Tuesday, March 18, 2014

Digital entrepreneurs turn to mobile for users, revenue

Leo Prieto:betting on "mobile first"

Versión en español aquí.

Leo Prieto is a digital media entrepreneur in Chile whose 10 communities attract an audience of 10 million users a month from all over the Spanish-speaking world.

Late last year, his company, Betazeta, decided to go "mobile first" and optimize the design of all its sites for mobile devices. More than half their traffic comes from mobile.

"Mobile phones are always with us," Prieto told me in an interview via Skype from his office in Santiago. "On the street, at home, we check them every two minutes, a hundred times a day."

And now that social networks like Facebook and Twitter are getting as much as three-fourths of their traffic from mobile devices, digital media publishers can see growth in social traffic by optimizing for mobile. "It's a virtuous circle with the social networks and mobile devices," Prieto said.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Mexican blogger builds a business out of political satire

Chumel Torres
Versión en español aquí. 

Chumel Torres is a video-blogger whose satiric take on politics and journalism has managed to attract 483,000 subscribers to his YouTube channel in just one year.

He has made a business out of the sponsors he attracts to his weekly program,  El Pulso de la República (The Pulse of the Republic).

And he has a message for other young people who are frustrated with the coverage of politics by the major media: if you don't like what they are doing, start your own program or news site, he said in an interview.

"If the newspaper doesn't like you, doesn't listen to you, doesn't give you any money, doesn't offer any opportunities, well then, create your own project. Anybody can shoot a video or record a radio program and upload it to the web. The only limitation is what you have in your head."

Who's a journalist? Only the public can decide

Versión en español aquí.

Jean-François Fogel has the best description I have heard of the new relationship between journalists and the public in the world of digital media.

Simply put, only the public can decide whose work deserves the respect and attention we previously gave to journalists working at major media. It is the public who decides if a particular voice among the billions on the Internet has the credibility, ethics and independence that we expect from journalists.

Really, any person who publishes on the web and follows the standards of professional journalism can be considered a journalist, Fogel said in an interview. And what are those standards?

"Journalism is, of course, a disinterested voice. It isn't a voice that urges the purchase of something or a vote for someone or a particular behavior. It's an independent voice that can't be tied to an association, a brand or an organization. It's a responsible voice that expresses itself about things that are relevant to a society. In the world of digital journalism, a journalist is a person who speaks from an ethical point of view."