How The New York Times Measures User Engagement

“Our business model, essentially, is that we produce high quality journalism.”

At Social Media Week in New York, we heard from Mark Thompson, the CEO of the New York Times in a discussion with Toby Daniels, the Founder and Executive Director of SMW. Mark began his talk by telling us about his background, and his start in TV journalism with the BBC.

Even while working at the BBC, Mark acknowledged that The New York Times was “one of the very best newsrooms on the planet.” He noticed that The New York Times confronted the digital change the world saw with a different view than other American news outlets.

According to Mark, The New York Times “continued to produce great journalism. They doubled down on their investment in content, which was the better play.”

Next, Mark spoke about the strategy at The New York Times. He, and The New York Times, have realized that people are willing to pay for high quality content. In terms of user experience, he believes that every subscriber should feel like the content they receive is worth paying for, even if it’s free.

He believes that smartphones, in particular, enable companies with high quality to find deeply engaged users. In order to do this, “you need to become a destination, you need to start becoming a daily habit”.

“We stand for storytelling, and for arming people to begin a conversation – whether it be physical or on social media,” Mark said.

Read the full session recap at SMW News

Secure your spot in February of 2017 to join 2,000+ leaders in media, entertainment, and technology for a week of inspiring and educational events learning.

Keynote at SMW New York: “Pivoting an Icon, an Interview with New York Times CEO, Mark Thompson”

This year at SMW New York, Mark Thompson, CEO of The New York Times, will participate in the opening keynote, “Pivoting an Icon”, on Tuesday, February 23rd at 10:30am at The TimesCenter. He’ll discuss how the NYT pivoted and prepared itself to succeed in the digital age, and how others can learn from their shift.

The interview with Mark will be conducted by Toby Daniels, Social Media Week’s founder and Executive Director.

About Mark Thompson

“Mark Thompson became president and chief executive officer of The New York Times Company in November of 2012. He is responsible for leading the Company’s strategy, operations and business units, and working closely with the chairman to direct the vision of the company.

Before joining the Times Company, Mark Thompson served as Director-General of the BBC from 2004, where he reshaped the organization to meet the challenge of the digital age, ensuring that it remained a leading innovator with the launch of services such as the BBC iPlayer. He also oversaw a transformation of the BBC itself, driving productivity and efficiency through the introduction of new technologies and bold organizational redesign.

He became controller (programming and scheduling chief) for the TV network BBC2, and Director of Television for the BBC before leaving the network in 2002 to become CEO of Channel 4 Television Corporation in the UK. In the fall of 2012, he was a visiting professor at the University of Oxford, and is currently developing the lectures he gave at Oxford into a book which will be published in 2015.” (via NYT)

View The Initial Program Of Events for SMW New York

Social Media Week New York, now in it’s 8th year, brings together thousands of professionals in marketing, media and technology. We’re excited to announce the initial schedule and speaker lineup for SMW New York, which takes place this February 22-26.

Join us across our two official venues, and hear from organizations such as Ogilvy, Starcom MediaVest, MRY, Forbes, Mashable, MTV, The Economist, GE, Pinterest, Facebook, Snapchat, Twitter, Spotify and many more!

Register for SMW New York

If you’d like to hear from these speakers, and join the thousands of attendees that come to Social Media Week in New York each year, register today by purchasing your pass. You can also save 20% until January 14th!

Image Credit: The Daily Beast

Synchronizing The Social At The New York Times

The New York Times are experiencing a phase of rapid change. While social has been top of mind recently, they decided to pull together the disparate parties working on various aspects of “search” and “media” to create a unified, collaborative front for their search and social strategies. They treat each social platform differently, and find unique uses for each one while not abandoning the others. For example, they print an 800-word article for the magazine, and then allow content that didn’t make it into print to live as a longer web piece. Aside from their internal marketing teams, what’s clear is that they value (need) journalists who have a native understanding of how their content can most effectively reverberate through all of the possible strands of media distribution.

Jenna Wortham, a journalist for the Times, explained how her natural affinity manifests; when she tweets, she reveals her process providing readers an inside look at the ‘day in the life’. She doesn’t think it’s a great use of social media to solely promote yourself or your company with clicks. She says the more you engage – and what I think she means is invest yourself – the more people will follow even if there is no click back. That is, invest with content that is interesting, relatable, and shareable. The editor working on audience development pointed out that she found the most shareable stories to be ones of personal perseverance, service-oriented stories, stories that provoke discussion, and ones that appeal to a bit of readers narcissism (said affectionately). People want to share things that make them look “smart”.

The most important takeaway of the session for me was that people need a sense of continuity as opposed to being inundated by a barrage of content. There most be something to come back to or tune into again and again. Food for thought.

Chauncey Zalkin, Co-founder and Creative Director, Show Love. Show Love creates highly shareable documentary video for lovable companies. Check out our reel.

Where Fashion And Technology Collide: A Talk With Meredith Kopit Levien, New York Times

After a flirtation that lasted over a decade, 2014 was the year when fashion and technology finally got hitched. Fashion labs incubated new approaches to shopping and design and technology realized that fashion is not so superficial when it can be used to make innovations like Google Glass desirable. It’s a marriage that showcases technology in a way that takes advantage of what fashion does best – inspire desire.

On Thursday February 26, Meredith Levien of the New York Times will invite a renown CEO from the luxury fashion industry (to be announced) to discuss how fashion is putting sexy back into technology and how technology is making fashion smarter.

Check out the latest lineup of speakers and events here, then get excited to join us for a week you won’t forget. Grab your pass to get full access to SMWNYC!

Video: The Future of Real-time Publishing (Part 1)

On February 10, 2011, over 120+ journalists, bloggers and media makers joined us for discussion on “The Future of Real-time Publishing“. This event was hosted by and produced in conjunction with The New York Times (@nytimes). Brian Stelter moderated a panel which included Ann Curry, Andy Carvin, David Clinch and Josh Harris. See below for part one of this two part video.

The Future of Real-time Publishing (Part 1) produced by Future Local on WellcomeMat