editor on the verge

Online musings from the newsroom and beyond . . . by Yoni Greenbaum

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And why not reward performance

January 2nd, 2008 · No Comments

If a person were to read much of the recent discussion about the ways journalists (AKA reporters and columnists) should be compensated, they might walk away believing that performance-based compensation is a foreign concept in today’s news organizations.

Yet as anyone who works in a newsroom and ventures into other parts of their building likely knows, performance-based compensation is actually alive and well. At many newspapers, this approach is used in departments from advertising sales to circulation and even marketing. And where base compensation is not tied to performance, bonuses typically are.

But this is not a simple issue and online reaction really has ranged. I think that some of the negative comments have been in response to the incorrect notion that people are suggesting that base compensation be tied to online performance. I believe this happened because the term salary was often used almost interchangeably with bonus. That aside, I personally found some of the posts convincing and agree with Lucas Grindley that:

“…a bonus system doesn’t hurt anyone. But it might help retain top talent while also increasing page views and audience.”

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→ No CommentsTags: Analytics · Compensation · Industry · Online · Traffic

Here’s to a happy 2008!

January 1st, 2008 · 3 Comments

I want to wish all you Editor on the Verge readers a very happy New Year.

And since the year is just getting started, here’s was you can expect from me in 2008:

  • I will continue writing at least 5 days a week.
  • I will not use my blog simply for the dissemination of my del.icio.us feed.
  • I will speak my mind and shed light on new ideas and issues, regardless of their popularity.
  • I will attempt to outreach and connect with other bloggers who can inspire and motivate me.
  • I will continue to embrace and evangelize on technologies that I feel can help the news industry.
  • I will use Twitter, Digg, StumbleUpon, Reddit and dozens of other sites.
  • I will experiment with new online technologies.
  • I will keep exploring ways to disseminate my posts.
  • I will have fun.

So what will you do in 2008?

→ 3 CommentsTags: Annual Events · Best Practices · Blogging · Editor on the verge · Mission

Get the most from your online data

December 31st, 2007 · 6 Comments

Recent posts by Jack Lail and Patrick Beeson got me wondering about how newspapers use the online data they collect.

On Sunday, Jack wrote a post about the firing of career columnist Penelope Trunk allegedly because “her columns commanded low advertising rates.” He explained that:

“Print media writers look askance at how ratings affect TV news, but in the digital economy, they face the prospect of eventually being tied to their advertising generating power, the almighty CPM, or advertising cost per thousand impressions.”

That got Patrick writing a post that proposed the question:

“What if instead of salaries, newspaper reporters and columnists were paid according to the advertising CPM (cost per thousand) their work generated online?”

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→ 6 CommentsTags: Analytics · Best Practices · Industry · Innovation · Metrics · Online

Now with easier mobile viewing

December 29th, 2007 · No Comments

Some of you may notice that I have removed the flashing Plusmo badge from my site. This shouldn’t be taken as a commentary on Plusmor or the mobile services they offer. Rather, I have uploaded a mobile plugin that will automatically sense your phone’s browser and provide it with the appropriate template. I think this streamlined approach is better for the majority of mobile visitors to this blog. If you disagree or have any comments or suggestions, I’d appreciate hearing from you. And if you never visit this blog from a mobile browser please forgive this interruption.

Remember to check back on Monday for a new post and have a great weekend.

→ No CommentsTags: Mission · Mobile