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How to hit the innovation sweet spot
Also in this round-up: a guide to TikTok SEO, the number one way of running good newsletters, and spending big on the ethics of AI.
Hello and welcome back to CTRL + ALT + REPEAT! First off, a massive thank you. This newsletter has only been going for two weeks and nearly 300 people subscribe. I hope you find it useful.
PIVOT! A 5-STEP PLAN FOR EVALUATING NEWSROOM TECHNOLOGY EXPERIMENTS // Yuen-C Tham for RISJ
This is really sharp guide on when to experiment by Reuters Institute fellow Yuen-C Tham that can help everyone spot why something is – or is not! – worth doing. For Yuen-C, it comes down to this:
Crucially, if a new technology solves a problem for both your newsroom and your audience, you have found the innovation sweet spot.
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YOUR TIKTOK SEO QUESTIONS ANSWERED // Part Three Digital
It’s bold to claim TikTok has dethroned Google as the search engine but we do know that people, especially Gen Z, are using TikTok to find specific content.
The Part Three Digital team have published a handy guide on how to get started with SEO on TikTok.
The clearest link I’ve seen between TikTok and referral from search products involves Google Discover at Dazed. It goes like this: we post a TikTok based on an article from the site (like this), the video gets a few hundred thousand views, then Discover traffic to said piece rockets a couple of days later.
OpenAI will spend about $400k and partner with New York University on a deep dive into the intersection of journalism and artificial intelligence.
I’m sure we’ll learn from it. But I doubt it will resolve the bigger issue of compensating publishers for their work which has trained the likes of ChatGPT. Ben Smith has more on this over on Semafor.
Related 1: You can block OpenAI’s new crawler, GPTBot, from feeding on your content.
Related 2: The American Press Institute is publishing a 101 guide on AI for news throughout August.
IT'S TIME TO CHANGE HOW WE COVER ELON MUSK // Casey Newton for Platformer
You’ve probably seen Casey Newton’s thoughtful piece on covering Elon Musk in a smarter way. The section below got me thinking about the people – usually obnoxious men like Trump and Piers Morgan – that I’ve commissioned pieces on purely for the views when views were all that mattered:
Stories about these pronouncements are dead-simple and cheap to produce — a description of an embedded tweet, followed by 300 or so words of context. And because people read these stories in huge numbers, publishers devote a lot of space to them.
The issue is that these stories are often published without the skepticism that is appropriate to someone who the Securities and Exchange Commission once forced to pay $20 million for saying something that wasn’t true.
How can writers and editors resist the diktat for grubby views? Pushing for a focus on long-tail search traffic and repackaging archive pieces instead of publishing sugar rush guff is a good place to start.
ON RUNNING GOOD NEWSLETTERS // Emily Ryan
I love this advice from Emily:
The best way to keep your emails out of spam?
Send emails people enjoy opening and reading. And only send to people who have opted in to receive said emails.
That's the #1 best way.
I’m totally over “what character are you?” quizzes. Snooze. Instead, answer these eight questions from Heather Kelly and the Washington Post team to see if you’re smarter than a scammer.