The IMPRESS PODCAST | EPISODE #3. Creating Communities of Interest around News. With Mark Little.
IMPRESS CEO Jonathan Heawood is joined by Mark Little, founder of Storyful and former VP at Twitter, to discuss 'information overload', empowering readers to control their news routine, why algorithmic personalisation is not enough anymore, and how to connect independent networks of publishers with their real communities of interest.
ABOUT MARK LITTLE
Mark Little is a digital media entrepreneur and author. On January 2019 he launched Kinzen, a platform with the mission of 'giving every citizen a daily news experience that earns their trust'. Kinzen was recently mentioned in Reuters' latest media prediction report 2019 as the top news start-up to watch in 2019.
Mark is also an award-winning foreign correspondent and TV anchor for the Irish national TV station RTE. In 2010 he founded Storyful, the first social media news agency and an early pioneer of the battle against misinformation. In 2013 he joined Twitter, first as VP of Media Partnerships in Europe and later as MD.
The "era of social newsfeed":
The era of the social newsfeed, which I think emerged around the late 2000's and has certainly dominated news behaviors, has created big problems. The first is overload of information. The second is this pervasive mistrust by people (...) And finally, the feeling of manipulation that people are starting to feel in a really keen almost painful way”.
Our first work at Kinzen is to build controls that allow users to set the topics that you want to see, to understand the routine you want to build (...) We want to put this in the hands of ordinary people who in 2019 say to themselves: 'This is the year that I finally build myself a news routine that makes my life better.'”
What Kinzen offers to small independent publishers and how 'advertising no longer plays a part in the equation':
If I was an independent publisher right now, I’m not really interested anymore in trying to reach potentially 100,000 people who might look at me for 2 seconds and disappear. I want to find the true fans, who potentially value my content to a level that no advertiser cares about. (…) Advertising no longer plays a part in the equation. We have no interest in trying to generate advertising on top of other people’s content."
The value we are bringing to the equation is directly introducing that individual to that publisher and let them work out the financial arrangement that will support that relationship. We think the move from having ordinary news users who are dependent on Facebook to serve them content, to a new empowered news user who essentially is a curator of news content every day will, we hope, increase the chances of independent publishers who are serving a locality or a specific niche, or communities."
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