Good morning from Halifax! I'm the CAJ's community manager, Carl Meyer. Ill be liveblogging the opening plenary. Welcome everyone. Right now we're still waiting to get started.
Today we have James Robinson, New York Times director of analytics; Andrew Cochran, CBC News and Centres head of strategy; Susanne Reber, Center for Investigative Reporting director of digital media; and moderator Nick Taylor-Vaisey, Maclean's.
The hashtag for the conference is #CAJ15, the specific hashtag for this opening plenary is #CAJ15aud.
And we're off. CAJ prez Hugo is up to say good morning.
Hugo recognizes CAJ directors Nick, Paul Ellin, Pat sitting in the crowd.
By the way, if youre in the room, Im sitting stage right at the little round table, hunched over this waaaaaay-too-small laptop. Come say hi!
Hugo introducing the conference - the theme of change over the past decade or so. Change in the size of newsrooms, how we tell stories, technologies we use. "It's a well-used cliche, but change is an ongoing constant in our industry"
Hugo introduces CAJ veep Nick Taylor-Vaisey, moderator, who is talking about analytics, Chartbeat. "Its addictive." He says "We're going to have a conversation now about audience."
Nick asks @andrewbcochran about whether there are 1, 2, or a million audiences. He says he thinks there are really one.
@s_reber says you never really know everything about everybody, similar to attending a wedding.
@JamesGRobinson in terms of the Times, the challenge is to reach out to new audiences. "That's been the biggest thing, coming to terms with an audience we're not familiar with"
@s_reber gently ribs @JamesGRobinson, who spoke of a million-dollar budget. CIR doesn't have one of those. Robinson responds "I didn't say multi-million..."
We're talking here about audiences being made up of lots of different people doing lots of different things and being interested in lots of different subjects. Ah, diversity.
"I think we sometimes confuse measurement with understanding" says James.
We're getting into financial questions now. Audience impact has a...well...impact on funding. But it's also a question of time-- measurement is cumulative, audience can continue to be brought in after publication.
Speaking of audience, I'd say 3/4 of people in here have their heads bowed either taking notes or cellphoning. Engagement!
"I try not to look at too many analytics, because I find it scary" says Susanne, a soul-baring quote at a journalism conference
@s_reber: When it comes to the metrics -- and we were talking about this at the bar last night... -- (Hugo -- always quality conversations at the conference bar)
Robinson: Engagement is the connection between what you want your audience to do and what they want to do.
Nick: Ottawa Citizen a Canadian example of a four-platform approach where there is a very different voice on each platform. The mobile-platform weather update has plenty of followers of its own due to its voice.
How platform-heavy are you? (I don't think I wanna know)...but it matters in terms of content. Susanne talks about newsroom culture affecting what goes into each platform. Stories look different depending on where they're broadcast, not one template. Host can be chattier with audience on appropriate platform (like me!)
Reber speaking of the poetry project. Took a while for people in the newsroom to get used to having a poet there.
Poets in the newsroom. Snapchat news stories. Cats and dogs, living together. Mass hysteria!
Robinson: We started a SnapChat account for the Times and just handed it off to some forward-thinking journalists. ... "it opens up opportunities to do some really innovative things."