Time over views, redux

We’ve talked from time to time — here, elsewhere online, in the classroom — about how the video metrics shift is coming at YouTube and, now Facebook. Analysis and budgets are shifting, trying to more precisely determine where audience behaviors are heading. Facebook says 500 million users are eating up 100 million hours of video per day.

It’s worth noting that Facebook did not report total video views, which it has the past few quarters. Last quarter, for example, it reported eight billion video views per day. One theory: Snapchat started generating some comparisons earlier this month to show it gaining on Facebook’s total views number. If Facebook doesn’t report it, there isn’t much to compare.

Investors liked what they heard Wednesday. Facebook stock was up more than 12 percent in after-hours trading following the call.

That last part is an important element behind Facebook’s empirical data, of course. They aren’t killing television, but it should be apparent to everyone that eyeballs are continuing their shift. What does that mean for your outlet?


Making coding more enticing

Two weeks ago an old friend asked me how he might get his daughter — a beautiful, precocious, 8-year-old — more interested in computer languages one day. I wish I’d had this link then.

Time flies when you’re snapping

It is hard to believe we are already a year into Snapchat’s Discover feature. What we’ve learned:

Over that time, publishers have built mobile audiences, and some have found a new revenue source.

Snapchat’s media partners, which range from 128-year-old National Geographic to two-year-old Fusion, see it as the best way to reach millennials, and with video view counts that rival Facebook, Snapchat is still publishing’s shiniest new object.


In truth, Snapchat requires a huge committment. Content cannot be easily repurposed from other formats, in part because Snapchat presents photos and videos vertically.

That piece talks about several of the 19 U.S. and four U.K Snapchat Discover channels. Some are stronger than others. Which do you like? Which ones are demonstrating more solid tips for your work?

A multiple exposure tutorial

Multiple exposure shots are making a comeback. The really good ones make it easy to see why. And they aren’t terribly difficult to create. And there is, after all, the Instagram monster to feed.

There are apps that can help you make them and of course there are full computer programs that will give you even stronger results. Check out Piotr Skoczylas’ method in Photoshop.

It is approachable, digestible read and would be fairly easy to reproduce. If you work through it I’d love to see some of your results.

Our digital echoes

This is tangential, at best, to the normal sort of thing you find on this site. But the story is funny and sad and charming and two or three other kinds of emotions too. What’s more, this once-rare phenomenon is at some point a reality for many of us. Give it a look:

I HAVE NOW BEEN living with one foot in the past, re-reading traces of a journey that ended on April 28, 2014.

The first line of Jon’s obituary read: “Family man, Winnipeg Jets fan and journalist Jonathan Jenkins died after a brutal home invasion—cancer crept in and robbed him of his life in his 50th year.” The line first appeared on Facebook, and then on Twitter. A cascade of messages took over my feeds. Then links to the newspaper obit were shared, with kind words ricocheting around the Internet. Jon’s name began trending on Twitter.

He was everywhere and nowhere.

At first I was uncomfortable with the online grieving. When people clicked “like” on Jon’s obit after it was posted to Facebook, it felt remote and impersonal as if someone was taking something that belonged to the kids and me. But digital death notices and online goodbyes are part of modern love. When I saw the names of people I had never met posting their condolences on a friend’s page, I understood it. When I die, I want my friends to be comforted too.

Another nod to dear old, now young again, podcasting

Maybe you’ve seen some of the recent conversation wistfully pining for a return to what some call “slow journalism.” More than hot takes and 140-character teasers, it is an idea harkening to a time when we weren’t in such a great hurry.

(Journalists have always been in a hurry. It just scales.)

The most recent argument I’ve seen in this conversation has been that journalists would like some slow journalism — better stories, fewer ulcers, etc — but the audience demands are such that it is challenging. And yet, podcasting has given some a glimpse into not only a different medium, but a different pace:

Podcasting is also a welcoming format, requiring little more than a microphone and a server to host files. While companies like Gimlet are churning out shiny high quality shows — including a new podcast about podcasts — newspapers are also dipping their toes into more elaborate audio stories to reach new audiences, and to just try their hand at a still-growing medium.

When Serial came out, “everyone in our newsroom…[was] taken by that narrative storytelling format and realized just how powerful a tool podcasting can be,” Jason Noble, a political reporter at the Des Moines Register, said. Noble hosts Three Tickets, a podcast about the Iowa presidential caucuses. It’s one of many podcasts launched to fit into the election cycle.

My podcast, which should be returning in a few days, tries to strike a chord in between. Quick hits highlighting important and big stories you might have otherwise missed. I’ll crosspost them here, of course.

What kind of podcasts do you prefer? Have you worked on any yourself yet? What do you think of the opportunities the style presents to you?

Twitter truths

This is cool.

(Remember what we say around here, GoPro is a media company selling hardware.)

The potential downside to this is that we’re going to find out that most of us shooting Go Pro stuff aren’t nearly as rad as the videos captured by professional rock climbers, underwater welders, high altitude sky divers and so on.

Small price to pay though, right?