Home 2017 December

Monthly Archives: December 2017

What does the future of the news publication industry look like?

0

The impact of social media and broadcast news sites on the way news is reported is undeniable. The style in which news articles are written and the mediums through which these stories are shared have drastically changed in the last 15 years. But likewise, the platforms showcasing news stories have also continued to evolve, keeping up with the needs and wants of the reader. So, what does the future of the news industry look like will it be online like other publications such as https://proefabonnementkrant.com/telegraaf/?

Messaging

For the first time ever, more people used messaging apps than social media in 2015. Since that initial month, messaging apps have continued to reign supreme over social networks, pulling in more and more users every month.

For platforms like Facebook, which has more users reading the news on its site than any other social network, this isn’t bad news. That’s because Facebook also happens to have its very own integrated messaging system, which is highly popular. It also owns WhatsApp. These two messaging platforms pull in 800 million and 900 million users respectively. With Facebook leading the way when it comes to news stories, perhaps the future involves taking these stories to their messaging apps. Users could set their notification preferences based on the type of news story, be it urgent, international, celebrity gossip etc.

Audio News

In the past few years, publishers have invested heavily in their video content. But with the likes of Amazon Echo and Google Home finding their way into people’s houses, is this due to change and the focus shift to audio news?

Some companies have already begun experimenting with audio news stories, with the liked of The New York Times creating multiple podcast series. This includes their series named The Daily, which provides listeners with a 25-minute update on current news. A new episode is released five days a week.   

There has also been a boom in audio investment when it comes to automobiles. It is estimated that 20% of vehicles in the US are currently connected to the internet, though the goal is for this to be 100% by the year 2025. Content creators have felt the benefits of the increase in internet access, with Pandora’s VP of Business Development stating that “Automotive is our fastest-growing listening category.” With Pandora known for its personalised content, is this a precursor for the future of news reporting? Will we soon be listening to our own personalised version of the news?

Further Personalisation

Anonymity is a thing of the past when it comes to the internet. While people may refer to trolls ‘hiding behind their keyboards’, websites are collecting huge amounts of data on users. Creating accounts on websites gives information such as your birthdate, ordering packages passes along your home and/or work address. Your subscription to Birchbox gives an insight into your consumer choices, and your frequent visits to Ladbible.com highlight your sense of humour. All of this data is collected online and used to create tailored suggestions for content you’d enjoy. Facebook in particular enjoy using the information from your likes and links to get to know you better, and will continue to provide what it deems the most useful news stories for each person. The need for add-on tools like Feedly and Flipboard suggest there’s still some way to go with perfect this personalisation.

What else will change?

Just as social media decided to get in on the action, it is likely that other companies will adapt to the growing trend of finding news online. Companies not previously associated with the traditional news publications will begin branching out into the news industry. There are two reasons that this is likely. Firstly, companies will try to keep readers on their website. This will help them improve their user stats, find out more about user demographics, increase the price for advertisers with banners on their site, grow the company’s reputation. The list goes on. The second reason that sites will begin offering their own news section is to keep the readers happy. That’s because leading readers away to a different site requires additional seconds for the content to load. According to Mark Zuckerberg, chief executive of Facebook “People don’t want to wait that long so a lot of people abandon news before it has even loaded.” No wonder Facebook’s news summaries can be seen on everyone’s main feed.

This overlap may also happen in the other direction, with traditional news publishers branching out to increase revenue. This could be a necessary step for news companies. Indeed 60% of publishers believe that monetization will be their biggest challenge, thanks to the increased use of ad blockers, low ad rates on mobiles and high levels of competition. There are a number of ways companies can evolve to increase revenue, such as:

  • Becoming event organisers. Many publishers have run their own events, such as Stylist Live and Forbes’ Summit Conferences.
  • Launching their own creative agencies. These are created to produce branded content. Examples of this include the Huffpost Partner Studio and Vice’s Virtue team.
  • Opening research institutes. These teams conduct high-level research, which supports the news generated by the publisher. The Economist’s version is known as the Intelligence Unit.
  • Creating teams to build and analyse user data. At Buzzfeed, the team is building technology that can detect web trends and connects users with content they’re most likely to enjoy.

While there’s inevitable change coming to the news publication industry, some things are expected to remain the same thanks to the high-standards set by traditional publishers. While people want content to be available quickly and news broadcasts streamed in real-time, digital publishers continue to pursue the credibility of traditional publishers, raising the bar in journalism. There has been a steady decline in journalism jobs over the past many decades, but a regrowth of the industry to cope with the changes could be a very real future. Only time will tell.

The other cryptocurrencies to watch in 2018

0

Bitcoin – you can’t open a news app or tech blog without hearing about the world’s favourite digital currency – but what else is going on in the cryptocurrency world?

Well, quite a lot it actually – and while no other currency has seen the explosion in value that Bitcoin has during the last 18 months, that’s not to say Bitcoin is the only player to keep an eye on.

If you’re considering dipping into less familiar cryptocurrency waters, it pays to do you research – check out some write ups on potential brokers – like this indacoin review – before you buy – and in the meantime, we’ll tell you a little about 5 ‘altcoin’ currencies that are showing significant promise and could represent the next big thing…

Ethereum

Even those who aren’t familiar with the nuances of cryptocurrency are increasingly likely to have heard about Ethereum – especially owing to how hard marketers have hit the social media channels trying to push their ether related services.

‘Ether’ – the name of Ethereum’s currency – is the second biggest digital currency behind Bitcoin and it’s fairly new on the scene, having launched in 2015. Ether is a little different to Bitcoin, in that it operates on an ‘if this, then that’ contractual basis. Let’s line it up next to Bitcoin to explain how that works:

You’re buying an ebook with Bitcoin, you send the private key to the person’s wallet and they send you the product.

You buy the same book with Ethereum and a contract could be generated, stipulating that when the funds are sent, the ebook is released – or alternatively, when the ebook is received the funds are released.

Although Bitcoin operates without ‘trust’ needed in the actual transaction, as soon as human’s become involved with any process beyond the actual money transfer, trust is again required. With a smart contract system, trust is removed.

  • Ether started 2017 at around £6/$8 and looks set to finish the year around £350/$470.

Zcash

Another newcomer to the crypro game, Zcash didn’t launch until late-2016 but is looking like a very promising contender going forward.

The currency focuses on security and privacy when compared to Bitcoin. Where Bitcoin operates on a public blockchain with every transaction that’s been made visible to anyone who looks, Zcash’s offers what they refer to ‘shielded’ transactions, where sender, recipient and the amount of the transfer are protected from view.

If increased security and anonymity are your thing – Zcash is worth a look…

  • Zcash started 2017 at around £37/$50 and looks set to end 2017 around £225/$300

Ripple

Ripple was launched in 2012 with the primary aim for allowing banks to facilitate and settle cross-boarder payments in real-time with “end-to-end” transparency.

The big difference when compared to Bitcoin and most other blockchain based cryptocurrencies comes when the currency is produced. Most cryptos rely on ‘mining’ – a sophisticated process of solving the mathematical problems that occur throughout the blockchain when transaction are taking place. With Bitcoin’s blockchain, miners are rewarded for this action with more Bitcoins – but Ripple is different.

Essentially, Ripple facilitates the transfer of other currencies and commodities with gateways – and through those gateways money is sent – or rather, not sent. The money doesn’t actually leave the gateway that it’s deposited into, but is still released by the recipient’s gateway. It’s an IOU system that works because each gateway trusts one another not to break the relationship.

Ripple is extremely flexible – because, as long as gateways trust one another, anything can be transmitted without it actually moving – in fact, it doesn’t even have to be the same currency that goes it as comes out. Money in, car out – etc. Ripple’s algorithms work to find trust between two sources and execute the transaction through that trusted channel.

  • Ripple started 2017 at just a tiny fraction of a dollar ($0.006) – and although the price vs. USD is still low – it’s significantly higher than it was at around $0.25 toward the end of 2017.

Dash

We’ve all been caught out with an internet or media fact that turns out to be nonsense – but there’s one about cryptocurrency that just won’t go away:

“Bitcoin is anonymous”

Well, it’s not – some understanding of the blockchain lets you know quite how false this actually is. However, there are calls for true financial anonymity – and Dash seems to be answering those calls. At it’s heart, Dash operates on a near identical blockchain to Bitcoin – but has the addition of quick transactions and transaction privacy.

Dash has been around since early 2014 – and was initially called ‘Darkcoin’. Its developers had big ideas for how Bitcoin could offer increased anonymity and speedier transfer times – but rather than approach Bitcoin, Dash’s founders decided to go it alone – as a result, they’re now one of the biggest altcoins out there…

  • At the start of 2017 Dash tipped the scales at £9/$12 – whereas in the closing months of 2017 it was sitting around £512/$690

Litecoin

Litecoin wasn’t far behind the launch of Bitcoin – coming to the market in 2011. In a lot of ways, Litecoin has always been seen as the smaller sibling of Bitcoin, operating with a very similar blockchain system but always at a much-reduced buy-in cost.

Like Bitcoin, Litecoin has a decentralised ledger system that’s the brainchild of an ex-Google engineer and uses a ‘mining’ proof-of-work system that doesn’t require the huge processing power and energy consumption of Bitcoin.

As a result of this less intensive ‘mining’ process, blocks in the chain are generated much more quickly vs. Bitcoin and therefore Litecoin’s transaction confirmation times are greatly reduced. Litecoin is an increasing favourite with merchants and online developers owing to this quick turn-around…

  • Litecoin was worth around £3/$4 at the beginning of 2017 – and is now at an impressive £60/$80 toward the end of 2017

Remember…

There are a lot of cryptos out there that look great – but, as with any investment, the prior performance of cryptocurrencies doesn’t reflect their future performance – so don’t invest money you can’t afford to lose – and seek as much professional information about your chosen currency before you go empty your wallet of traditional cash…