forces of change. But I’ve observed many more who’ve looked the challenge square in the eye, rounded up their shoulders and are hard at work making changes.
At the Deseret Media Companies we are on the front end of a live experiment wherein we have emphasized our mission and editorial voice, integrated our newsrooms, included many more voices through Deseret Connect, and accelerated our digital strategy. But how do we harmonize all these efforts? What follows is an concrete example of how some throughout our organization are embracing the advantages new media and using the digital tools in an impressive harmony.
Case study: Wrapping TV in online content generated by remote contributors
I was very impressed with the brilliant approach taken by the KSL TV and KSL.com teams in joining the strengths of KSL TV, KSL.com and Deseret Connect contributors to deliver a unique set of inter-connected stories. What follows is a run-down of the process:
1) KSL.com submitted the two assignment requests to DC contributors:
Assignment 1: How to protect your identity while using social websites
Informational piece that educating users on the risks that social websites pose to their identity and personal information (facebook, twitter, blogger, flicker, etc…) and things people can do to protect their information. I would like to article to focus more on ways to protect your information online. It is okay to link to other online tutorials that discuss how one can change their account settings to better protect their personal information.
Assignment 2: How to protect your personal information on your cell phone?
This article should include tips and advice on how to protect your personal information on your cell/smart phone. What are the risk of owning a cell phone as it relates to the your or others personal information. How can someone protect their information on their cell phone? When taking a picture, what is metadata and geo-tracking? How do people turn-off meta data and geo-tracking when submitting photos or video to a third party?
2) Seasoned and award-winning DC contributor Travis Poppleton picked up the assignment and wrote the story. Note the reference to (what was then an upcoming) TV story and subsequent DC stories for KSL.com.
Find it online here. The result? The story came back with one of our highest quality ratings from our copy editors, ran on KSL.com, pointed readers to Sarah Dallof’s KSL TV sweeps story run on the 10 pm news, and to date has garnered 26,175 page views.
3) Viewers watched Sarah Dallof’s terrific piece live on TV where she illustrated why families should be cautious when using social media. The story is now on KSL.com.
Find it online here. The result? Tanya Vea, KSL TV News Director remarked, “I think this was a textbook example of how we can utilize DC content to enhance our [TV stories] and provide differentiation between platforms. I was really happy with the way it turned out. We have several more of these kinds of story tie-ins planned over the next few weeks.”
4) This KSL TV and subsequently KSL.com story references a follow-on story by Patrick Cassell, a relatively new, but well-informed DC contributor.
Find it online here. The result? More than 10,000 page views to date and great reader interaction.
What did we learn?
Brand managers should look at stories as an ecosystem with multiple dependencies and off-shoots. Serve up a mix of story components for your audience. Reward them for their attention with both insight about what something means to them, and what action to take.
Remote contributors should find ways to extend and underpin the traditional news offerings. Don’t just try to get your voice heard, find ways to help the whole organization rise. Keep an eye on the brand’s voice and audience. Complement it.
Innovation comes from everywhere and people are hungry for it. Unlock the creativity of your most talented, creative personnel by giving them the right new media tools, extend your organization into the community, and new harmonies emerge.
The news Osama bin Laden’s death on Sunday night shocked the world. It motivated recall of many feelings and memories by millions. We asked our DC community to share some of their thoughts, several of which have been published on Deseretnews.com. Go here to read more.
A screenshot of the story is below. Thank you to each of these contributors for their heartfelt and insightful pieces.
As you are no doubt aware, we are in one of the most complicated transitions in the history of the media, with the Internet presenting amazing opportunities and challenges, in equal parts. Deseret Connect launched last fall as an idea and a scant bit of technology. Our intent was develop a new way to involve many more voices and deeper topic expertise in the development of inspiring, insightful, mission-aligned stories for Deseret Media Companies’ audiences.
In the past 320 days, our developers have generated more than 100,000 lines of code to build a platform through which Deseret Connect contributors have delivered thousands of articles and photos to our publishing partners, Deseret News and KSL. These submissions have resulted in millions of page views. The response to your work has been overwhelmingly positive from both our publishers and audience. To a few of you who’ve been with us since our inauspicious beginning, thank you for your patience. To our more recently registered members, thank you for coming aboard.
As we’ve grown, the personal conversations we’ve had with our remote colleagues have been all too rare. In this email, I offer some clarification I would prefer to explain in person with perhaps some charts and a whiteboard, but cannot. It addresses the strategy of Deseret Connect and the rewards you can expect for contributing.
What Deseret Connect IS:
Influence network. DC helps you gain influence. In a recent survey, current contributors couldn’t be more clear: They seek publishing opportunities to reach other people. Through DC, our contributors develop a voice that can reach many, many more people than is possible through the blogosphere or Facebook or other means. DMC alone delivers almost 300 million page views per month across our various properties and growing. Our early publication partners have been the Deseret News, MormonTimes and KSL. We are in the process of forming partnerships with other news organizations across the country that are interested in syndicating content from our traditional journalists and DC contributors. Through DC, readers will find you, follow you and your influence will grow. We have many examples of contributors who have reached people in ways not possible previously. That’s what you want. That’s what we want.
Content development platform. DC provides an online system that streamlines the content development process. Through DC, you can collaborate with copy editors, group members, and publishers quickly and easily (most of the time!). It works in a bit of a push-pull relationship between contributors and publishers. Contributors can propose stories to our publishers for approval. Contributors can also accept “assignments” from publishers seeking specific stories. We’ve had thousands of each type of story flow through DC and onto the print and Web pages of Deseret News and KSL.com.
Learning organization. DC helps you improve. We have designed the DC organization and many of its tools to help you deliver increasingly high quality content. We involve talented, motivated, mission-aligned contributors. The learning comes from several directions: First, we offer and will expand our learning tutorials and training; second, our coaches give direct feedback on your work; third, your work is rated for quality. In essence, our aim is to help each contributor improve and learn every time we touch your content. And, we’re learning every day how to do this better.
What Deseret Connect IS NOT:
Major profit center. We operate DC on a very small budget. We do this in order to help our publishing partners both near and far deliver exceptional, values-driven content to their audiences. The lower the cost, the more people we can reach. Why? It allows us to make our syndicated content more affordable to other media organizations hungry for values-driven stories. This new experiment has infused our news gathering and dissemination approach with a new vitality. It has allowed us to scale our coverage in ways not possible previously. Our collective reach is growing. We are partners in the positive influence business.
Key source of personal income. The economics of content have changed. Advertisers used to pay top dollar for a position in the newspaper. Today there are so many options online for more effective targeting that businesses have spread their advertising across many channels. Previously freelance writers were paid a specific amount per column inch or per story in the newspaper. The new reality doesn’t support the payments previously available. Today, most writers opt for the benefit of exposure and influence, adding a link from their content on a DMC site to a personal or business site that helps them build their online brand. Deseret Connect publishers do pay for articles from time to time if they reach print, or may offer bonuses to contributors for exceptional work. We experimented with paying our contributors for page views, but discontinued the pilot after April 1st. Most contributors average around 2000 page views. To a writer seeking influence, seeing that thousands of readers engage their work is ample incentive.
Social network. We are an influence network. DC has been designed to optimize the opportunities for our contributors to be published, to learn and to grow their influence. It is a place for professional positioning, promotion of work, and collegial exchange – all with a smile and a touch of fun. The primary role of DC is not to replace Facebook or LinkedIn, but rather provide a complementary experience where you can develop media content and relationships and connect them to your personal and professional networks.
Frequently asked questions:
Where will I be published?
Depending on the nature of your content, you may be published in any one of our DMC publishers, with other publishing opportunities at media organizations around the country emerging very soon.
Am I paid for my work?
As described above Deseret Connect is a live experiment involving many more people in the development and delivery of great stories through several different media channels. Our growth has outpaced our expectations – with talented individuals joining us daily. In our research we’ve found that people are motivated to find ways to be published, love to write, are driven to reach many more people. As a result, in this beta phase, we are largely going away from our page view compensation approach we tested between January 1 and April 1 of this year, and instead have opted for an assignment and/or bonus based system, as you can see here. We may return or include page views at some point, but at this point, we’ve put it on hold.
Thanks to those who responded last week to our call for stories about flooding. We received at least six terrific stories that delivered fascinating insights, photos, interviews and analysis to our readers, yielding nearly 25,000 page views so far:
In the coming weeks you’ll see many more opportunities like these coming from Deseret News and KSL.com where editors will reach out to trusted Deseret Connect contributors for stories and news that enhance and complement our professional journalists. As one of our print editors remarked recently, “DC is becoming an extension of our newsroom.”
KSL.com is 800 pound online media gorilla in the intermountain west. As a top three broadcast media website, KSL.com is a national phenomenon.
Powered by its wildly popular online classifieds for regional buyers and sellers, it has also built an enormous following for its news products. All told, KSL.com delivers more than 200 million page views per month.
Several stories from select Deseret Connect contributors have already run on KSL.com, including:
This week KSL.com will begin involving many more Deseret Connect correspondents from around the region to deliver local news and happenings, as well as interesting stories in several key topic areas from around the world. They’ll be looking for contributors to signal their interest and availability to provide stories and local updates via a number of KSL.com-specific groups on Deseret Connect.
To learn more about the content KSL.com is looking for, you can browse and apply to join specific groups in the Connect section of Deseret Connect here.
Several more publishing opportunities — in addition to DMC flagship brands Deseret News and KSL — are on the horizon, so stay tuned.