New layout increases engagement

IN Media Tech Briefs | 01/09/2017

USA Today has been testing  a personalized design on its mobile website that serves users different content depending on how often they visit the site, how they landed on an article, as well as their location and their viewing habits. Last week it sent mobile users the new layout and  reported that it resulted in viewers spending 20 seconds more on the articles they read, compared to earlier. Users with the new design were apparently also more likely to scroll completely through an article.  (Digiday)                                 

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The back story of the huge apology notice published by the Hindustan Times on September 18 (see this Hoot brief) is to be found in the record of sittings of the Privileges Committee of the Lok Sabha. The apology was published three days after the last sitting to which the editor of HT was summoned. The notice given by  Andhra Pradesh MP Jithender Reddy was taken up five times by the Committee  between July end and September 15. This too has fed into the wide ranging speculation over the reason for the resignation of the current editor of the paper, Aparisim Ghosh.                       

Did it really take the Hindustan Times almost six months to figure out that it had got the figures on the attendance  in Parliament of certain MPs, wrong? Or is there more to why it carried a front page apology covering half the page on September 18? It said, "In the edition of March 24, 2017, we had, because of a technical glitch, erroneously reported the attendance in Parliament of certain MPs. Below are the accurate figures. Hindustan Times offers an unconditional apology, and deeply regrets any offence or inconvenience caused." Of the seven MPs whom it said had 100 per cent attendance  not one had it, the paper listed six other names for this statistic. And the list of those whom it said had the worst attendance in Parliament is headed by Abhijeet Mukherjee, the former President's son, who in fact has a figure of 97 per cent attendance.                                    

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The Washington Post  is rolling out Talk  a new commenting system that will allow the paper to better engage with readers who comment on its stories and help promote civil conversations. The software was developed by the Coral Project, a collaboration between The Post, the NYT and Mozilla, funded by a grant from the  Knight Foundation. The Post will integrate Talk with ModBot, its AI-powered comment moderation technology.                                                                         

Propublica has built a  Facebook bot which is a tiny computer program that automatically converses with you over Facebook Messenger to determine you experiences with reporting hate speech on Facebook. Its says its objective is to learn more about Facebook’s secret censorship rules and what the social media determines is hate speech. (Nieman Lab)                                       
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