Day one: Research paper topics

As part of our weekly assignments in my Theory and Audience Analysis class are required to blog about what we learned in class or what we are discussing as it relates to interactive media and things that interest me and my career path.

I posted my research paper proposal Sunday for our major assignment of the semester, but during Monday’s class the rest of my classmates talked about their proposals. There are some pretty interesting topics being researched this semester and I am really interested to see what people come up with at the end of the semester.

Some of the topics that most interest me would be interactive advertising, the future of social networking, interactive media in government, interactivity in sports media and the future of the interactive newsroom.

NewseumWorking in the newspaper business, the future of interactive advertising is extremely important and so I am more interested in hearing the research on the news side of things. I believe strongly that it will determine whether of not newspaper can survive in the Internet age. Selling advertising online has been a challenge for sales representatives in all media outlets and a platform that works has yet to be created. One thing I have seen already though is that advertisers like to hear new pitches and new ideas so new forms of interactive advertising should be quite intriguing in a sales presentation.

I still wonder if social networking will continue to dominate the Internet, but more importantly, how will news organizations fit into the social networking platform? Hopefully, I can hear some answers to that during our research paper presentations. Earlier this year there was a major push for news organizations to begin cramming information and links onto Twitter, Facebook and MySpace pages.

The idea behind this was that the younger audience that news organizations are desperate to capture, are using these social networking sites, so you need to go where your audience is. At The Times-News we began doing this, but the effort has faded, mainly because it is nearly impossible to do this consistently with a small staff that is already overworked and loaded with work. I’d like to see research on the payoff that news organizations would get by doing this because we haven’t seen too much, except for a small increase in page views for interesting or odd news stories.

President Barack Obama has really taken a massive leap into establishing a base for interactive government. Public offices, both on the city, state and national level are way behind technology, but Obama’s use of social networking sites during his campaign and online town hall meetings has sparked a new way of thinking when it comes to government. It will be interesting to see what other things are in the works and what other avenues government can use to operate.

At the Times-News I have been trying to do a lot with our sports department when it comes to being more involved on the Web. Kevin Burrows is doing the future of interactivity in sports and I think it is a great topic because the market for sports online is huge and most news organizations have not yet capitalized on its popularity.

Finally, the future of the interactive newsroom is important to me because I work in a newsroom and making it interactive is a constant challenge. I would like to see what others are doing so that I might implement some of these practices in the future.

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1 comment so far

  1. steveearley on

    I’m looking forward to the results of your research as well, Alex. With regard to the monetization of online news, The Baltimore Sun has had some success with video and micro-site advertising: http://bit.ly/1BTHV


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